THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
It was meant to happen last December, but bad weather meant that Stav Economu never got the chance to take on the mighty Bob Sapp. But with former UFC star Paul Daley replacing the Beast and the Crazy Bear in the main event, the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) returned to live action this past Saturday night with their fifth show, broadcast live on Syfy here in Britain.
The broadcast began with middleweight action as Alex Makhonin faced “Professor X” Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
Many predicted that Xavier would get the win here, but one mistake turned this fight in an instant.
For the majority of the first two rounds Xavier looked good with his strikes and knees in the clinch, although one did stray south of the border.
But then Xavier made an error while going for a take down, with Makhonin landing on top. He quickly took the mount and went to work with the ground and pound, with several busting him open. The referee had no choice but to stop the fight, giving Makhonin the TKO win.
It was up to heavyweight for the next fight as former Ultimate Fighter contestant James McSweeney faced former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez.
A nice three round affair saw some early success from McSweeney as a right hand sent Rodriguez down.
But that was his only real success. From then on Rodriguez dominated on the ground, going for a number of submission attempts, and whenever McSweeney managed to get to his feet Rodriguez took him straight back down again.
So after three rounds it was down to the judges, with all three scoring in favour of Rodriguez.
The main event saw welterweight action as Paul Daley took on Japanese star Yuya Shirai. Originally this was meant to be for the vacant Welterweight title, but when Daley just failed to make the weight it was changed from a five round to a three round affair.
It wasn’t long before Daley went to work in this one, knocking Shirai down with a simple jab. From there it was only a matter of time, with Daley’s trademark left hook sending Shirai crashing for a third time, the referee stopping the fight just seconds later.
The show rounded out with filler material in the form of the welterweight clash between Leeroy Barnes and Mohsen Bahari.
A quick one here which saw both fighters testing the waters a little before a left/right combination sent Barnes down. A short period of ground and pound followed before the referee stepped in after just 40 seconds.
In conclusion – the disruption followed the cancellation of December’s show, as well as the closing down of their previous television home meant that BAMMA had to come back strongly.
They achieved this with their fifth outing. Although we only got to see three live fights, and although it wasn’t as hyped as much as the Alex Reid/Tom Watson affair at BAMMA 4 this show certainly delivered.
Production-wise it was okay, although given a few errors with regards to camera angles it may have been better to put out a two hour highlights show instead of going live. Hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes when BAMMA 6 takes place in May.
So in all BAMMA 5 gets the thumbs up from me, a worthy edition to British television’s current MMA content, although, like Ultimate Challenge, I do wish they’d consider releasing their full events on DVD. If it works for Cage Wars why couldn’t it work for them?