BIRMINGHAM, England -- Tom Watson
scored a second-round TKO over Jack
Marshman to retain his British Association of Mixed Martial
Arts middleweight title in the main event of BAMMA
9 at the National Indoor Arena on Saturday.
The crowd was bolstered by a large contingent from serving
paratrooper Marshman’s regiment, and the atmosphere was cranked
high in anticipation of the fight. Both combatants set off at a
furious pace, with Marshman trying to find his range, while the
experienced Watson picked him off with punches and kicks. “Kong”
had the better of some vicious exchanges, but also suffered a cut
above his eye for his troubles.
The second stanza continued in the same fashion, with both men
looking to land big shots. Marshman continued to push forward
despite taking a number of tasty leg kicks, but Watson’s more
varied arsenal brought the beginning of the end.
As his Welsh opponent tried to close the distance, “Kong” landed a
spinning-back elbow. Marshman was rocked and Watson kindly helped
him on his way down. The years of training across the Atlantic
began to pay dividends as Watson controlled his man on the deck
while landing spiteful punches and elbows. Marshman offered nothing
in return, prompting referee Marc Goddard
to stop the contest at the 4:50 mark, making for an impressive
comeback for Watson after a nearly year-long injury layoff.
Watson kept his gold.
In addition to his normal evil clown makeup, Colin
Fletcher walked to the cage with two gimps on leashes for his
co-main event bout with Jason Ball.
The man they call “Freakshow” is best known as submission artist,
whereas Ball is currently enjoying success as a pro boxer. Fletcher
opted to keep the fight standing, however.
Showcasing his muay Thai skills, the 6-foot-2 lightweight from
Sunderland kept out of Ball’s punching range as he found the target
with his leg kicks. This pattern continued until the final round,
when Ball pushed the pace and began to enjoy more success. The pair
put on a grandstand finish, trading hellish punches for the closing
10 seconds before warmly embracing. All three judges saw it 30-27
in favor of Fletcher, a man who is creating a buzz inside and
outside of the cage.
In earlier action, Golden Glory’s Jason Jones
was declared the winner when a cut on Przemyslaw
Mysiala’s head began discharging blood in the style of Lake
Geneva, forcing an end to the light heavyweight scrap at 3:51 of
the opening frame.
The former M-1 Challenge regular wanted no part of Mysiala on the
feet and was able to take the London-based Pole down at will.
Mysiala had his face buried in the canvas during a prolonged
rear-naked choke attempt by the Dutchman, and when Mysiala came up
for air, there were gasps and shouts of “there she blows” as the
red geyser erupted. The doctor came in to inspect the wound, but it
was a mere formality as the contest was halted.
Mysiala gushed plasma.
Murphy gave David Round
a wrestling lesson before signing off with a rear-naked choke in
the second frame of their lightweight bout. From the moment Round
threw a kick early on and was taken to the canvas by the American,
the writing was on the wall. The bloody mess on Round’s face was
testament to the efficiency of Murphy’s earlier elbow attacks.
Late replacement Patrick
Vallee defied the odds to upset the highly-touted Andrew
Punshon at middleweight. Both men played their part in a hugely
entertaining grappling contest, but it was the man from Paris who
made the most convincing submission attempts. The end came in the
second round when Vallee applied an armbar. After a spirited escape
attempt, Punshon accepted the inevitable and tapped at the 2:16
Hometown boy Tom Breese
towered over Cornishman Mark Tucker
and bossed their welterweight fight from the start. Tucker took a
lot of punishment, but hung in there until a brutal knee to the
body folded him in half at 1:40 of the second round.
After a couple of close rounds, Antanas
Jazbutis came out firing like a small, Lithuanian Cung Le in his
lightweight fight with Dale
Hardiman. Despite dominating the final frame and throwing a
selection of outrageous kicks, Jazbutis was a loser on the
scorecards [29-28, 29-28, 29-28] -- a decision that was roundly
booed by the crowd.
For long periods, 35-fight veteran Matt Ewin
forced Lee Barnes to
fight at his pace and looked to be grinding his way to a decision
until Barnes caught him in a guillotine in their welterweight
tussle. With only three seconds left on the clock in round two,
Ewin was forced to tap, and internet forum legend “Leeroy”
celebrated with a series of strongman poses.
After being under the cosh early on, Scotsman Rab
Truesdale turned the tables, unleashing a spectacular series of
elbows from the guard of Sam Mensah to
force a TKO stoppage at 4:32 of round one in a light heavyweight
Zmarandescu was unable to answer the bell for the second round
after being left in a heap on the canvas courtesy of a knee to the
ribs from the undefeated Mark
In the first fight of the evening, Luke "The
Bigslow" Barnatt defeated Lee Johnson
by way of rear-naked choke in a middleweight affair.