Hello loyal 411 readers, welcome to our live coverage of BAMMA 12. The UK 411 team Alex Watt, Jon Butterfield and Stewart Lange aka. "The Bad Boys of Press Row" are live from press row at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. As ever, tonight promises to be a fantastic night of fights from Europe's No. 1 Mixed Martial Arts promotion and the card is stacked from top to bottom with UK and international talent, including a British Lightweight title fight and two exciting main events.
Alex also conducted an interview with the man challenging for the BAMMA Lonsdale British Lightweight Championship this evening; former UFC competitor Curt Warburton. You can read that here.
Catchweight Bout (63 kgs): Steve McCombe vs James McAlister
ROUND ONE: It's me, Stewart Lange right here for our first night of the evening! Both eager to go at it! Kick by McAlister knocks McCombe down straight away but McCombe holds him in guard. McAlister stacking up for ground and pound, landing when he can. Two forearm smashes land on McCombe but soon holds guard again. McCombe can't get much going from the bottom but is looking to stay active. Steve McCombe lands a couple of hammer fists from the bottom but McAlister takes his back. McCombe is defending well but this may be how the round finishes….. big punches from the back by McAlister but McCombe is defending well. Decent elbow by McAlister ends the round.
SCORECARD McAlister, 10-9
ROUND TWO: Leg and body kicks open the round by McAlister and he soon regains top control on the ground. Mc Combe is working an extremely busy guard. Strong elbows land from McAlister and after a kneebar attempt by McCombe McAlister has the back again. McAlister has the body triangle. Hard to tell, but McCombe seems to be bleeding, but just like that McAlister lands the rear naked choke and that's all she wrote on that one! I'll hand you over to Jon for the next one!
OFFICIAL RESULT: James McAlister, Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2
Bantamweight Bout (135 lbs): Mahmood Besharate vs Steven Gardener
ROUND ONE: Jon Butterfield here, ready for some bantamweight action. Besharate is 3-0 and has a ton of fans in the crowd for his BAMMA debut. His opponent, Steven Gardener, is currently 1-3, but coming off the first win of his pro career. He's also got some vocal support - this could get noisy! They touch. They size each other up, Besharate shoots in for Gardener, pushes him right up to the fence. Gardener defending with elbows, but Besharate takes him down. Gardener tries to cage walk, but no joy there, as Besharate works from full guard. Gardener tries for a guillotine, but no success, though Gardener able to get up. Couple of knees from Gardener in a clinch against the cage, as Besharate looks to take it down again, only to eat a shot to the jewels. We get a break, and it looks a painful one for Besharate, who is on his knees trying to recover. He's up and trying to shake it out. We're back underway in the same position. Besharate has the single leg, driving for it against the cage. He picks Gardener up, walks him across the cage, and lands a huge slam! Gardener has the armbar from the bottom, but Besharate rolls out, and tries for the heel hook. Interesting position! Besharate is high up on Gardener with a reverse body triangle, and looking for an armbar or a crucifix - Gardener defends well and winds up on top in a tight guard. Besharate really keeping hold of Gardener's arms well, and we're at something of a stalemate. The referee taking a close look. Gardener gets some space, looks for some punches, then stands up. Leg kicks to the downed Besharate, as Gardener continues to punish him from his feet. No upkicks from Besharate. That's the round.
SCORECARD: 10-9 Besharate, if only for the slam and the takedowns.
ROUND TWO: Body kick from Besharate is caught, and Gardener pushes him to the cage, keeping a hold of the leg. Gardener suddenly has Besharate's back! Wow, that was slick! Got the hooks in on the ground, but Besharate defending well and keeping his hands locked. Gardener is working for the choke, landing punches, but Besharate fighting not to get straightened out. Gardener has switched to a body triangle at this point, and is really working hard - he has a rear naked choke attempt momentarily, but lets it go. Besharate manages to switch positions! Nice work Besharate! Gardener pulling rubber guard, as Besharate works for an arm triangle from the top. No success for Mahmood Besharate, as Gardener tries to get to his feet, and successfully switches positions to take top control again. Gardener is in full guard, looking to posture up - he stands up, and delivers a couple more leg kicks. Good round for Gardener.
