Friday, 25 March 2011
I covered BAMMA 5 for MMAHQ before attending OMMAC as press, Fight UK as a judge, Night of the Gladiators as commentary, Lockdown FC as a judge/commentator and tomorrow I'm off to sunny London for UCMMA: Lights Out.
Do you hear what this is? This is the sound of contentment pouring out of my fingers as I type and encouraging you to make this happen.
Do you honestly think I'm anything special? I'm nothing more than a fool with a love of tea and a passion about mixed martial arts and videogames. All I want to do is carry on with all the projects I've been lucky enough to be involved in.
You'll have to bear with me if this post sounds like a drunken text message at 3 am but I don't drink anymore so I have to find some way of venting all of this emotion.
Every single one of you people who've read this are as important in this as I am because without you good people being there to support me and encourage me I'd still be wishing that there was some way of making this all possible.
My message today? Just work hard at whatever it is that you believe in and you'll believe more and more that you can do it every single day. It's not important how long it takes you to get where you're going it's more important to appreciate the journey every single day.
The next few weeks are going to be a bit of a shitstorm so I apologise in advance for not talking so much. There's a very good chance I love you all and please don't ever be a stranger.
Friday, 18 March 2011
It's time for a Night of the Gladiators 7 round up that saw Dangerous Dave and I dust off the commentary gear and get involved.
In short probably the best event I've worked for the promotion in terms of fantastic match making and close fights. I'm glad, however, I wasn't judging it although they all did a great job.
Also a quick shout out to GPUK ref Steve McGovern who did another great job.
Robbia Houghton vs. Greg Grimshaw
66kg Semi Pro
Greg Grimshaw certainly wasn't getting paid by the hour as he came out with danger in his eyes and took the fight to the canvas with a well timed takedown. Houghton worked hard but it was the solid wrestling of Grimshaw that made the difference as he postured up and unleashed a barrage of strikes to force a very good first round stoppage.
Yan Sena vs. Chris Lawton
66kg Semi Pro
Once again it was a fast paced start as both fighters came out swinging and looking to end it early. Sena managed to get the top position after a frantic start but was quickly reversed and, following a Kimura that seemed to illicit a tap, it was Lawton who prevailed as he sunk in a tight guillotine choke from the bottom as the time ran out in the opening round.
Jason Scott vs. Carl Lofthouse
55kg Semi Pro
In one of the harder fought battles of the evening Jason Scott and Carl Lofthouse fought out a draw despite both fighters having great chances to finish the bout at different times. Lofthouse locked in a very tight looking armbar early on that seemed to leave his foe little choice but to tap. Scott, however, was not ready to give up and fought back before locking a guillotine choke of his own. The fight never slowed down but both fighters effectively cancelled themselves out in entertaining fashion.
Josh Yates vs. Paul Steed
70kg Semi Pro
Both of these fighters had clearly come for a war and from the moment the cage door closed that was all that was going to happen. It was Yates who drew first blood with a clipping left hook and looked to close his man out early on. Steed did the right thing by backing up and taking his time but, in the second found himself on the deck with a nicely timed takedown. Yates continued to work hard, despite an injury sustained, and was able to see out a rough third round to take the nod from the judges.
Remi Mclaren vs. Ben Ford
77kg Semi Pro
Ben Ford came out swinging and dropped Remi Mclaren like a bad habit with his first punch and quickly took the fight to his opponent with tough ground and pound for the remainder of the round before hitting a good looking armbar right on the bell. It was more of the same in the second as Ford once again got the takedown but the tide turned as Mclaren managed to get top position and nearly secured a submission of his own before the round ended. The last round was also close but Ford edged it with his work rate and finished the fight in the mount position to take home the win.
Levi Powner vs. Dan Rushworth
77kg Semi Pro
Late replacement Levi Powner came in with a point to prove and quickly scored with a textbook double leg and some nice ground and pound. Rushworth, however, showed the determination to get up and quickly put on a brutal display from the clinch with some horrific looking knees before finishing the round in a top triangle following a scramble. In the second round it was clear there was a gap in the striking as Rushworth picked his man apart in ruthless fashion with some hard looking strikes before finishing the job with a great one two combination.
