THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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A relatively new MMA debut made their television debut on Sky Sports here in Britain this past Wednesday night as Knuckle Up presented their Origin show, hosted by Lisa Nash and Dane Bowers.
The show began with amateur middleweight action between Matt Holmes and Aston Kehoe. An enjoyable encounter between two debuting fighters with both putting on a good show in the first round. Holmes sustained a nasty cut above his right eye at the beginning of the second, and after some brief ground work Kehoe connected with a left hook that sent Holmes crashing to the ground, with the referee stopping the fight as Kehoe earned the KO win with a very good performance.
Then it was down to the lightweight division as Daniel Thomas faced Stuart Davies. Fought mainly on the ground, Thomas dominated as soon as he got the take down, controlling Davies throughout. There just didn’t seem anything that Davies could do, and his one escape attempt was easily foiled. Thomas kept up his attack, and with Davies unable to withstand the ground and pound the referee stepped in with just ten seconds left in the first round. It may not have been flashy, but it was a good solid performance from Thomas here.
After brief highlights of some of the other fights on the show, welterweight action followed as Simon Phillips faced Danny Mitchell. A nice back and forth encounter saw Mitchell drop Phillips early on, but as the round progressed Phillips began to assert his authority on the ground. The action continued in the same vein in the second, with both fighters having their moments, but it was early in the third where Mitchell hurt the M-1 veteran with some knees in the muay thai clinch, and as Phillips slumped to the ground Mitchell quickly took his back to deliver some ground and pound, and with Phillips failing to defend himself, the referee stopped the fight, giving Mitchell the TKO win in a fight where both guys put in impressive performances.
The first title fight of the night followed, with Kevin Reed challenging Jake Blyth for the British Welterweight title. This proved to be a very interesting encounter. An unfortunate slip early on saw Reed take the guard, but a lack of action saw the referee stand the fighters up. Blyth then scored with a take down of his own, and put in some good work on the ground. Round two saw some nice back and forth action, until Blyth got Reed up against the cage and locked in a side choke for the submission win. Some nice action throughout here, and two good performances.
The man event saw John Phillips facing Matt Thorpe for the vacant British Middleweight title. This one lasted less than a minute. Both guys were swinging for the trees early on, and after Thorpe failed with his take down attempt, Phillips’ ground and pound hurt him quickly, and it wasn’t long before the referee called a halt to the proceedings giving Phillips the win and the title with a very good effort.
In conclusion – my first experience of the Knuckle Up promotion was a good one, as this proved to be a very entertaining show. The five fights that were shown in full certainly delivered. Production-wise things were very good. Messrs Bowers and Nash proved to be amiable hosts, although Nash was lacking in her MMA knowledge a little, as was evident in her interview. I was a slightly disappointed that we weren’t introduced to the commentators. They could have been two blokes who just walked in off the street for all we knew! But in all a very enjoyable show, and kudos to Sky Sports for giving us more MMA action.