Every Wednesday, The MMA Corner’s Duncan Price will bring a view of the MMA world from across the pond in England, covering well-known British fighters within the UFC and Strikeforce, and also looking at significant events put on by British promotions within the borders of the United Kingdom.

BAMMA 7 – Event Recap

BAMMA 7 took place this past Saturday night at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance.

In the main event, UFC and Pride veteran Frank Trigg took on tough Brit and former Bellator competitor Jim Wallhead.

Both men started cautiously in the first until Wallhead landed a good left hook late in the round which wobbled Trigg. The action then went to the ground and Wallhead was able to land some strikes to cut Trigg open and almost definitely take the opening frame.

At the start of the second, Wallhead seemed to be looking to capitalise on his solid start and land a knockout blow. Although he did throw the more powerful strikes throughout, it was Trigg who landed with more proficiency and accuracy. Neither fighter appeared in any real danger, but it was a much closer call for the judges to make.

With the bout seemingly in the balance entering the third, both competitors seemed content to keep the fight standing. Wallhead again wobbled Trigg, this time with a flush right hand, but Trigg was able to recover. In what became another very close round, Wallhead was subsequently able to score a solid takedown, but Trigg did finish the contest off with an unanswered flurry of punches.

In this razor close encounter, the early action seemed to favour the Brit and Wallhead was indeed awarded a split-decision win, 29-28, 28-29 and 30-27.

Whilst I also scored it in favour of Wallhead, I don’t think anyone in the arena would have been shocked had Trigg been awarded the victory. To a certain extent, Trigg may be grateful that he didn’t face Tom “Kong” Watson in the end, as I believe Watson would have been able to finish the experienced American. Full credit should go to Jim Wallhead though for stepping into the main event on short notice and making the most of his opportunity.

Paul Daley (r) battles Jordan Radev (Toby Smith/MirrorTKO)

In the co-main event of the night, powerful British striker Paul Daley faced off against strong Bulgarian wrestler Jordan Radev. This bout was fought as a catchweight contest due to Daley again weighing in above the divisional limit.

The first couple of minutes passed by quickly as both combatants seemed to be measuring each other up. Once Daley seemed to gauge his opponent’s skill and reach, he began to unleash what can only be described as a Muay Thai masterclass. Punches, kicks and knees all landed, but Radev somehow remained upright and still in the fight.

The second round continued in much the same vein with Daley dominating the action on the feet and Radev, whilst bravely battling on, able to land precious few strikes in response.

Daley was visibly tired when he came off his stool for the third. Radev finally scored with a takedown early and he was able retain position for much of the five minutes. Up two rounds to none, Daley seemed content to sit out the frame on his back. Whilst Radev deserved credit for his endurance and determination, he never really had Daley in trouble at any point during the contest.

After the final bell, Daley was deservedly awarded the unanimous decision, setting up a potential fight with recent BAMMA signee Nate Marquardt.

With the newly-created Lonsdale British middleweight title on the line, Jack Marshman survived a barrage of early strikes from Carl Noon to score an exciting victory in the third round.

Jack Marshman with his hands raised in victory following his stoppage of Carl Noon (Toby Smith/MirrorTKO)

Facing a power puncher in Marshman, Noon took the fight to the floor early and pounded away from top position. Heavy strikes bloodied Marshman as Noon landed at will. Marshman did threaten with an armbar attempted almost in desperation, but Noon was able to fend off the submission and remained on top until the bell.

In the second, Marshman demonstrated stronger takedown defence and was able to take control of the fight. Noon looked absolutely drained by his efforts in the first and repeatedly put his hands on his knees and gasped for air between having his takedowns stuffed and being on the wrong end of some powerful strikes from Marshman.

In the third, Noon had little to offer and Marshman was able to quickly gain the upper-hand. Noon, bent double with exhaustion, shot in for a lazy takedown attempt, which Marshman was able to convert quickly to the mount and force a stoppage with a series of heavy punches.

With the hard-fought and well-deserved win, Marshman claimed the first ever Lonsdale British middleweight belt.

