Though a dubious headliner for the British
Association of MMA’s 11th offering, British
middleweight-slash-tabloid star Alex Reid’s
return bout against handpicked opponent Sam Boo offered
more two-way action than expected Saturday at the National Indoor
Arena in Birmingham, England.
The 37-year-old Reid went from charismatic journeyman to U.K.
tabloid entry in 2009 and 2010 after he began dating British glamor
model, tabloid queen and now ex-wife Katie Price and won “Celebrity
Big Brother.” In just his third bout over the last five years, Reid
took a sloppy unanimous decision over Boo, largely scoring in the
standup with forward boxing pressure, hard low kicks, and an untold
amount of flush knees to the face.
Though Boo looked much the punching bag early, the Bournemouth
fought well in spurts, guillotining his way to top position in
round two and hurting Reid with windmilling punches on several
occasions. Both men tired quickly and traded positions frequently,
but Reid’s experience showed in the standup where he landed more
regularly than the novice Boo, he of two years pro MMA experience
and now a 5-8 record.
The final tallies were three 28-27’s for Reid, now 10-9-1, courtesy
of matching point deductions in the woolly second round.
“I didn’t feel myself. That was sloppy, really close. He’s been
fighting two years and sometimes hunger counts more than
experience. He certainly tested my mettle,” Reid said after the
performance. “We picked Sam; fair game, he tested me. I
underestimated him. That’s what hunger does.”
BAMMA poster boy and middleweight hopeful Jack
Marshman hit a stumbling block in his progression, as the
previously once-beaten paratrooper dropped a blood-soaked split
decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29) to French journeyman Xavier
“Professor X” Foupa-Pokam.
In what was slated to be the last bout on the night before the
shuffling of Reid-Boo for Channel 5’s television scheduling
purposes, Marshman looked to treat “Professor X” as simply a
showcase opponent, putting him on the mat quickly and locking up a
tight armbar. Despite the grisly contortions of Foupa-Pokam’s right
arm, the spindly striker escaped the hold and another subsequent
armlock to take over the fight from top position.
Early in the second round, Foupa-Pokam took Marshman to the mat and
slashed him wide open beneath the right eye with a sharp elbow. The
blood streamed over Marshman’s face for the final two rounds, where
most of action saw Foupa-Pokam on top, grinding away with punches
and elbows. Marshman’s last gasp was a triangle midway through the
third, but the veteran escaped and continued to pound away until
the final horn.
“His arm was like elastic. He slipped into the triangle in the
third, he was gargling. I thought he was going to go,” said a badly
scuffed up Marshman post-fight.
Foupa-Pokam, now 23-18, had lost nine of his last 11 bouts prior.
Marshman falls to 11-2.
Not all British upstarts disappointed, however, as 21-year-old
hometown hero “Fearless” Tom Breese
took apart Warren Kee to
earn BAMMA’s British welterweight title, upping his pro MMA record
to 6-0 with six stoppages.
The Birmingham fighter was the superior fighter at range, peppering
Kee from the outset. After the fight hit the floor, Breese smoothly
transitioned to Kee’s back almost immediately, sinking in the
rear-naked choke in the process. It was elementary from there as
the tap came at 3:06 of the first.
Scotland’s Steven Ray
became the BAMMA British lightweight champion by dominating Storm
Hardiman on the mat for 15 minutes. The Edge MMA rep took
Hardiman’s back in the opening frame and it set the tempo for the
rest of the bout. Hardiman landed strikes when he was able to
scramble back to his feet, but the hardware was never in question
as Ray took three 30-27 scorecards, moving to 12-3.
Undefeated light heavyweight prospect Max Nunes
upped his pro mark to 9-0, steamrolling Cumbrian journeyman
Thompson. After cutting his opponent with a wild, flying
switch-step kick, the 23-year-old Swede got a takedown and pounded
on Thompson, eventually knocking him cold with a diving punch into
the guard at just 1:40 of the bout.
London-based Pole Marcin
Lazarz stayed unbeaten, overcoming an early knockdown from
heavy hitting light heavyweight Sam Mensah
before locking up an armbar victory at 4:16 of the opening round.
Doolan absorbed early ground-and-pound from foe Spencer
Hewitt, but the lanky Scottish bantamweight quickly regrouped
and locked up a fight-ending triangle just 1:42 into the
Popular local welterweight Leon
Edwards did his West Midlands faithful proud, assaulting
Bilton with heavy salvos of knees until the Sunderland fighter
crumbled 71 seconds into the second round. Edwards’ Ultimate
Training Centre teammate, Yannick
Bahati, overwhelmed a game Ben
Constantine with strikes to earn a unanimous decision (30-27,
30-27, 29-28) in 185-pound action.
At 155 pounds, Trojan Free Fighters’ Marc Allen
took a well-appointed split decision (29-28, 29-28, 27-30) over
Redfearn, courtesy of his rear-naked choke attempts, while
Petley outworked Team Kaobon’s Richie
Downes to take three 30-27 scorecards.
Sunderland Fight Pit featherweight Andrew
Fisher destroyed Manchester’s Andy Green
with elbows, halting the bout at 2:26 of the first.
Native Pole Dawid
Farycki pounded out Liverpudlian Bryan
Creighton 4:25 into the second round out of their bantamweight
In the evening opener, Keddles Gym light heavyweight Mike Neun
Denham in a back-and-forth bout, stopping him at 3:58 of the