SCORECARD: Steven Gardener 10-9 (19-19 overall)
ROUND THREE: Hug to start the round, and a touch of gloves. Gardener misses a head kick, but lands a leg kick. Spinning back fist from Gardener missed, but he followed through with a knee to the body! Nice attack, but Besharate makes him pay by taking him down and forcing his head against the cage. Besharate passes to half guard, as Gardener tries to threaten with chokes from the bottom. Gardener tries to wall walk again, and threatens for an armbar that doesn't materialize. Besharate tries to reposition Gardener, but stands up and eats a leg kick from the bottom - Besharate lands a fist as he goes down. Rubber guard again from Gardener, but no success here, as Besharate is looking to control him. Gardener again very active from his back, but he needs to mix things up - and just as I type that, the ref stands them up. They touch, and Gardener lands a leg kick, which is a signal for Besharate to shoot in. Take down against the fence for Besharate. Gardener back up, but controlled against the fence. Besharate almost had Gardener's back, but he has to settle for more of the same in the clinch. Besharate completes a takedown, but Gardener is able to get mount, and the back - not enough time here to work for the RNC, as Besharate probably extends his unbeaten run.
SCORECARD: Mahmood Besharate 10-9 (29-28 overall)
OFFICIAL RESULT: Mahmood Besharate by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Some boos, some cheers, but that's to be expected when both fighters have fans in the crowd - the right decision for me, as I hand the laptop back to Stewart!
Catchweight Bout (208lbs): Brett McDermott vs Thomas Denham
ROUND ONE: Stewart here again for this second catchweight bout of the night. Brett McDermott making his pro debut against the 3-3 Thomas Denham. I'd like to apologise to Jon as while I was calling the last fight I kept calling Steven Gardener "Thompson." He kept it together well. Denham pushes the action against the cage, slams McDermott and looks for the guillotine. Few shots traded by both guys and they start slugging it out. Denham looks for another over shoulder slam but is stifled by the cage. Denham is stacking McDermott and dropping elbows before moving to side control. Denham gains mount, postures up and a few punches land before McDermott closes the gap between them. Denham is really working his ground and pound, McDermott is trapped under. Big punches land on McDermott who gives up his back while defending. Denham looks to work a rear naked choke but possibly grabs the fence while doing so. McDermott rolls out, gets up and is able to land a couple of kicks before diving into side control. He switches to half guard and McDermott finds Denhams back. Denham sneaks back under McDermott's legs and is out of trouble as the round ends.
SCORECARD:Thomas Denham, 10-9
ROUND TWO: Denham comes out agressively and lands a right, then a left and rocks the "Spartan" before they exchange knees to the body. Denham shoots in but McDermott shows a good sprawl and somehow finds a way to get the back. Denham swaps positions and is holding McDermott against the cage before trying to drag him down, but it backfires and McDermott finds himself on top. Huge support here for Thomas Denham. Dehnam sweeps McDermott but Brett is looking for a triangle from the bottom. McDermott is taking good shots and defends an armbar into the bargain. Denham somehow exploded from the position they were in to sink in a rear naked choke and oh my! That's all we're getting from this one, folks.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Thomas Denham by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Good fight and another finish for one of my fights. It looks like it may be Jon that has the unanimous decision curse tonight.
Middleweight Bout (185lbs): Leeroy Barnes vs Steve Watson
ROUND ONE: Leeroy comes out to boos, which is surprising - we'll see if he calls out Alex Reid if he wins, that's been rumoured for some time. Good reaction for local favourite Steve Watson, who is 4-1 as a professional, but he hasn't fought the same level as competition as Barnes. No touch. Right hand drops Watson immediately! Watson looks for a takedown, and Barnes commits to a guillotine! Drops to his back, and he wants a quick finish! Watson isn't tapping, but Barnes isn't letting go either! And there's the tap! Wow! Leeroy Barnes got the job done quick!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Leeroy Barnes by Submission (Guillotine) at 0:37 of Round One
They talk to Leeroy - Barnes says he started very slow in his last fight, and wanted to start fast. He did that. Barnes talks us through the punch that dropped Watson, he wanted it to be over there and then, but he says Watson was strong. Good win for Barnes.
Catchweight Bout: Scott Askham Vs Harry McLeman
ROUND ONE: Stewart here. Huge support for Scott Askham. Trading knees and Askham pushes McLeman against the cage. Askham gets McLeman down and pretty much holds him down for a while. Not much is going on. Warning from referee gets McLeman moving but not for long. They get stood up and go back to it. Leg kick by McLeman. Both miss with big shots, Askham has a head kick blocked. McLeman gets a plum clinch and lands a couple of knees, but that is all we have time for. Slow round.
SCORECARD: Scott Askham, 10-9 but mainly because his support is right behind us and might kill me if I say otherwise.
