Last weekend I attended BAMMA 3 at the NEC with some friends. I’ve only been to a few MMA live events and have generally enjoyed them and this was no exception. At BAMMA 3 though there was a certain amount of controversy concerning the main event and a bit of a media circus too.
Tom ‘Kong’ Watson was supposed to fight Alex Reid for the Middleweight belt but Reid pulled out with a knee injury. The controversy concerned Reid’s preparation for the fight, which centred on a TV program where he went to different countries trying out a variety of Martial Arts. I’ve only seen the clip of Reid rolling with Roger Gracie, and he didn’t look too good, overawed and out of his depth is probably the correct description.
Watson, on the other hand took the fight more seriously training with the GSP camp. Incidentally, GSP was present to show support for Watson in his fight with Matt Horwich.
Reid turned up to watch the event with his wife Jordan/Katie Price. It’s fair to say they took some stick! It was quite entertaining at times, particularly the two blokes dressed as Price and Reid who posed for camera’s and got the crowd going.
It needed something as the undercard was not always the best. The first fight we saw involved pink shorts and really only got going in the final round with the Norweigan Thoresen getting the decision over John Maguire. Then there was a break for 15 minutes.
It took that time for the projectionist to get one of the big screens properly operational again, after it had slipped. Not exactly UFC! The first fight after the break was for the Featherweight belt with the wrestler Mark Adams beating self-taught Alan Omer by decision. This was a much better fight. Omer looked lively but couldn’t cope with the wrestling.
Then followed three fights decided in the first round. Americans War Machine and Seth Petruzelli (Kimbo killer) both submitted opponents after barely a minute. Petruzelli seemed to be a step too far for Ryan White who did trouble him with a counter to a head kick and flurry of punches from guard, but forgot about defending his arms, an arm bar being the result.
For the Lightweight belt Rob Sinclair took out German Daniel Weichel by ground and pound TKO. He was well on top but the fight did seem to be stopped early. I was expecting more from Wiechel, although I have read that he suffered an unseen low blow which he didn’t recover from, all academic now.
The main event needed to go longer than the first round and it went the distance, although Watson only just managed to make it to the second. In the lead up to the fight, a la UFC, they show recorded interviews. The interview with Horwich was bizarre; he mentioned quantum physics and spirituality while being only just coherent. He came out bashing a bible against his chest and bumbled around the cage waiting for Watson. He did not look good, in fact he looked unprepared. I was concerned for his safety, he just didn’t look right! I needn’t have been as he gave a very good account of himself.
The fight was an old school MMA clash of styles, the boxer/kickboxer verses the wrestler. Watson dominating the stand-up until Horwich took him down, which he managed easily. Watson nearly lost to Rear Naked Choke in the first and almost again in the second or third. As the fight went on Watson was better able to resist the takedown attempts and was always much better standing. I think he deservedly sneaked it with the judges.
It was only the third BAMMA event and I did enjoy it, although it was a good job the Americans came over to fight, they significantly raised the standard of the fights. The stick that Reid and Jordan received, really helped the entertainment level but was a bit distracting from the fights. GSP turning up to support Watson was a nice touch. The interviewer was awful though, lame attempt. It would be good to have someone who knew a little about MMA doing the interviews, Reid maybe? The announcer was excellent though, Michael Buffer stylee!
We got the tickets for a last minute concessionary tenner which helped, I might not have enjoyed it as much for £25 but I will probably go again if it comes back to Brum. If this report has made you desperate to watch the rerun is on Bravo tomorrow night.