Terry Brazier claimed the BAMMA welterweight world championship with a hard-fought, split decision victory over Alex Lohore in an excellent main event at Bamma 34 in the SSE Arena.
The RDX champion sealed the victory with a series of takedowns in the opening two rounds, most crucially winning the opening round in two judge’s eyes.
Most of the raucous crowd at Wembley agreed with the ultimate decision that saw Brazier unify BAMMA’s two 170 pound championships.
Lohore clearly won the final round taking his former training partner’s back and also briefly earning a full mount position, but it was too little too late, the Frenchman struggled with Brazier’s physicality and toughness in a losing effort.
Brazier dedicated the victory to his late mother in an emotional post-fight interview. Brazier said: “My great mother passed away four days ago. I love you mum!”
BAMMA’s new world champion has enjoyed a remarkable rise, having climbed to the top of BAMMA’s welterweight ranks in just his third year as a professional. BAMMA 34 marked Brazier’s eighth straight victory, just as significantly he snapped Lehore’s ten fight streak, which included two world championship bouts.
The biggest scare BAMMA’s new world champion faced was in the opening round when Lohore stunned him with a short left hook in the opening couple of minutes. Perhaps due to the animosity that had built between the two main eventers, Lohore got reckless.
Smelling blood the 28 year old raced across the cage to try and finish his former training partner. Brazier instantly clinched with his on-rushing opponent and turned the clash into his kind of battle from there.
Firstly the NFM Windsor product used a front-headlock to neutralise Lohore and then dominated the remainder of the round with a steady diet of takedowns and brutal ground and pound.
The second round mirrored the last few minutes of the opening round, with Brazier out-wrestling Lohore and beating him up on the ground. The “Dominator” enjoyed much more success with his striking in the second. Lehore was now clearly uncomfortable given his inability to stay up-right and Brazier took advantage, scoring with short hooks in the pocket and landing strikes in clinch breaks.
Lohore did have his moment in the final round. He took down Brazier with a crafty body-lock, trip. He transitioned to take the back with two minutes left, plenty of time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Frenchman lacked urgency and never really came that close to ending the bout. He managed to get a body-lock whilst on Brazier’s back, but Brazier span out of it before “Da Kid” looked for a submission. That led to mount, but the second Lohore got separation and started raining down strikes Brazier escaped, getting back to his feet, to see out the final round.
It’s unclear whether these two fighters who used to be friends and training partners will settle their differences after a brilliant scrap. The two put their friendship on hold when Brazier signed to fight the then world champion, who didn’t want to face a man he considered a friend. Brazier added: “Yesterday I offered him my hand and he didn’t take it. Today he did. Maybe he’ll come down to the academy and train with us.”
The Co-main event saw a bubbling interim world heavyweight championship clash abruptly stopped due to an unfortunate infringement.
Chi Lewis-Parry and Stav Economou fought to a no-contest, after referee Leon Roberts judged that Economou couldn’t continue after eating massive 12-6 elbows from Lewis-Parry. Lewis-Parry escaped disqualification with Roberts deciding the illegal fight-ending strikes were thrown accidently.
The unfortunate ruling ended an enjoyable striker vs wrestler clash, where Lewis-Parry’s power and heavy punching, was contrasting nicely with Econmou’s toughness and relentless attempts to drag the fight to the ground.
Rhys McKee became a world champion and avenged his only career loss in a flawless performance against Tim Barnett.
The Northern Irishman dominated Barnett from the opening bell, dropping the RDX champion twice before the flight ending flurry against the cage. The 22-year-old claimed an illness after his weight cut lead to his first round technical knockout defeat to Barnett for the RDX championship at BAMMA 28 last year.
McKee backed up his claims by terrorising his previously undefeated opponent. Barnett barely survived and somehow struggled back to his feet after the second knock down when McKee was all over him smelling blood.
Ironically the fight finished in the exact same way their first clash ended just with the roles reversed. McKee hammered Barnett with two gigantic knees in the clinch, the Englishman crumbled to the ground with referee Marc Goddard forced to save him.
Several fighters produced electrifying performances on the UNILAD prelims. Can’t-miss prospect, Fabian Edwards moved to 4-0 in the professional ranks with an armbar finish of Kent Kauppinen. Edwards appeared to be in trouble when Kauppinen dropped him with an over-hand right, but just 20 seconds later the fight was over. Edwards produced an instinctive takedown as his opponent rushed forward, instantly he took Kauppinen’s back and transitioned to the slickest of submissions.
Fan-favourite Colin Fletcher, gained revenge for his disqualification loss to Walter Gahadza. He submitted the imposing welterweight with an armbar in the second, after a grueling back and forth opening round.
Dominque Wooding continued his rise with a stunning flying knee knockout of Dominic Dillon. The sensational second round finish capped a dominant performance where the natural bantamweight impressed fighting at 145 pounds.