All it took was 18 seconds for Gzim Selmani (4-1) to put former Britain’s strongest man, Oli Thompson (12-6), to sleep in the main event of BAMMA 15 this weekend. The ‘Albanian Assassin’ scored a big knee that put Thompson on queer street, before following up with a left hook and dropping him against the cage. A guillotine choke rendered the UFC veteran unconscious, forcing referee Marc Goddard to intervene and secured the upset victory for Selmani.
The co-main event saw the Lonsdale British welterweight title change hands as Leon Edwards (7-1) earned the night’s fourth rear naked choke victory over defending champion, Wayne Murrie (17-6). The end came at 3:13 of the first round, with both men having traded takedown attempts, Edwards scrambled to to take Murrie’s back before quickly coaxing the tap.
The return of crowd favourite, Colin ‘Freakshow’ Fletcher (10-4), started in a familiar fashion - the former UFC lightweight made his way to cage on a ‘horse’ - but took a surprising turn as Fletcher decided to stand and trade with Detroit native, Tony Hervey (16-16). Despite getting the better of the exchanges in the first round, Fletcher looked to be headed towards a second successive defeat as Hervey rocked the TUF Smashes alumni in the second round, bloodying him in the process. A better third round saw Fletcher pressing forward and regaining some of the momentum, mixing up his kicks and doing just enough to take it by a narrow split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). If the divided scorecards weren’t indication of enough of just how closely contested the fight was, Fletcher himself left us with no doubts “I thought it could have gone either way. I would have been happy to lose. It was a difficult fight to judge”
In one of the more impressive performances of the night, Tom Duquesnoy (9-1) thoroughly dominated Teddy Violet (8-1); handing him the first loss of his career and claiming the vacant featherweight title. Duquesnoy looked a class above as the duelling Frenchmen battled for position in the first round, with the ‘Fire Kid’ threatening with the rear naked choke and generally controlling the fight throughout. Duquesnoy eventually sealed the deal with a triangle choke at 1:29 in the second round.
The first of the night’s Lonsdale British titles was in the middleweight division, as Andy De-Vent (10-9) took on Harry McLeman (6-1). A hard fought, back-and-forth contest, this one went the distance, with McLeman getting the decision via unanimous decision. De-Vent had been on a four fight win streak going into this fight, while McLeman picked up his third win in a row to take the belt.
Up and coming prospect, Ryan Scope (8-0) scored the biggest win of his career so far against the always tough, Ali Arish (20-3). The first round saw Arish do what he does best – taking Scope down and doing enough to grind out a 10-9. A low kick early in the second backfired for Scope, clearly injuring his right fight and dropping to the mat. Scope did well to survive some big elbows from Arish, getting back to his feet and securing a takedown of his own late on in the round. The third round saw Scope switch almost entirely to his wrestling game, doing just enough to get the nod via unanimous decision. Make no mistake: this was a huge victory for Scope, not only in beating a difficult opponent, but also in overcoming the injury sustained during the second round.
The official results for BAMMA 15:
Gzim Selmani def. Oli Thompson via technical submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:18
Leon Edwards def. Wayne Murrie via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:13
Colin Fletcher def. Tony Hervey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Tom Duquesnoy def. Teddy Violet via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:29
Harry McLeman def. Andy De-Vent via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Ryan Scope def. Ali Arish via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rany Saadeh def. Mahmood Besharate via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jefferson George def. Jack Grant via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Alex Montagnani def. Nathan Jones via submission (rear-naked choke) – round 1, 2:43
Andy Craven def. Richard Edwards via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:1
Ed Arthur def. Nathaniel Wood via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 1:4
Jacek Toczydlowski def. Benny Carr via submission (punches) – Round 1, 1:32
Follow JJ Saddington on twitter or visit the Dinner With Gary Goodridge blog.