BAMMA 20 Review


The smoke has cleared, the pyrotechnics expired and BAMMA 20 is in the books, and what a BAMMA it was! The UK’s largest promotion returned to the BarclayCard Arena this Saturday (April 25th 2015) and returned with a bang. But where to start?

Firstly going back to an arena venue was a big move for the promotion and production value was noticeable from the moment we entered the arena.

Well placed screens, a gorgeous entrance and some nice pyro and stage FX were employed to give the show some well deserved bling. There was palpable energy amongst the BAMMA crew as the company made its debut on Spike TV UK. Here it must be said the TV did not adversely effect the running of the show, or the quality of the experience for the paying fan. I don’t believe that can be said from the deal they had with 5*!

This time it seemed that the production crew allowed BAMMA to put on their show and worked with the promotion rather than despite them, and it paid off in spades! Maybe it is just simply that Spike TV and Viacom understand MMA, or perhaps BAMMA just put their foot down. Either way it paid off as this was easily one of the best UKMMA shows I have ever had the privilege to attend!

Secondly, the card was excellent. From the opening amateur bout which saw local Birmingham fighter Oliver Paske who fights out of UTC in Birmingham defeat Arthur Jakub at 2:18 of the first to the war that was Marcin ‘Bane’ Lazarz v Brett McDermott in the evenings main event. Many of the country’s brightest prospects put in career defining performances.

I have to mention Ed Arthur here as he battled the seasoned Alan Philpott in what many considered to be a fight of the night candidate and neither man disappointed. A cagey, professional first round put in by Philpott may have disheartened a lesser fighter. However, Arthur true to his word about ‘controlled constant pressure’ went into another gear in the second before he caught and subbed Philpott less than a minute into the second, and did the tap come quick! Arthur is the total package! Exciting in the cage, he is eloquent and entertaining outside the cage the perfect formula for great success!
‘Dirty’ Harry Marple made a double debut, both at BAMMA and at WelterWeight and again the Team Kaobon stand out showed his pedigree against the incredibly durable Chris Astley. Like Ed Arthur I believe Harry Marple is destined for a prolonged and successful MMA career, and again this young man is eloquent and charismatic.

Jack Grant made his intentions clear to the MMA world with one of the most brutal and devastating KO’s I have ever seen as he dispatched Warren Key just after a minute of the first. All of us wish Warren a speedy recovery from the fractured orbital he received. Jack Grant made a statement to the rest of the lightweights on the roster and to the UKMMA fans!
Regis Sugden continued his rise amongst the Bantamweight division despite a difficult weight cut he out struck Ant Phillips to earn the TKO just under 4mins in the first.

Colin ‘The Freakshow’ Fletcher and Andre Winner, two of the biggest names in the UK light weight division, had their second fight this year albeit the first MMA fight. Fletcher won a decision over Winner in a K1 bout earlier this year, but Rough House soldier Winner took the decision in an entertaining 3 round scrap. Winner has catapulted himself into title contention and a fight between Mansour Barnoui and Winner is an exciting prospect for the fans.

Chris Miah, who must have been incredibly disappointed that his scheduled Flyweight World Title fight had to be put on hold whilst current champion Rany Saadeh recuperates from a serious illness, made quick work of his replacement opponent Daniel Barez. Again the fans can only rub their hands together and wait for that match up to take place at a BAMMA event later in the year. Finally, with the abdication of the LHW title by Jason Jones, two worthy contenders in Brett McDermott and Marcin Lazars battled to become the new LHW champion. Lazarz footwork, level changes, and ability to take the fight where he wanted it to go made all the difference as he went on to win the unanimous decision. ‘The Happy Killer’ (Lazarz) improves with every performance and will no doubt prove to be an exciting champion for the LHW division.

From the production value, to the match ups, to the fights themselves BAMMA have firmly entrenched themselves as the promotion to be on in the UK. The atmosphere in the venue was raucous and the fans in attendance clapped, stomped, cheered and sang their favourites on! Arguably one of the best BAMMA events ever and we have been told the best is still yet to come. As a fan of UKMMA and MMA in general this has got to please you!

BAMMA 21 will take place June 13th 2015 again returning to the BarclayCard Arena. Thus far the fights that have been announced include a Middleweight Title fight between current champion Andrew Devent and the dangerous French challenger Cheik Kone, and a Heavyweight title fight between Mark Godbeer and Paul Taylor. Also by judging the fighters keenness to step back in the BAMMA cage the card will fill up quick! Keep checking for updates or keep an eye out on social media for more information.

By @SteveCA_MMA

Owner/Editor of Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.

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