UKMMA Showdown, BAMMA 13 vs. Cage Warriors 59

Ok, so BAMMA and Cage Warriors are chalk & cheese in terms of business model and the way they present the sport, but the fact remains that they are the two biggest names in UKMMA. This weekend, they’re both running events on the same night, with a hefty SIX titles on the line.

With that in mind, we thought we’d keep the previews for each card short and ask you, the discerning MMA public which event you were most excited for?

Cage Warriors 59
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales

Returning to Wales with a stacked card, on the back of a run of successful events from such disparate locations as Dublin, London, Chechnya & Dubai, Cage Warriors are serving up a title tournament as well as a title defence in one of their most competitive and entertaining divisions.

With fight finisher Jim ‘the Beast’ Alers (10-1) making his first defence of his Featherweight title against giant Swede, Martin Svensson (12-3), Kris Edwards (8-5), James Pennington (8-1), David Haggstrom (7-1-1) and Brett Johns (6-0) contesting a one night tournament to crown a new Bantamweight champion, allied to a tasty Middleweight bout between Mats Nilsson (10-2-1) and Denniston Sutherland (20-11) it’s a card showcasing some of Europe, and indeed in the case of Alers, the WORLD’s best fighters.

For our part, we are very much on Team Alers for the Featherweight title fight, partially because Jim gave us an interview before his title win and partially because he’s a genuinely entertaining fighter.

Svensson on the other hand, we don’t like so much because he complained like a bairn after Robert Whiteford punched his face in to win the Vision FC Featherweight title last year.

In the Bantamweight fight, Edwards and Johns are the home choices for the Welsh crowd, although it has to be said we really fancied Martin McDonough’s chances and while Edwards is a fitting replacement, we can’t see him beating Pennington.

For the other three, we can’t pick a winner, with Pennington a massive Bantamweight and a commanding presence, Haggstrom the most experienced and well rounded and Johns undefeated and as yet to display any weaknesses.

It doesn’t help that all four men have wins over our beloved Dinky Ninja Fight team in the recent past, but we forgive them…

It’s a great card, so tune in to Premier Sports (or the relevant online stream for your region, check for details) and check it out. Finishes, awesome fights and the usual top notch production & commentary are guaranteed…


From the NIA in Birmingham, once home to Saturday TV staple Gladiators (a show with similar aesthetics to BAMMA’s usual production), BAMMA provide their thirteenth show, marketing it as crowing three ‘World’ champions.

On the face of it, that’s a damn fine proposition and some of the names involved, particularly ‘Judo’ Jim Wallhead, Colin Fletcher & Max Nunes are definitely worth your attention.

However the matchmaking is a little dubious by my estimation. In the main event, Max ‘Power’ Nunes (11-0) is easily one of the most exciting Light Heavyweight prospects in Europe and is an excellent choice to compete for a title belt and while his opponent Jason ‘the Villain’ Jones (19-10) has the edge in experience and is certainly an exciting fighter (21 of 29 fights ending in some form of stoppage) I find it hard to take him seriously as a title contender, seeing as he’s coming off a first round KO loss to Poland’s Maciej Browarski.

The co-main event sees BAMMA staple, Jim Wallhead (24-7) competing for the Newly minted Welterweight belt on a compelling 3-0 win streak under the BAMMA banner (less impressive is the fact that its only a 1-0 streak if you add his Bellator loss to Lyman Good into the equation.)

His opponent is ‘Fast’ Eddy Ellis (18-15-1) who is riding a six fight win streak, but is (like Jones) making his BAMMA debut and hasn’t fought since 2011.


Reigning Londsdale British Lightweight champion Curt Warburton (12-3) gets the chance to upgrade to a ‘World’ title against Tunisia’s Mansour Barnaoui (9-2), a fighter who is making his BAMMA debut and boasts five of his wins in only two nights (tournaments held by France’s 100% Fight.)

The main card is rounded off by UFC & TUF alum Colin ‘Dr Freakshow’ Fletcher (8-3) looking to arrest his 0-2 slide from his Zuffa tenure against Tim Newman (10-3) who just happens to be one of Britian’s best Lightweights and presents a clear threat to his more well known opponent.

The preliminary card is pretty stacked, featuring another ‘World’ title fight, this time at Middleweight, between unbeaten Scott Askham and Jorge Luis Bezerra and UKMMA notables like Jack Marshman, Ali Arish, Wayne Murrie.

The show will be live on 5* in the UK with a selection of international streams available for folks around the world.


OK, I’ll probably watch both at the same time but its worth asking the question – which would you watch if you had to choose?

In my eyes, both cards have their advantages, which I will break down thus…


BAMMA win this, as the spread of the respective online streams is about equal internationally but their UK offering is on a free to air channel, while you need a subscription to watch Cage Warriors on Premier Sport.

Big Names

For me, this is about even as I’m plenty excited by the prospect of watching Jim Alers and the Bantamweight tournament, but if I’m honest BAMMA have the edge objectively with hot prospect Nunes, Bellator vet Wallhead and former TUF contestants Fletcher & Warburton.


