OMMAC 10: The Fab Four
The monster 17 fight OMMAC card had a bit of everything. The Liverpool promotion (and Cage Gladiators before it) has a proud history of showcasing rising stars and Saturday night was no exception. Due to the hurtbusiness going all digital age and live blogging from the venue– there was not the usual space to acknowledge the truly special displays put on by some of the fighters. To make amends; here is a short appreciation of four men who had your correspondent reaching for his notebook last Saturday night.
Jack Marshman throws every shot like his life depends on it, but there’s so much more to his game than raw power. A neat reversal put him on top of the fearsome Lee Chadwick and the Welshman made maximum use of the position- precisely targeting the smart bombs that ended the fight. On paper, this promised to be a tough test but the unbeaten Marshman sailed through. Middleweight is becoming a hot division so there are plenty of big domestic fights out there for the 21 year old.
Richie Downes has been a fixture on Olympia cards since the Cage Gladiators days. He lost his debut against Rob Sinclair in August 2007 after pouring all his gas into a guillotine attempt. Since then, he has put in a series of tidy undercard turns. Despite a five fight winning run- he was best remembered for a no contest. Richie’s shin crushing the nuts of Leeroy Barnes at Cage Gladiators 8 redefined the term eye watering for a new generation. Even as I write about it, the memory is causing involuntary teeth grinding and shivering.
No one wants to be famous for testicle bursting and OMMAC 10 gave us all a more positive image of the Kaobon product. From start to finish, his performance was flawless. Dan James spent ten minutes trapped between the fence and a tsunami of violence. Clinch work like it should be- total control of an opponent facilitating his systematic destruction. Downes relentlessly alternated between elbows and sickening knees to the body and leaking head. Truly awe inspiring stuff which should guarantee Richie Downes a spot up close to the of the bill next time out.
Shay Walsh made the wise of move of getting a bunch of amateur and semi pro experience before joining the pro’s and that strategy is paying off now. With a 7-0 record, he is all business in the cage. Last time, he grinded out a decision over the tough as old boots Pete McGurk. Against Ryan Phelps, he got the job done fast, with a devastatingly efficient display of ground and pound. The Lancastrian never looks ruffled and appears ready to take on the best of British.
In six weeks, Artem Lobov has gone from unknown to break out star. The Dublin based Russian shocked red hot prospect Dave Hill on Cage Warriors at the end of April then repeated the trick on Saturday; finishing Uche Ihiekwe with a third round Triangle. It is impossible not to love Artem. The guy fights hands down, relying on his reflexes and throwing outrageous lead uppercuts and hooks. Aside from his Ingle influenced switch-hitting, he has out grappled two of the UK’s best up and coming fighters. There are obvious flaws in his game- Uche’s leg kicks, teeps and straight punches were causing him severe problems, but he comes through and gets it done. Lobov is putting on bravura performances that demand respect and admiration. In short- if someone makes an Artem Lobov T-shirt; I want one.
“Longtime MMA reporter Mick Bower uses his inimitable style and wit to craft a picture of the British fight scene rarely covered in the mainstream media. From his first hand, insider perspective of the fights, rumours and stories behind the last few years of the sport, Mick cuts straight to the chase and paints an intriguing picture. Bloody Revolution opens the door into the world of MMA and is a thrilling read for both the uninitiated and the hardcore fan.” Fighting Fit Magazine
“If you love MMA this is one of the best books written about it. Highly recommended”Christian O’Connell
“Bower … knows his stuff. When he delves into the history of the sport, he does so succinctly, with verve, and with penetrating insight..He’s also a wonderful story teller. In each of the book’s chapters, Bower makes sure to put you in the audience with him. You can practically see the punters, the birds, and the chavs and taste the beer as he takes in his surroundings”. Bloody Elbow
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