Kicking off the show was a Bantamweight clash between Nathaniel Woods and Bryan Creighton. Woods was able to utilise some pin point precision striking to pick up a unanimous decision win over the tough Creighton. Woods dropped Creighton in the first round which switched the shift on how the bout played out but regardless of what Woods hit Creighton with he just would not give up. A big win for Woods back at BAMMA and whilst the loss won’t do Creighton any favours, he certainly done himself no harm in that bout.
Ben Bennett made his professional debut on the show against Jai Herbert and the experience of Herbert really come through in this one. Bennett whom prefers it when a bout is on the ground tried with all his heart to get the fight to the ground but in doing so took so many shots that eventually the referee had to step in and call an end in the second round.
A bout between Cameron Else and Jay Butler was just getting going when Butler suffered a nasty jaw injury, courtesy of a hammer fist from Else. The bout made the mat early on following a takedown from Else, and Butler grabbed hold of a leg and was locking to sink in a heel hook when Else dropped a hammer fist directly on the chin of Butler forcing him to tap.
Tobias Reid looked clinical in his victory over Craig Clarkson. Reid was able to utilise some devastating stand up from the clinch and really bloodied up Clarkson in the first round. But unlike a shark dashing for a bloodied opponent, Reid instead took his time and picked his shots and eventually the referee had seen enough and called the fight off.
Bill Beaumont and Marcin Prostko set a crazy pace in the first round of their catchweight bout but that along with taking the fight at short notice soon crept up on both of them. Beaumont was just one step ahead of Prostko throughout the bout and was able to takedown his opponent and grind out round two and three to pick up a win in his promotional debut.
Things were going pretty well for Harry Marple in the first round of his Welterweight bout against Shane Gunfield and “Dirty” Harry was leading on the score cards following some devastating body shots, but come round two the fight completely switched. Gunfield came out, took Marple down and looked like a man possessed when he was able to secure Marple in a modified crucifix and reign down shots until the referee had seen enough and called the bout off.
Things started well for Pelu Adetola and he was definitely the quicker man on his feet with Brett McDermott trying to stalk him down and get close enough to throw some shots. And it wasn’t long until McDermott showed his experience and caught Adetola with a huge right that dropped him only for Adetola to get back up and then catch another big shot which ended the fight. Great patience shown by McDermott who didn’t just throw everything and hope for it to stick, but was clinical with his shot selection and picked up a great win.
Tom Denham was dominant for the first 4:30 of the Heavyweight bout against Stuart Austin and after an early slip by Austin was able to pounce on him and let off some big shots on the ground and remain on top of his opponent. But then with about half a minute left of the first round Austin was able to get on top of Denham and drop some heavy shots and elbows which, given any longer would most probably have been enough. When both fighters come out in round two you could sense the flip of momentum and Austin needed less than two minutes to land a big right which stopped the durable Denham and crowned Austin the BAMMA Lonsdale Heavyweight Champion.
Well Nad Narimani hadn’t competed for over a year but it definitely didn’t show as he steamed through Jeremy Petley in just over two minutes. Petley made his Featherweight debut and just couldn’t deal with the speed of Narimani who never gave Petley an inch and stopped him with a barrage of strikes after dropping him against the cage. A fantastic return for Narimani who should be kicking down the door and calling for a Title shot.
An emotional Damien Lapilus was able to overcome a huge task and not only beat but stop a very tough Jack McGann in a Lightweight bout. Lapilus landed heavy leg kicks early to keep McGann at bay before taking down McGann and quickly sinking in a rear naked choke to claim the submission victory. McGann had a lot of profile ahead of the fight but Frenchman Lapilus was too much for him, and fittingly BAMMA celebrated with a standing minute of applause following the previous nights terror attacks in Paris. A great touch by BAMMA.
Shay Walsh proved that he is one of the best Bantamweight’s in Europe in dismantling former Champion Ed Arthur. Walsh used his experience to weather an early storm from Arthur and used Arthur’s own momentum to take him down and land some heavy shots which seemed to leave Arthur in a spot he had never been in before in his career. Arthur had a wealth of knowledge in his corner to guide him between rounds but Walsh just got better as the fight went on and with Arthur sensing the urgency towards the end of the fight was just able to stick to his gameplan and pick Arthur apart with some excellent Muay Thai strikes. A fantastic bout and one in which neither guy should lose any stock over. Both of these guys have a bright future in the sport for sure.
Rany Saadeh is possibly one of BAMMA’s most dominant fighters and he doesn’t even mix his gameplan up, his opponents just can’t seem to overcome his grappling which was again the case at #BAMMA23. Shaj Hague tried with all his might but just could not get off his back after Saadeh took him down on numerous occasions on his way to a dominant decision win. Saadeh may not be the most exciting of Champion’s but if its not broke then why fix it? Right?
Paul Craig definitely cut one of the most entertaining promo’s of the night following his victory over Marcin Lazarz and was almost on the mic longer than he was in the fight. Craig used his size and strength to takedown the former Champion early on in the fight and as soon as it hit the deck was sniffing out a submission. The opportunity presented itself when Lazarz was trying to get back to his feet and found himself in a triangle choke and the rest was history. A very dominant performance for the undefeated Craig who is a serious threat to any 205lber in Europe.
The main event pitted two guys who on paper are mirror images of each other but come fight night they were polar opposites with Martin Stapleton putting on one of the best performances of his career. Stapleton landed a huge takedown early on against the cage and stuck to the back of Sterritt before wrapping his arm around his neck and forcing the choke in less than two minutes. Stapleton done a fantastic job of pressing the pace and not giving Sterritt a chance to think before looking to wear him down on the ground. A gameplan performed to perfection and a huge win for Stapleton who now sits on top of one of BAMMA’s toughest divisions.
Nathaniel Wood def Bryan Creighton via unanimous decision
Jai Herbert def Ben Bennett via TKO (referee stoppage) at 3:49 of Round Two
Cameron Else def Jay Butler via TKO (injury) at 2:48 of Round One
Tobias Reid def Craig Clarkson via TKO (referee stoppage) at 1:43 of Round Two
Bill Beaumont def Marcin Prostko via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Shane Gunfield def Harry Marple via TKO (strikes) at 3:02 of Round Two
Brett McDermott def Pelu Adetola via TKO (strikes) at 1:57 of Round One
Stuart Austin def Tom Denham via TKO (strikes) at 1:55 of Round Two to become BAMMA Lonsdale Heavyweight Champion
Nad Narimani def Jeremy Petley via TKO at 2:26 of Round One
Damien Lapilus def Jack McGann via Submission (rear naked choke) at 3:30 of Round One
Shay Walsh def Ed Arthur via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to become BAMMA Bantamweight Champion
Rany Saadeh def Shaj Hague via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) to retain the BAMMA Flyweight Title
Paul Craig def Marcin Lazarz via Submission (triangle) at 3:51 to become BAMMA Light Heavyweight Champion
Martin Stapleton def Gavin Sterritt via Submission (rear naked choke) at 1:51 of Round One to become BAMMA Lightweight Champion