Sunday, 25 March 2012

BAMMA 9 - Slice and Dice

Another weekend and another motorway trip, this time with Lethaby, as we went to the NIA, Birmingham (eventually) for BAMMA 9.

Wifi was good, seats were comfortable, Aundre Jacobs tweeted his little heart out and Mick Bower was funny in a way that only Northern types can manage.

If I was still in a band I'd write a record called Norman Paraisy and the Parisian Ghetto or maybe change the band name to that.

The fights were good fun and thanks to everyone who tuned into MMAHQ for the live play by play which chronicles all the fights. Get reading if you've not seen the events yet.

Here's what I noticed watching MMA this week:
  • Tom Watson is truly ready for the next level. BAMMA's been a great home for him but he needs to fight world recognised and ranked fighters to progress his career. He's the best British guy outside the big shows right now.
  • Patrick Vallee is yet another ridiculously talented French guy with unreal positional grappling. Pancrase may not allow shots on the floor but it's a unique breeding ground for wrestling monsters.
  • Gaps between fights aren't as noticeable in a live event when it's warm.
  • I've been to a lot of fights with atmosphere but I've never heard anything like Marshman vs. Watson. Intense doesn't even begin to cover it.
  • Colin Fletcher's stand up is legit. I didn't think it was. Props.
  • Watching drunk fans silenced when their favourite fighter gets beaten is quietly poetic. It's not a fighter's fault how his fans act but if you sell tickets to people who don't understand the sport then something bad usually always happens.
  • More people should walk in to music that isn't metal or rap.

Why Slice and Dice

Slice and Dice was the bloodiest death move I had ever seen when I first played Mortal Kombat 2. The cut that Jason Jones inflicted on Misiek bled like nothing else I've ever seen. There was literally a jet of blood that squirted a foot into the air more than once. That was some serious Great Muta style juicing.

Videogames and the Vision Quest

I spend so much time embracing the past while continually trying to look to the future and this blog is a perfect illustration of said ethos.

It's been around three years that I've been writing seriously and the opportunities and experiences that have come about as a result of it have been unreal to say the least.

Anyone who reads this understands how much SNES I play but this week I wandered to WHSmith after a quick game of F-Zero. It was sunny, I had some big sunglasses on and all was well.

I walked into the shop and picked up Fighters Only, in front of a tutting clerk, and opened it up. I've had quite a bit of magazine work published but this prospect was somehow different.

This month's issue featured a column I put together about videogames and mma. You read it right. The second I wrote it I was reminded of the first times I read Gamesmaster magazine and I wondered what it would be like to write at all.

I'm trying to not use the word epic anymore because this generation of kids seem set to do to epic what my generation did to awesome but that's the first word that came to mind.

Please go and buy it.
Then read it all.
Then tell me what you think.
Take Care
Ben

P.S I'm all about trying to full clear F-Zero this week. Mute City 2 is beast.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

CWFN 4 - Tank Command

It's time for yet another show wrap up written from the comfort of my surprisingly comfy floor.

I was picked up early this morning from Manchester Airport by my lovely girlfriend after a through the night flight from Abu Dhabi.

Cage Warriors Fight Night 4 in Dubai was a spectacular event with some truly insane finishes. There was just about everything you could wish for from a live show and chilling by the pool, catching some rays and listening to Copeland before the event was pure serenity.

Amazing opportunity once again and, in true North Star fashion, it's time to relive the highlights via the medium of the bullet point.
  • Judging is amazing because there's nothing else but the fight. In an arena of screaming fans it's incredible how you hear none of them once the fight starts and the mental scoring calculations begin.
  • I knew this show was going to be sick when the hotel porter asked me if Bret Hart was wrestling on the card.
  • Sheila Gaff is probably the most dangerous woman I've ever walked past in a buffet. She made double denim look downright deadly and yet in her post fight interview she sounded so unassuming. It's crazy how people have switches like that.
  • Assan Njie is the real deal. Another CW guy you'll probably see graduating to the big show within too long. Way, way too talented.
  • It's cheaper in Dubai than you'd think. It was only 80p for a Toblerone and 9 quid for a pair of Randy Savage looking sunglasses.
  • Watching a film about a bacterial disease epidemic on a crowded plane is one of the stupidest things I've done in a while.
  • I played a shit load of Sunset Riders on my DS emulated to a SNES. Loads harder than I remember.

Why Tank Command?

That game was brutal.

Tanks are brutal.

Sheila "The German Tank" Gaff is brutal



Speak soon

Ben

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Shock and Awe 10 - Smash TV

Sunday was, in every sense of the word, a day of pure win.

I woke up nice and early and drove up to Active Fitness in Holmes Chapel to teach a circuit training class that was all kinds of fun.

Drove home, went shopping, went for something to eat, walked home in the sun and then fell asleep under a Hello Kitty blanket.

This sleepiness and general good feeling was bought on by another great mma show that it was my pleasure to work on the night before.

Shock and Awe 10 was another great show by the south coast promotion and like last time, I was blown away with how many amazing fighters there were representing the lower weight categories and the professionalism and hospitality of the outfit.

My official report of the evening is here but, in true North Star fashion, it's all about a bullet point breakdown of my unofficial take on the event.

  • Niko Gjoka is an absolute monster. It's not often you see someone take those kind of shots and keep fighting through it to take the win. Owen Gayle looked a savage at flyweight, props to both guys. My fight of the night.
  • I saw someone get elbowed clean in the forehead about a foot away from the commentary table and the guy didn't even bat an eyelid. Seriously. What's up with you people?
  • Hospitality was, as always, fantastic and I was made to feel very welcome by the team down in Portsmouth in a great venue.
  • I get bled on a lot it seems. 3 times in nearly so many events. I only hope Simon Belmont isn't reading this. I'm not game for someone going Castlevania on me.
  • The drive was nice and it's a sign that Alison and I are getting good at the mma road trip as she'd prepared sandwiches and all kinds of goodness. I do however, need a travel cup. That was sadly overlooked in this trip.

Also one of the funniest bits of commentary in a while came from my good friend Lloyd Clarkson.

Ben: I'm impressed with this level of transitional grappling. Every submission attempt used to set up superior positions and techniques.

Lloyd: Certainly at this level it's a lot like Chess but with tattoos, punches in the face, blood, submission holds, slams and ground and pound.

Ben: So not at all like Chess then.

Lloyd: No not really.

Why Smash TV?

Simply because I've never seen anyone get hit as many times in the face as James Caird and not quit. One of the most intriguing displays of toughness I've seen in a very long time. A smash up, in every sense of the word.

Cage Warriors on Friday.

Off to Dubai I go.

ONWARD!!!!

Take Care

Ben