After another successful night for the burgeoning promotion, here are the main talking points to take away from BAMMA 12.
- BAMMA 12 looked to be a card that was slowly getting torn apart by injuries. With Lightweight champ Rob Sinclair pulling out of the main event, Luis Santos pulling out of his fight with Jimmy Wallhead and TUF veteran Bola Omeyele getting injured and subsequently scrapping his fight with Wayne Murrie altogether, it was looking like a rather makeshift card. The fighters who did turn up at the Metro Arena, however, managed to put on a fantastic card from top to bottom with slick submission and brutal knockouts.
- After a hit-and-miss stint with Bellator, ‘Judo’ Jimmy Wallhead came into his fight with veach looking in shape and motivated, and his performance backed that up. In probably his best performance to date Wallhead took the fight to Veach from the bell, overwhelming him and taking a bloody first-round submission win in the process. Still only 28 and with a number of wins over some tough UFC veterans, a call to the big show can’t be far away.
- Rob Sinclair’s planned title defence against Curt Warburton was one of the more anticipated fights in UK MMA, so after Rob had to pull out of his fight with an Achilles injury, Warburton’s replacement, Steven Wray wasn’t given much of a chance by the pundits, and Warburton didn’t give him much of one in the cage, either. In a fight that won’t be on any highlight reels anytime soon, Warburton still executed a professional performance that ensured his status as the number one contender to Sinclair’s crown was still intact.
- BAMMA is fast emerging as the number 1 MMA organisation in the UK, if not Europe, and has some of the best young UK talent to boast too. With impressive performances from James Macalister, Thomas Denham and Scott Askham it was Ryan Scope who stole the show with a slick triangle submission . Still only 21, Scope (7-0) has the looks, style and personality to go a long way.
- Leeroy Barnes is one of the most outspoken fighters in MMA, and he has a big personality to match his huge frame, however we saw a new and improved fighter against Steve Watson. After admitting that his almost overly muscled body saw him have no problem getting the girls, he conceded it wasn’t helping him get the all important W on his record, not on a consistent basis anyway. Having dropped a shed load of muscle mass, and apparently improving his cardio ten-fold, Barnes put on an outstanding performance, rocking Watson in the opening exchange before jumping on him and submitting him via guillotine in 47 seconds. An impressive performance that’s hopefully laid the foundations for Leeroy to rack up a few wins and get the big fights he wants.
- Ken Shamrock’s turtleneck…just no.