by Matt Freeman for MMAWeekly.com BIRMINGHAM, England – Filling the national Indoor Arena, BAMMA 4 featured a war of attrition between middleweight champion Tom Watson and current media target Alex Reid. Whilst the fight more than fulfilled the hype, helped by the challenger’s gutsy, aggressive game plan, the implications were huge. Reid proved that he was more than just a name from a reality TV show and the fight showed the tremendous heart and conditioning of both men.
Watson found himself on the back foot from the opening bell as Reid stalked forward throwing vicious combinations, cutting his opponent early. Setting the tone for the fight, both athletes engaged in a gruelling battle, played out on the feet and in the clinch as they traded blow for blow in a back and forth battle.
Whilst Reid began to look tired in the third round, he continued his forward motion, easily stuffing his opponent’s takedowns. Watson began to up the pressure in the fourth and with both heavily marked up, the fight went to the last round. Landing big combinations and trading submissions on the mat, Reid and Watson fought to the bell. Going to the judges, Watson retained his title by unanimous decision.
John Phillips might have missed weight by a few pounds, but in the ring it translated to a huge advantage as he accomplished something few men have been able to, stopping the ever tough James Zikic after just a minute and a half of the first round. Phillips threw every punch with bad intentions. Landing some vicious combinations, he gave Zikic no space to move, dropping him to the mat and forcing the ref to stop the action.
Undefeated prospects Eugene Fadiora and Gunnar Nelson put their skills to the test but it was the grappling wizard who quickly came out on top. Wasting little time, Nelson shot in and though Brit Fadiora struggled in to stay on his feet, he eventually found himself trapped in side control. Reading his opponent, Nelson soon wrapped up his opponent and after softening up Fadiora with hammerfists, sunk in the choke for the win.
Simeon Thorensen rocked Marco Santi early on the feet before taking his opponent to the mat and taking the submission win in the first round, continuing to make his mark in the welterweight division.
A.J. Wenn overcame a tough first round against Welshman Tim Newman in a back and forth battle before sinking in a slick triangle choke in the second to take the hard fought victory. Fellow lightweight Stuart Davis broke his bad luck defeating debuting 155-pounder Scott Jansen with a well set up armbar in the first.
-Tom Watson def. Alex Reid by Unanimous Decision
-John Phillips def. James Zikic by TKO at 1:34, R1
-Gunnar Nelson def. Eugene Fadiora by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:51, R1
-Simeon Thoresen def. Marco Santi by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:59, R1
-A.J. Wenn def. Tim Newman by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:21, R2
-Stuart Davies def. Scott Jansen by Submission (Armbar) at 2:31, R1
-Harvey Harra def. David Round by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:18, R2
-Tom Breese def. Shahid Hussain by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:57, R2
-Robert Devanne def. Colin Lewis by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:02, R1