Review & Photos by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
The newly formed BAMMA held the first of a planned series of three events on Saturday night in England. The events are telecast on the Bravo network and look to crown British champions in a multi-event tournament format.
Tom Watson came back from dropping the first two rounds of his encounter with John Maguire to pick up a TKO victory, having smashed his opponent’s forearm just before the start of the third stanza. Initial low-point trading between the two opened up a takedown from Maguire and he proceeded to work his takedowns with ease, but was unable to apply much damage from top position. Having sensed that Maguire was faltering, Watson ramped up the aggression level and landed a big knee and kick on the fractured limb to force a halt to the bout.
The encounter between John Phillips and Denniston Sutherland was also subject to an injury stoppage, as the former came crashing down to the canvas dislocating his shoulder and aggravating a previous injury in the process. Up until that moment, things were shaping up to being a serious grappling match with both continuously reversing position on each other. Sutherland, like Watson, sensed victory and hammered home without hesitation at the first sight of an opening.
Nathan Champ had to try and chase down a very fluid and technical Eugene Fadiora throughout their encounter in the hope of landing a big haymaker. It wasn’t to be, as the young fighter worked his jab hard to keep a game Champ at bay before letting rip with some awesome head kicks. Fadiora looked completely fresh and unscathed at the end of their 15-minute encounter, while Champ looked to have had an argument with a baseball bat and lost.
Edgelson Lua came out of his encounter with eventual winner Che Mills with his head held high having left everything he had in the cage. Mills is no slouch and to go the distance of someone his caliber, let alone force his gas tank into depletion, is a serious achievement. Still, Mills picked up the unanimous decision victory on account of his heavy hands and superior positioning.
For all in attendance expecting a grappling master class from Tim Radcliffe and Abdul Mohammed, they were to be denied, but not disappointed, as the young Nova Forca standout picked his opponent apart with strikes, capitalizing on a reach disadvantage and avoiding the big overhand right Mohammed was keen on throwing. Mohammed is a scary good wrestler, but for him to be unable to work his game shows how much his opponent had been working on footwork and cage craft – a very impressive win for Radcliffe en route to a place in the finals.
Zach Jones and Francis Heagney wasted little time in clinching up against the cage. A few short knees later and Heagney was working his way into striking position on the ground. With Jones concentrating on locking down his opponent, all it took has a big overhand to get through his defense and ring bells. Sensing this opening, Heagney took his time to concentrate on pinpoint power shots; four found their mark and the referee stepped in halt the action.
In undercard action, Dan Mohavedi succumbed to a side choke at the hands of Adam Stanton, Kes Kpokpogri picked up the decision over Ben Craggy, and Radek Piechnik applied a classic ground and pound attack from mount to halt Spencer Morris.
BAMMA Full Results
-Tom Watson def. John Maguire via TKO at 2:47, R3
-Denniston Sutherland def. John Phillips via TKO (Strikes) at 3:22, R1
-Che Mills def. Edgelson Lua via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Eugene Fadiora def. Nathan Champ via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Tim Radcliffe def. Abdul Mohammed via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Francis Heagney def. Zack Jones via TKO (Strikes) at 3:08, R1
-Adam Stanton def. Dan Mohavedoi via Submission (Side Choke) at 1:08, R1
-Kes Kpokpogri def. Ben Craggy via Unanimous Decision, R3
-Radek Piechnik def. Spencer Morris via TKO (Strikes) at 1:57, R1
(CORRECTION: This article has been updated to accurately reflect Kes Kpokpogri’s win over Ben Craggy. The result was incorrect in the original report.)