Cage Warriors win this big time. While I might not agree with Martin Svensson as a worthy title challenger, I appreciate that CW couldn’t get Graham Turner, Chris Fishgold or Martin Buschkamp (my choices for the shot) in the timeframe, so they had to find someone. Similarly, Kris Edwards wouldn’t have been my pick for the 135 tourney, but he’s a late replacement and steps in for his teammate, Martin McDonough who was VERY deserving of his inclusion.

BAMMA on the other hand have decided to create FOUR world titles from scratch and seem to have done so in such a way as to best accommodate guaranteed ‘home wins’ rather than paying any heed to competitive or promotional credibility. Without intending disrespect to their opponents, if Nunes, Wallhead, Warburton and Askham aren’t all world champs on Sunday morning, I’ll be VERY surprised.

If BAMMA had booked something like Marshman vs. Askham and Warburton vs. Newman I’d be much happier…

Admittedly, Jones is ranked 29 spots above Nunes on FightMatrix, so I can’t complain there too much (but coming off a win helps… ) but Wallhead is facing an entirely unbanked fighter, when there is a UK fighter in his weight class, on a chunky win streak and coming off a win over Jack Mason already on the card?

Wallhead vs. Ali Arish would have been a lot more interesting, in my eyes…


Cage Warriors win this as well. BAMMA tend to the tacky, while Cage Warriors keep it classy, and the commentary team of Josh Palmer and John Gooden (or Frank Trigg, when he stands in) are in my view, the best in the business.

Quality of Fights (not the same as name value or competitive matchmaking)

I think Cage Warriors win this as well – I literally cannot wait to see Alers vs. Svensson, (especially as a submission battle) and Haggstrom vs. Johns (experience vs. mimentum) while I’m not entirely wetting myself at the prospect of any of the BAMMA fights, largely because of the lopsided matchmaking and I’ve not been given any reason on previous BAMMA shows to give the slightest fuck about Jones, Ellis etc.

That makes it 48-47 to Cage Warriors on my card, but you’re welcome to disagree.

It’s a massive night for UKMMA, and I hope that like me, you’ll watch both cards.

Also, for the Swedish MMA fight fans out there – you could have THREE world champions on Sunday morning. Perfect warm up to Alex Gustafsson’s fight next week, eh?


4 thoughts on “UKMMA Showdown, BAMMA 13 vs. Cage Warriors 59

  1. You seem like a dick. An old smelly dogs dick. Talking smack bout one of Malmö’s finest u better watch it or the whole team of lunatic southerners will have no choice but to come over and poor mountain dew all over ur laptop. “punched the face in”??? You sissys must have another definition of that sentence than us. You dont stop a fight when both guys stand up but I guess you are going with girls rules in your grey shithole..

    • You are welcome to your opinion, especially as regards the definition of a fair stoppage.

      I acknowledge that Martin is a legit talent, especially in the ground game but the fact remains that the one time I’ve seen him live, he backed up against the cage, went foetal and took more than a dozen all but unprotected shots to the head.

      To me, that’s a fair TKO, seeing as he wasn’t intelligently defending himself.

      I wouldn’t make much play of it (everyone gets TKO’d at some point) apart from the fact that he complained afterwards and questioned the integrity of an official I’ve got a lot of respect for.

      If Martin shows more on Saturday, especially if he beats Jim, we will change our position and give him the respect that is due.

      I feel it bears mentioning that we are backing David Haggstrom and Max Nunes to win their big fights on Saturday, so it’s not like we’re anti-Swedish or anything.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. Yeah thats right

    Its ofc up to you to decide in what matter you choose to conduct yourself. Feel free to write of a fighter based upon him not agreeing on a stopage that non the less at least would qualify as debatable. As a media source that, at least I suspect, would like to come of as legitime, serious and “objective” you are really doing a good job! Robs nuts way down.

    Cant help but be very thankful to be part of the swedish mma community that seems to be miles ahead of you. You couldnt find a media source here that wrote one single bad word about Paul Reed even thou he came out in every single interview crying about the decision vs Svensson even years later. And thats the way it should be, we act like pros regardless who we’re friends with. But I suspect you are some kind of blog managed by the tiny scottish mma community where everyone are BFFs and your coverage deflects it. Professional is the word im looking for. Good luck!

    • We’re not professional, we don’t get paid.

      For the record, we’ve never attacked Swedish MMA as a whole, indeed we’ve often praised it as being a deep and well developed scene that deserves more attention internationally.

      It’s one of the reasons we follow the EXCELLENT MMAViking page.

      While we have strayed from pure objectivity to personal opinion when we don’t like how a fighter or promotion acts (and we appreciate that things can look very different through different people’s eyes) we’d do the same if a Scottish fighter failed to live up to our expectations.

      As I’ve said already, if Martin impresses us on Saturday, we’ll sing his praises from the rafters. We base our opinions on more than partisan loyalties, and are willing to admit when we’re wrong.

      Good luck to you’re fighter on Saturday, and we won’t take your abusive and reactionary rant as a reflection on Swedish MMA as a whole, because we are well aware that its full of talented fighters and passionate fans.

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