Jim Wallhead (top) edged Frank Trigg at BAMMA 7. | Photo: Martin Rhodes
BIRMINGHAM, England -- After years in the shadows, “Judo” Jim Wallhead hit the big time, scoring a split decision win over Frank Trigg in the headliner at BAMMA 7 at the National Indoor Arena.
The Team Rough House fighter looked set to finish the American veteran in the first, as “Twinkle Toes” bit the dust courtesy of a left hand and the same weapon went into overdrive as he covered up.
Trigg recovered slightly, as Wallhead kept out of trouble but gave the former UFC title challenger wobbly legs a couple of times when straight punches landed and did enough to get the nod from two judges.
Judges Andy Roberts and Suley Mahmoud saw the bout 29-28 and 30-27 for Jim Wallhead respectively. Paul Sutherland saw it a less-realistic 29-28 for Trigg.
“I was a little slower than normal with the extra weight,” Wallhead told Sherdog.com following the bout. “I was 90 kilos (198.5 pounds) in the cage. I don’t know if I’ll be staying at middleweight; there’s a lot of really big guys, but I’m happy tonight. It’s a great privilege to [participate in the] main event. BAMMA’s a great show. I’ve waited a long time to get the chance and I relished the opportunity.”
Paul Daley outpointed Jordan Radev (30-27, 29-28 twice) in the co-headliner. For the first two stanzas, Daley picked his shots and the knockout looked to be a foregone conclusion, especially when the Bulgarian’s takedowns were repeatedly stuffed, but Radev kept coming back for more.
In the final round, Radev eventually got Daley’s back on the mat, but he was unable to do much with the position advantage.
It was notable that the reception Daley received was far less rapturous than the hero’s welcome he got at BAMMA 5 in Manchester. A sign perhaps that his failure to make weight is affecting his popularity among fans in his home nation, as Daley weighed in five pounds over the limit Friday.
In a British middleweight championship bout, serving paratrooper Jack Marshman showed true grit to relieve Carl Noon of the belt.
The gargantuan Noon plonked Marshman on the deck early and dropped bombs from the Welshman’s guard for the majority of the first round.
In an epic second stage, the pair looked like they were fighting underwater as the gas tanks ran low and the damage took its toll. Marshman was now in command, and after besting Noon on the feet in the third he mounted the Team Kaobon fighter and sealed the deal.
After three cagey rounds, Andre Winner was awarded a unanimous-points victory (30-27s across the board) over Doncaster’s Jason Ball. Both men landed, but the judges were impressed by the UFC vet’s varied muay Thai attack, rather than Ball’s traditional boxing.
“I stayed relaxed and I used my kickboxing more like I wanted,” Winner told Sherdog.com. “I threw too many single shots. My corner was screaming for combinations. I’m a student of the game and I’m going to improve. This is the start of a tear back to the top.”
A stunning uppercut from the promotion’s lightweight champion Rob Sinclair ended the brave challenge of late replacement Diego Vital three minutes into the third round with a vicious punch.
The KO was the culmination of an impressive display from Sinclair, who was in command throughout.
Chris Fishgold of Next Generation Liverpool took Canadian import Jeremy Petley to the ground and then relentlessly pushed for a submission, finally securing a rear-naked choke at the 4:33 mark.
With his Bhangra drummers and chanting fans, Pindi Madahar won entrance of the night hands down and then pulled off an unlikely TKO win over Danny Compton. After being dominated in the first, he ground-and-pounded his way to the conquest 1:06 into round two.
Eugene Fadiora bounced back to win a hugely entertaining scrap against Robert Devane. “The Sniper” was dropped in one stand-up exchange but he dug deep, and slapped on a rear-naked choke to submit his man at 4:35 of the first.
Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter” graduate Dean Amasinger controlled Shahid Hussain on the ground for most of their three-round encounter. The Rough House product couldn’t find a finish but clearly deserved his unanimous-decision victory following three periods.
Also on the card; Dale Hardiman used a rear-naked choke to snuff out the challenge of Scott Jansen at 1:16 of the second frame; Fraser Opie rained down punches and hammerfists on Poland’s Robert Krecicki to earn a first round TKO victory at the 3:19 mark; Tom Breese tapped Lee Taylor with an RNC at 2:26 of the opening round; Erik Perez defeated James Brum by way of rear-naked choke at 3:31 of the first.