Jamie Sheppard vs. Sam Chamberlin
77kg Semi Pro Bout
Jamie Sheppard's arrival to the cage was met by riotous applause and he certainly did not disappoint as he punished Sam Chamberlin early on in what was a very close encounter. Both fighters exchanged strikes and positions but, in the end, it was the work rate from Sheppard that made the difference as he was awarded a well deserved decision despite Chamberlin showing some very strong grappling.
Anthony Davis vs. Josh Layton
77kg Semi Pro Bout
Anthony Davis came out like a buzzsaw against prospect Josh Layton and looked to have his man in real trouble at several points as he switched up blistering hooks to the head and body throughout an action packed first round. It was credit to Layton that he hung in there and that proved to be the turning point of the fight as Davis expended too much energy in the first round to see him through the rest of the fight. Layton put on a punishing second round from mount and did enough to get the nod in the third to take home a very well deserved and credible victory.
Adam Randle vs. Scott Kimblin
84kg Semi Pro Bout
Local favourite Adam Randle received a huge cheer but seemed uneasy in dealing with his opponent. Scott Kimblin showed some great hands but, when he took the fight to the canvas, he was clearly streets ahead. It's credit to the sheer toughness of Randle that he was able to survive to the third round as he was mercilessly hammered from the mount position as the second round closed. In the third round he had simply taken too much punishment and the referee made a great call to halt the proceedings as Kimblin smashed home the victory from mount.
Harry Izevbigie vs. Lee Stevens
77kg Semi Pro Title Bout
It was the rematch that everyone was waiting for and both fighters were understandably cautious in the opening stages. It was Izevbigie who looked more precise but Stevens landed the decisive takedown in the first round and again took his man to ground in the second. Harry knew he needed a finish in the third and he dropped Stevens like a hot potato with a whistling hook and quickly moved in for the kill. Stevens, to his credit, did well to survive and see the round out and where it's arguable that he finished the fight in worse shape he'd done enough in the eyes of the judges to get the nod and take the belt.
Conrad Hayes vs. Mark Aldridge
66kg Pro Bout
Local prospect Conrad Hayes got himself a great win in only his second pro bout as he scored a tight choke very early on against Mark Aldridge. Hayes took control with some good striking and locked on the submission from a curious angle that gave his foe very little to do but tap; a very good performance from Hayes who looks to have found his feet since cutting to 66kg.
Chris Fishgold vs. Ben Rose
70kg Pro Bout
The story of this main event bout was the dominant wrestling of Chris Fishgold as he showed a BJJ game to back it up as he took his man down at will and spent long periods of this fight in a very dominant back control.
Rose showed why he's earned a reputation as such a tough fighter by gamely hanging on but, in the end, he had no answer for his opponent's relentless pace and hard ground and pounc. Chris Fishgold took home the win to Liverpool, moves up to 4-0 and also moves straight onto the prospect list.
Greg Grimshaw def. Robbia Houghton via TKO (Strikes) at 1: 59 of Round 1
Chris Lawton def. Yan Sena via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:59 of Round 1
Jason Scott drew with Carl Lofthouse
Josh Yates def. Paul Steed via Decision
Ben Ford def. Remi McClaren via Decision
Dan Rushworth def. Levi Powner via KO (Punch) at 2:19 of Round 2
Jamie Sheppard def. Sam Chamberlin via Decision
Josh Layton def. Anthony Davis via Decision
Adam Randle def. Scott Kimblin via TKO (Strikes) at 2:23 of Round 3
Lee Stevens def. Harry Izevbigie via Decision
Conrad Hayes def. Mark Aldridge via Submission (Choke) at of Round 1
Chris Fishgold def. Ben Rose via Decision
North Star MMA Awards
Fight of the Night - Josh Layton vs. Anthony Davis
Submission of the Night - Conrad Hayes
Knockout of the Night - Dan Rushworth
Thanks for reading, thanks for coming and thanks to everyone who made it happen. Thanks to Lee Hughes for the amazing picture and, just for clarity, it looked like a Peruvian neck tie from where I was sitting. Time for bed, speak real soon - Ben