THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
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It’s time to step into the world of British mixed martial arts, and we’re once again paying a visit to the MAPP UK promotion, to take a look at their second show, The Champions 2, held at Cedar Court in Leeds, Yorkshire, back in August 2008.
The show began with John Moore facing Nate Simpson in the final of the Caged Steel in the Club tournament. It was an okay fight, nothing overly spectacular. Moore looked like he could get the win in the second round, but his lack of any submission attempts when he had control on the ground cost him. Both fighters looked exhausted in the third, and it looked like it would peter out until Simpson got the submission win with a rear naked choke.
Next up was Richard Belcher against Kevin Coop. This one featured some nice, fast paced action. Both men definitely came out to fight here, and although the action was a little messy at times, it was fun to watch. It could have gone either way, the way these two were banging, but Coop got the win here, dishing out some brutal ground and pound until a series of knees to Belcher’s ribs ended things with a referee’s stoppage.
Then it was on to Bryan O’Connor against Dean Thorpe, in the first blink and you’ll miss it affair. After a quick exchange of blows, O’Connor got a takedown, only to fall prey to Thorpe’s guillotine choke. O’Connor quickly tapped, fight time – just thirty nine seconds. Explosive and impressive stuff from O’Connor here.
Richie Ryder versus Kenny Dugay followed. This one was brutal, and it was obvious from the start that it wasn’t going to go to the ground as the heavy blows started as soon as the bell rang. Ruder was quickly cut open by a knee in the clinch, but the medics let the fight go on, and things continued in the same vein. It wasn’t long before the claret began to flow for Dugay as well, but in the end another big knee to the head sent Ryder reeling, and as Dugay followed up with a torrent of blows, the referee stepped in to stop the onslaught, giving the Dugay the TKO win. Well, it was brutal to watch, but also strangely compelling.
An encounter between Dennis Webb and Paul Durber followed. This was another fast paced fight with plenty of back and forth action, and saw both men going all out from the opening bell. The exchanges were lightening fast, but as the round went on Webb was visibly tiring, so much so that when he got a take down, Durber quickly reversed things and took the guard, soon synching in an arm bar for the submission win. Great action throughout here.
James Parker versus Jon Waterhouse followed. This was a far more technical battle than any of the previous fights. Parker showed some great ground work after escaping from Waterhouse’s guillotine attempt. Once Parker got the fight back down to the ground he went to work, first going for a key lock, then a kimura, before finally getting the submission win with an arm bar, rounding off a great technical display, a welcome change to the previous slugfests.
James Anderson against Philip Hoban proved to be a very interesting fight, fought at a quite frantic pace over it’s two round duration. Hoban was clearly the better man in the stand up game, rocking Anderson as he swung for the trees, but when the fight went down to the ground it seemed as if the fighters struggled a little. Hoban went for a couple of arm submissions, but that was it, and it was his superiority in the stand up game that probably earned him the unanimous decision.
Then it was on to Nij Wright against Matthew Earnshaw. This fight had the spark that the previous one lacked. Wright took control early on with a big slam, but after the fighters got to their feet there were some frantic exchanges before Earnshaw defended a take down attempt, took side control, and synched in a key lock for the submission win, bringing to an end a good fight.
Liam O’Neil then faced Qasim Shafiq. This was another of those rather interesting fights that went the distance. Both fighters showed some good take down skills, but after they got there they just lacked that certain spark, and although there were some submission attempts, nothing came of them. Neither man had any real success in the stand up either with their wild brawling. In the end the unanimous decision went to Shafiq, although it could have gone either way.
Mark Stoker and Andrew Farrell followed that particular affair. Now this was more like it. Farrell looked intense as he came to the ring, and went to work straight away, taking Stoker down and soon moving into position so he could apply an arm triangle for the submission win, the second blink and you’ll miss it fight on the show.
The penultimate fight saw James Williams facing Mark Aldridge. This was another exciting fight. Williams looked even more intense than Farrell in the previous fight, and you could tell what was on his mind during the pre-fight instructions. He got the immediate take down, and went for the ground and pound. Aldridge’s brief escape only delayed the inevitable, which came after Williams took Aldridge’s back and delivered more punishment. When Aldridge stopped defending himself, the referee stopped the onslaught, giving Williams the well deserved TKO win.
The main event saw Tomasz Wisiniewski taking on Justin Wring. This was a good little fight, with Tomasz getting the quick take down, and soon moving into the mount where he went for some ground and pound. He then quickly moved to the side, applying an arm bard for the quick submission win.
DVD extras come in the form of a photo gallery, fighter intros, a highlight video and a segment featuring an MMA fighter taking on a professional wrestler. Now this isn’t as good as it sounds, because it’s obvious from the outset that it’s a complete work. The supposed MMA practitioner uses several pro wrestling moves, and the execution and selling of the moves is really poor.
In conclusion – a mixed bag of action here. While there are some good fights, there’s also some quite messy affairs, especially as far as some of the fighter’s boxing skills are concerned. So, if you willing to take the bad with the good, then you may find something here to your liking.
With thanks to Tom Tailford for supplying a copy of this release. For more information on how you can get a copy, Tom can be contact via www.fight-factory.co.uk.