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves, leg kick by McLeman but misses a leg kick. Askham misses a head kick and misses another shot but gets a good judo throw take down and they're close to the cage. Askham has really vocal support, they're either chanting "custard creams" or "gusset face" but it's hard to tell. Elbows from the top by Askham. McLeman is trying to stay busy but Askham is controlling pretty well. Askham has his back now but not well, just content to wear him down at this point. Knees against the cage by Askham before he drives McLeman back down to the ground. They end up with Askham in McLeman's guard and both are trying to land shots. McLeman looks pretty desparate to get back up but it's just giving Askham more chances to hit him. Askham is trying to lock his hooks in and does, rolls him over and could we see another rear naked choke? No, as the round ends.
SCORECARD: Askham 10-9, 20-18 overall
ROUND THREE: Leg kick by Askham is almost caught, but Scott finds the clinch and lands a couple of shots but retreats when McLeman lands an uppercut. Judo throw by Askham thwarted by McLeman and McLeman pushes the double leg up against the cage. He starts looking for the single leg but Askham defending really well. Askham holds up and takes his back, lands big shots and elbows. McLeman turtles up but no stoppage, but no change as Askham continues to land unanswered shots. McLeman is keeping active enough to survive but just can't get up. Shots from the bottom thrown in by McLeman who spins around to wind up in side control. The fans are now maybe shouting "kustard kremes" or "council house," it's very hard to tell. Full mount for Askham and McLeman is trying to buckaroo a bit but no joy. Askham finds his back, quick as a flash and we have another rear naked choke tap out!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Scott Askham by Submission (rear naked choke) at 4:13 of Round Three
Lightweight Bout (155 lbs): Ryan Scope vs Luke Newman
ROUND ONE: Both fighters come out guns blazing, Scope lands a right and Newman shoots – Scope reverses things and presses Newman to the fence, and completes the takedown! Scope on top, looking to land some ground and pound, but Newman defending well – Newman able to use the cage to get to his feet, but Scope is on him like a rash and takes him down again. Newman struggles to his feet, and they split. It doesn't last, though, Scope gets another takedown and goes to work. Newman up again, but this time he delivers a knee to the body of Scope, and a second! Newman SLAMS Scope! Newman on top looking to land some ground and pound! Newman beasting Scope with shots to the head and body, but Scope locks in a triangle! NEWMAN TAPS! Wow! Newman just starting to get the better of Scope, then he gets caught! Great win for Scope!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ryan Scope, Submission (triangle), Round One
ROUND ONE: Stewart Lange here! Crowd are fired up for this one! What a noise! Now watching from the secondary press booth in the rafters and the view and atmosphere is incredible now! I'm pulling for "Braveheart" Stevie Ray! Great reaction for Curt Warburton. Touch to start. Leg kicks both land at once. Leg kick by Warburton. Tie up and take down by Warburton. Curt in half guard and landing shots but Ray keeps it tight. Warbuton has it against the cage and Ray is getting punched at close range. Ray almost had his leg free but they remain in half guard. Warburton is searching for full mount, can't find it so thanks him by elbowing him and following up. Ray reverses Warburton against the cage, standing now. They tussle and exchange knees. They continue to swap positions until Warburton completes a takedown for a while. 60 seconds left and Warburton continues to control. Warburton separates well enough to get 2 good shots and Ray looks for an armbar but it's not solid enough to trouble Curt. Hammerfists by Warburton to end the round.
SCORECARD: Curt Warburton, 10-9
ROUND TWO: Touch of gloves, Ray channels GSP with a superman punch but they both land before Ray looks for a single leg takedown. Ray is working hard to take Warburton down but can't complete. Curt is showing great defense but Ray gets it down after a long slog. Ray is looking for the back of Warburton and gets it, hooks and all! Warburton is controlling the wrists and staying active enough to not get flattened out. Warburton tries to shake him off but Ray is holding on and sinks it back in. Looking for a rear naked choke and he may have time to complete it. Ray gives it up but looks to soften Warburton up with punches. Warburton is too savvy to get caught with another choke attempt but can't get away from the control of Ray. Ray has a great body triangle in and this'll complete a huge round for the champion.
SCORECARD: Stevie Ray, 10-9 (19-19 overall)
ROUND THREE: All square entering the third. They hug to start. Warburton pushes the action to the cage and gets an easy takedown. Warburton is landing short punches but Ray is keeping him close. As Ray gets up, Warburton looks for a guillotine but fails and continues to score points. Ray looking to get active but he has no room to do so. Ray moves his back to the cage but Warburton takes it. Throws a couple of knees but Ray attempts a rolling knee bar! It fails and Warburton ends up on top. The referee stands them up and Ray throws a headkick but slips! Warburton immediately takes his back but Ray rolls it over. A minute for Ray if he wants to finish this. Warburton is able to get back to control and ends the fight on top, with his underwear on display.
