Welcome fight fans to our live coverage of BAMMA 5. We will be bringing you live play by play of both the top matches of the BAMMA’s first event since its record breaking Tom Watson vs. Alex Reid show. Taking place at the Manchester Evening News Arena its headlined by former TUF10 contestant James McSweeney facing former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez and explosive welterweight striker Paul Daley fighting DEEP Champion Yuya Shirai.
The event had a set back yesterday when after problems with the facilities at the weigh-ins Paul Daley failed to make weight for what was meant to crown a BAMMA Welterweight Champion. So instead the match will be a three round, non-title fight. Still there’s plenty on the line for Daley as should Shirai secure the upset then it would derail ‘Cemtex’s’ march to a Strikeforce Title fight against Nick Diaz.
James McSweeney (214Ibs) vs. Ricco Rodriguez (217Ibs)
Rodriguez immediately goes for the takedown, pushing McSweeney up against the cage. McSweeney goes down to one knee but is able to avoid being taken down. McSweeney hitting Rodriguez with good kicks from a distance and then drops the former UFC Champion with a right hand. McSweeney thinks about following him down to finish but Rodriguez throws for an armbar/triangle and so McSweeny pulls back. McSweeny doing decent work with his kickboxing while Rodriguez looks for an opportunity to take the feet to the ground either by trapping the Brit in the clinch or countering a kick, McSweeney kicks once too often and Rodriguez finally gets the takedown with two minutes still to go in the round. Rodriguez in half guard and is looking for an arm triangle. McSweeney is able to escape but in doing so he creates the space for Rodriguez to go for a leg lock. Rodriguez transitions to a heel hook. McSweeney defends well and the time expires. Difficult round to score with both fighters showing their strengths and their weaknesses – McSweeney’s kickboxing and Rodriguez’s takedowns. To further complicate matters both pretty much took half a round each. I’d actually say it was a legitimate 10-10, something I rarely do.
McSweeney once again leads with his kicking and once again it comes back to haunt him as Rodriguez gets the takedown with most of the round still to go. Rodriguez in complete control in top positions, content to stay in half guard and just grind McSweeney down. It briefly looks like McSweeney will get to his feet but Rodriguez gets him back down as soon as the cage walk is over. McSweeney gets back to full guard but still can’t Rodriguez off him. Dominant round in terms of position for Rodriguez although he probably didn’t do enough damage for anything more than a 10-9. 20-19 to Rodriguez.
A few exchanges standing before Rodriguez shoots in for another takedown. McSweeney struggles against the cage for a while but eventually he gets taken down. Rodriguez pretty much just laid and prayed McSweeney to death, content to sit in the guard of McSweeny and maintain positional advantage. McSweeney briefly threatens to get back to his feet towards the end but Rodrigeuz takes him down again. 30-28.
Ricco Rodriguez gets the nod on all three judges’ scorecards, with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Ricco Rodriguez defeated James McSweeney via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
They announce May 21st as the date of the next BAMMA show, which will take place at Wembley Arena. The middleweight champion Tom Watson will defend in the headliner.
Paul Daley vs. Yuya Shirai
Embarrassing production snafu as all the pre-fight videos talk about the importance of winning the title which of course is no longer on the line. Shirai starts with some kicks to the legs and body, Daley responds with a power jab that drops Shirai. Shirai however quickly gets to his feet. Shirai tries to maintain a foothold in the fight but another jab pushes Shirai back. Shirai looking for the takedown but can’t really get close enough for a genuine attempt. Daley walking Shirai down, couple of exchanges in the Muay Thai clinch which Daley gets the better of. Daley’s jab is looking really good tonight as he gets another couple of straight lefts in. An uppercut and a big left hook drops Shirai and a couple of follow up shots ends the fight at 1:46 of the first round.
Paul Daley defeated Yuya Shirai via TKO at 1:46 of the first round.
Tags: BAMMA 5, James McSweeney, Mixed Martial Arts, Paul Daley, Ricco Rodriguez