The Two Sheds Review: Ultimate Challenge Showdown
THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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It’s time to take our monthly trip to The Troxy in London for the latest offering from Dave O’Donnell’s Ultimate Challenge promotion, and their latest offering, Showdown, shown on a three day delay on Sky Sports this past Wednesday night here in Britain.
The show began with light heavyweight action as Andrius Juska faced Nick Chapman.
A very quick affair saw Juska connect with the big right hand early on. Chapman countered immediately with a big slam, quickly transitioning to an arm triangle. Juska had no choice but to tap, giving Chapman the impressive win in only his second outing.
UK1 kickboxing action followed as Elijah Grinnell challenged Djo Lema for the Lightweight title.
This fight began with one minute of not much happening until Lema connected with a right, which set up the big knee that dropped Grinnell like the proverbial sack of spuds. The referee stopped the fight immediately as Grinnell’s eye began to swell, with Lema taking the victory and continuing his impressive run.
A highlights package of some of the other fights followed before we returned to MMA action with Lola Bamgbala taking on Jack Mason in the middleweight division.
This was a great fight. Lola scored with a take down early on, looking for the submission. Mason managed to get back to his feet, and as Lola connected with a kick to the body Mason connected with a right that sent Lola crashing. The Nigerian was out of it as Mason secured the knockout win.
The Welterweight title was on the line next as Henrique Santana went up against John Maguire.
There was a bit of bad blood in this one. Santana began strongly, catching Maguire’s kick and taking him down. But after Maguire scrambled to his feet Santana earned a referee’s warning for some of his questionable tactics, including holding on to Maguire’s shorts.
This served to fire Maguire up, and as the fight progressed Santana tried to goad his opponent. Maguire was having none of it though.
Santana began the second with a take down attempt. Maguire countered with a knee that opened up a cut above Santana’s eye that sent blood streaming down his face. By this time the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight, giving Maguire the title winning technical knockout.
The big boys of came out to play for the main event as Kiane Sabet faced Ben Smith in the heavyweight division.
These guys really unloaded with the big blows. It was fought at a frantic pace as Kiane connected with a couple of big knees that would have probably knocked anyone else out.
Smith managed to recover though, and his ground game came to fore as he worked Kiane over. Smith took his back, flattened him out and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win. A great fight, but given the pace it was probably a good thing it finished when it did.
In conclusion – another good show from Dave O’Donnell and his crew with a ton of enjoyable MMA action, even though I’m still not entirely sure about the UK1 kickboxing fights.
There was one thing that kind of irked me though. Normally with these shows there’s a big on screen graphic as the MC makes his final introductions, giving us the vital statistics on the fighters, but for some reason this was missing from some of the fights. It’s not a big thing, but for someone who’s watching Ultimate Challenge for the first time it could probably be a bit confusing. It’s also kind of inexcusable considering it was shown on Sky Sports.
But apart from that I have no other complaints, and with BAMMA’s next show this weekend it will again be interesting to compare these two British MMA promotions.