SCORECARD: Curt Warburton, 10-9 (29-28 overall)
OFFICIAL RESULT: The winner and NEW British Lonsdale Lightweight champion……Curt Warburton by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 3)
Light Heavyweight Bout (205 lbs): Max Nunes vs Marcin Lazarz
ROUND ONE: Two unbeaten European light heavyweights in action – Nunes has looked outstanding in previous BAMMA outings with consecutive TKOs, and Lazarz won at the last event by submission. No touch. Leg kick by Lazarz, responded to in kind by Nunes. Body kick by Nunes. Leg kick by Lazarz, and a hard kick from Nunes inside. Straight jab lands for Lazarz, Nunes leg kick is caught, and Lazarz takes him down – Nunes right back up though, and Lazarz presses him to the cage. Foot stomps from Lazarz. Knees to the thigh from Lazarz. Knees thrown back from Nunes. Not a great deal happening, still pressed against the cage. Lazarz tenacious in his search for a takedown, but he can't get it off a single leg. The referee asks for action. Nunes lands a body shot and a knee. Lazarz powers Nunes down, but Nunes right back up and breaks away, landing two jabs. Knee from Lazarz, and a big right and a takedown! Lazarz keeps Nunes grounded this time. One minute to go. Lazarz loses control, Nunes up, and HURTS Lazarz with an uppercut. BIG body kick from Nunes, but Lazarz does well to catch it and drag Nunes down! He needed that. Thirty seconds left, Lazarz on top. Lazarz looks content to ride out the remaining seconds. Elbows from the bottom by Nunes.
SCORECARD: Marcin Lazarz, 10-9
ROUND TWO: Lazarz looking for the jab early. Body kick from Nunes misses. Big right from Nunes gives Lazarz something to think about, and Marcin opts for the clinch. Jab by Lazarz. Leg kick from Lazarz. Leg kick from Lazarz, ducks away from a counter. Nunes with a couple of decent knees, goes for a takedown but is easily outwrestled and Lazarz winds up on top. Lazarz in Nunes' guard, and happy to grind the Swedish fighter down. Lazarz throws some punches from the top, but not much on them. Nunes is getting dragged around, but suddenly looks for an armbar! Lazarz gets out, and straight to half guard. Less than two minutes in the round. Nunes has his back against the cage now, and trying to get to his feet. Lazarz has control. Nunes up, Lazarz hits a knee to the body, and presses Nunes to the fence. Knee to the body from Nunes, but he can't get any separation. Lazar trips him with a single leg. Nunes looking for a triangle or an armbar, gets neither, and Lazarz passes to side control – almost – but Nunes kicks him off, and Lazarz back up and right back to the fence they go. Lazarz is smothering Nunes. Ten seconds, and Lazarz continues the control.
SCORECARD: Marcin Lazarz 10-9, (20-18 overall)
ROUND THREE: They touch. Jab from Lazarz. They trade, and Nunes gets a few shots in, but he's muscled up against the cage once more. Nunes gets his back off the cage, and Lazarz stumbles to the floor – Nunes on top, and scores some good punches and some elbows! Lazarz bleeding from the cheek, under his eye! Nice elbos from Nunes! Lazarz struggling to cope, as Nunes lands multiple shots, Lazarz covers up, Nunes finds a way through, and that's that! Nunes needed a finish, and he got it!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Max Nunes, TKO, Round Three
Welterweight Bout (170 lbs): Jim Wallhead vs Matt Veach
ROUND ONE: It's time for our MAIN EVENT!
SCORECARD: Judo Jimmy faces UFC veteran Matt Veach, as he looks to build on recent wins over Frank Trigg and Joey Villasenor in BAMMA! They touch. Veach come out looking to land, can't, and pushes Wallhead to the fence. Wallhead reverses, and they break. One-two misses from Veach, and a takedown easily denied by Jimmy. Veach shoots in again, Wallhead denies him, they go to the fence, and break. Veach swinging for the fences, Jimmy looks to engage, but nothing major lands. Wallhead lands a knee from the plumb clinch, and Veach goes down! Wallhead follows him down, and lands some good ground and pound! Wallhead postures up, and lands some good punches as Veach covers up. Short elbows from Wallhead, as Veach tries to defend. Wallhead in double figures wit those elbows. Veach appears to be bleeding, as Wallhead looks to assert his authority some more. Wallhead has his back, both hooks in, and the rear naked choke (the move of the night) is sunk in! Veach has a crimson mask, is in deep trouble, and he taps! Comfortable win for Jim Wallhead!
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jim Wallhead, Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round One
Well that does it from me, Jon Butterfield, and my colleagues Stewart Lange and Alex Watt – we hope you enjoyed the coverage here on 411mania and on Twitter, and we'll see you next weekend for GSP vs Nick Diaz!