THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s time to enter the world of British mixed martial arts as once again I dip into the pile of A1 Productions DVDs. This time we’re heading back to Hartlepool and March 2008 for the Closed Combat Arena “Put Up of Shut Up” show.
The first four fights were kickboxing affairs, begi9nning with Kristina Pook against Jen Walsh. This was a nice little exhibition bout, with Walsh clearly the better fighter. The referee declared the fight a draw afterwards.
The action continued with Brett Ramshaw against Matt Fidler. With the rounds lasting only ninety seconds, the pace of this one was quite frantic, except when Fidler’s ill-fitting head guard kept falling off. Fidler dispersed with the guard for the remainder of the fight, and it helped him no end, as Ramshaw was on the canvas twice, with the referee giving the fight to Fidler.
The kickers continued with Karl Pugh and Nick Clougher. No head guards to worry about in this one, and it was a far more entertaining fight because of it. Pugh put on a good performance, putting Clougher on his backside in the first, and twice more in the second. After the first knockdown in the second Clougher looked like he’d had enough, so it wasn’t a surprise when the ref stepped in, giving Pugh the deserved TKO win.
Next was Andy Hanlon against Danny Thompson. This was another of those frantic fast paced battles, with both guys swinging from the trees from the opening bell, and both scoring with some good shots, with Hanlon getting the decision.
The MMA action began with Michael Lund facing Simon Ng. This was a pretty even fight. Ng controlled the action in the first after a take down, going for a guillotine as the round ended. Lund came back strongly in the second with a big slam and kimura attempt, before taking Ng’s back after a second take down. So with both men winning a round, the referee declared the fight a draw, although I got the feeling that Lund would have take it if the rounds had been longer.
Then it was on to James Fleet, taking on Alfas Miah. Fleet came forward early here, only to find himself in a couple of clinches against the cage, before Miah took the fight to the ground. However, as he landed Fleet took Miah’s back, and quickly transitioned to the guard. It was long though before Miah locked in an arm bar, with Fleet tapping mere seconds later, ending a very enjoyable fight.
Action from Adam Mossap against Kristian Warham followed. The second two rounder to go the distance was another even affair, with both men getting their share of take downs and submission attempts. Once again the referee couldn’t separate the fighters as he declared it a draw, although I thought that Warham had just nicked it.
Mark Pendlington against Henry Jack was next. There was really no doubt who was going to win this one. From the moment the fight started Pendlington controlled almost every aspect, especially on the ground, as Jack looked like the proverbial fish out of water. The only thing that Pendlington was missing was a finishing move, but what he did was enough to earn the decision.
Then it was on to Christopher O’Keefe, taking on Amir Azam. Unlike the other fights that went the distance this was a more one-sided affair as Azam controlled the action on the ground in the first. O’Keefe had his moments in the second, but his failure to obey his corner’s orders during his brief moments of superiority cost him as Azam took the decision with a very good performance.
On to Matt Fleet against Andy Treen. A good performance by Treen as he controlled the fight whenever it went to the ground. Fleet got a couple of take downs, but Treen reversed immediately, and soon transitioned into his desired position after the second take down so he could apply an arm bar. Nice work here.
Next up, Damian Rounding versus Chris Douglas. This was another of those good back and forth affairs. An inadvertent low blow by Douglas seemed to spur Rounding on as he controlled the remainder of the first round. Douglas came back well in the second and showed some great ground work, but another inadvertent blow, this time to the throat, halted any momentum he had built up, which probably cost him the decision as well as Rounding came back strongly in the final few seconds.
Kalum Lodge versus Elliot McGlade was next on the agenda. The blink and you’ll miss it affair. Both men threw some wild kicks at the beginning, before McGlade applied a standing guillotine, quickly pulling guard, with Lodge tapping seconds later. A really good performance by McGlade here.
Malcolm Maize against Keith Kennedy followed that rather quick affair. Slugfest is probably the best way to describe this one. A big left from Maize sent Kennedy down early on, and although he looked like he was going to win the fight there and then, Kennedy came back strongly. Maize’s mistake was that he kept looking for another big left, and this one dimensional approach played right into Kennedy’s hands as his combinations saw him getting the TKO victory.
Then it was on to Thomas Izzett against Oobie Rahman. Another nice back and forth affair saw Rahman throwing some good kicks in the first, only for Izzett to take him down, dominating whenever the fight went down to the mat. The roles were reversed in the second though as Rahman was able to get the take down early in the second, quickly moving to side control so he could apply an arm bar for submission victory.
Michael Young was next, taking on Shaun Crawford. This one went to the ground immediately, as we got an entertaining exchange of submission attempts, before Young went for his second guillotine attempt. Crawford fought it at first with a few fists to the ribs before the inevitable tap out. If only all ground work was like this!
The penultimate fight saw Peter Biggins going up against Rob Hughes. This fight went downstairs quickly when Hughes pulled guard after a clinch against the cage. He then went straight for an arm bar, and although Biggins tried to slam his way out three times, Hughes managed to synch the hold in fully for the submission win, another fight with some very good ground work.
The final fight of the show saw Ian Cooper tackling Gary Firby. Another quick fight saw Cooper knocked on his backside early on, but he soon took the guard after Firby followed him to the ground. Cooper quickly established control, with the referee quickly stepping in after Cooper’s relentless ground and pound, a good fight to round off the show with.
The only extras come in the form of a musical photo montage.
In conclusion – a very enjoyable release from A1 Productions here, a good blend of kickboxing and MMA action. There was some really good talent on display here, some to keep an eye out for in the future. However, I do feel somewhat disappointed again by the lack of on-screen graphics when the fighters entered the cage, so unless you’ve got a print out telling you the results for review purposes, those watching this may get a little confused.
But then again, this is the only downside of this release, and I’m once again able to recommend a slice of British MMA action.
With thanks to Tom Tailford for supplying a copy of this release. To purchase a copy of Closed Combat Arena: Put Up or Shut Up, contact Tom via www.fight-factory.co.uk.