SBG Manchester’s Martin Stapleton (16-4) made a statement by stopping Canada’s Jeremy Petley (10-6-1) in a thriller during Saturday’s BAMMA 19 show, held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

Stapleton, 31, ate slick combinations from his faster opponent but got the win in round three with a head kick that knocked Petley senseless.

The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs United Kingdom graduate used raiding attacks early, also kicking to the body well as Petley, 30, responded with fast footwork and explosions of three-and-four-punch combinations.

Indeed, Petley cranked up the intensity in round two and bewitched his man against the cage with punches from all angles. He didn’t neglect the body either, but got caught with his chin in the air in the final exchanges of fire.

Perhaps he should have learned. As both men grinned and high-fived eachother at the start of the decider, Stapleton bolted forwards with straight punches and, timing his attack to perfection, smashed his shin into Petley’s skull as the visitor dropped his hands.

Petley’s legs turned to jelly and with his defences down he was a sitting duck for the finishing punches. After earning a sixth KO/TKO, Stapleton can look forward to maybe meeting the winner of Colin Fletcher against Andre Winner, which takes place at BAMMA 20 on April 25.

In the same division, Marc Diakiese (7-0) and Jack McGann (7-1) came of age in a dramatic three rounder, with Diakiese taking a unanimous decision despite coming through deep water.

Diakiese came out flying in round one. Front kicks, head kicks, leg kicks… the Doncaster man was a buzzsaw of aggression and laboured hard for the takedown too, maintaining a body lock but also driving low for the double-leg.

When the 22-year-old finally did get it to the mat, both rivals threw caution to the wind. Diakiese went close with a triangle, while McGann tried a rear naked choke in a breathless exchange.

The pace didn’t let up in round two. Marc was dogged in his pursuit of the takedown once more but got caught with a knee thrown from the depths of hell. He sagged forwards immediately, and was easy prey as McGann locked in an opportunistic, tight rear naked choke. Diakiese managed to resist tapping with mere seconds remaining of another chaotic round.

Still, the Ludas Magnas man, an excellent tactician, had it all his way in the decider. After notching up a takedown at the centre of the mat, Diakiese stayed patient, exploiting openings for punches and keeping astute head positioning.

The unanimous verdict was perfectly clear, it has to be said, but the pace and aggression from both men make this a fight which has to happen again. Credit should go to both competitors and matchmaker Jude Samuel. Elsewhere at lightweight, Lewis Monarch (5-0) progressed with a round one kimura against David Johnson (5-5-1).

Likeable Manchester middleweight Andy De Vent (12-9) claimed the Lonsdale British title against Conor Cooke (6-6), sealing it with a rear naked choke in the opener.

De Vent was clearly the stronger man in the wrestling exchanges, nailing a hard pick-up slam. From there, having already done damage on the feet, Andy transitioned to a back mount with one hook in and grabbed the choke to rubber-stamp his status as champion.

There were two emphatic finishes in the heavyweight division as well – only one was expected more than the other. Polish visitor Kamil Baselak (2-4) turned the tables against recent Bellator member Karl Etherington (9-2) for a first round finish. The travelling fighter shipped tremendous punishment on the ground before rolling straight into full mount and swarming in with right hands which ended matters.

Another big name, Mark Godbeer (9-2), avoided a similar upset by taking out Thomas Denham (6-7) inside a round. Godbeer was drawn into slugfest early but, showing excellent timing, nailed a short shovel hook to the chin, putting the result beyond doubt with fast ground-and-pound. A third heavyweight contest featured Tom Aspinall (3-0) making short work of Satish Jama (3-4), blitzing him with punches inside a round.

Three sessions in the bank for Brendan Loughnane (10-1) – who defeated Steve Polifonte (11-3) – will do the Manchester featherweight the world of good. Loughnane showed patience and variety on the feet – even scoring with a peach of a spinning back fist – before his deserved unanimous verdict was announced.

Damien Frankiewicz (2-0) performed heroics in the 155lbs division to fight back and halt Paul Douglas (1-1) at the death. The Polish visitor was no match for Douglas’s trips and judo, eating strikes shots on the ground throughout, but Damien scrambled to back mount in round three, seeing it out with a rear naked choke.

Elsewhere welterweight Nathan Jones (8-4) needed only one session to get rid of Oskar Somerfield (4-1) with a triangle choke, while featherweight Damien Stasiak (8-2) ended the run of Mike Grundy (3-1) by submitting the Wigan man in two thanks to another triangle.

Article by Alistair Hendrie

Photo Credit: BAMMA/Marc Moggridge