In other notable action, UFC veteran Andre Winner and TUF alum Dean Amasinger were unanimous decision winners over Jason Ball and Shah Hussain respectively.

Rob Sinclair was able to defend his BAMMA lightweight title with a knockout victory over brave Diego Vital, who stepped in on one days’ notice to replace the conspicuously absent Leonardo Santos.

There was also success for Dale Hardiman, Chris Fishgold, Pindi Madahar, Eugene Fadiora, Tom Breese, Fraser Opie and Erik Perez, all of whom showed promise in their individual bouts.

I thought the event overall was testament to how far British MMA has come in the last few years. If BAMMA can iron out a few timing issues and steadily improve production values, they will surely be a force to reckon with on the international circuit for years to come.

TUF 14 Lands On FX

Fans in the UK have been aware for some time that the UFC has a slightly strange structure when it comes to broadcasting events on television. The current deal between the UFC and ESPN expires in August and the premium channel is no longer broadcasting Fight Night or Versus events.

The start of The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 is fast approaching and with prominent British fighter Michael Bisping coaching opposite Jason “Mayhem” Miller, many UFC supporters had been concerned as to where and when the series would be shown.

Last week though, the UFC’s UK Twitter account had some news for its followers:

“@UFC_UK: Okay, TUF14 featuring team led by Britain’s own @bisping and his Dec 3 fight v @mayhemmillerwill air on @fxukcom in the UK. Details Monday!”

UK UFC president Marshall Zelaznik also stated on his Facebook page shortly afterwards that FX UK would also broadcast, live, the finale featuring the fight between Michael Bisping and Jason Miller. This was later clarified again on Twitter:

“TUF 14 – inc the live finale – is on FX. ESPN still has all Fight Nights like this weeks and ‘numbered’ UFCs like 135.”

It appears as though the UFC have found a new partner for their television broadcasts in the UK. It remains to be seen whether FX will also show Fight Night or UFC on Fox events.

FX broadcasts in the UK on Sky channel 124 and Virgin Media channel 157.

Ticket Sales Good For UFC 138

Tickets for the UFC’s return to the UK in November have sold well according to officials.

The LG Arena in England

Although many fans had expressed concern at the lack of depth to the card, it was reported that 60% of the available tickets had been sold by the first full day of public availability.

Whilst the sales have been relatively high, this is the first card to be held in the UK for thirteen months and many British supporters are desperate to see some UFC action, regardless of whether there are stars on the card or not.

In my opinion, that fact inflates the figures somewhat and also supports a slightly false sense of satisfaction from the world’s largest MMA promotion.

We should not forget that all UFC events in the UK have sold out and also that sales of 60% at the LG Arena would only constitute an equivalent of around 50% at a larger venue such as the O2 in London.

I think I speak for the majority when I say that as long as we see some good quality and hard-fought contests, we will likely forget all about the perceived lack of elite level talent.

UFC 138 takes place Nov. 5 from the LG Arena at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England.

UCMMA: Cage Rage UK 23 – Go 4 It

Cage Rage UK will hold their latest event this coming Saturday from The Troxy in London, England.

John Maguire

Welterweight champion John Maguire is at the top of the division and has resoundingly defeated any challengers he has faced so far.

Peter Irving will not be intimidated though and he enters the fight of his life knowing that a victory would be the greatest way to make a statement to both UCMMA fans and competitors.

Heavyweights Darren Towler and Ben Smith both possess strength and skills, but only one can be crowned champion. The vacant title is on the line and you can expect fireworks in this clash of two true titans .

New featherweight champion Nathan Beer is one of the most tenacious and dominant prospects around. The Welshman has showcased his skills on many occasions, but against Corey Tait, he’ll be facing one of the most innovative and vicious strikers in the sport.

These highly-anticipated bouts top a stacked card that will also see TUF veteran Ross Pointon face off against Jamaine Facey.

Cage Rage UK 23 will be shown in the UK on Sept. 21 on Sky Sports.

Top Photo: Frank Trigg (r) battles Jim Wallhead in the headlining contest of BAMMA 7 (Toby Smith/MirrorTKO)

This piece was authored by Duncan Price. Follow him on Twitter, @DuncMMA