Alex Lohoré brought a violent end to his four-year rivalry with Nathan Jones in Friday night’s BAMMA 31 main event after winning with a devastating knee in the first round to claim the vacant welterweight title.
BAMMA 31 took place on Friday, September 15 at the SSE Arena Wembley in London, England and was packed with finishes up and down the card. The event suffered a setback days before as the advertised headliner between UK heavyweight Chi Lewis-Parry and American fighter Maurice Jackson was called off after Jackson failed a pre-fight medical.
The Parisian immediately started as the aggressor, backing up Jones with his speed and securing the clinch against the fence. After an inadvertent headbutt by Lohoré which seemed to stun “Mr. Bag & Tag”, the two were separated by the referee and continued to exchange combinations on the feet. After again finding themselves in the clinch, Jones this time used his strong grappling to take the fight to the ground however Lohoré remained active from the bottom and got to his feet.
Jones continued to use his judo throws to frustrate Lohoré and was enjoying a successful period of dominance with several consecutive takedowns. During another clinch, Lohoré found room for a hard right elbow which had Jones in trouble and then followed it up with a lethal knee which put his rival out instantly. The bad blood hadn’t seemed to dissipate as the Frenchman landed another hard shot on the unconscious Jones just as referee Marc Goddard jumped in to stop the fight.
Stretching his win streak to nine and winning the BAMMA welterweight title, Lohoré cemented his status as one of Europe’s most talented and deadly welterweights.
In the co-main event, rising talent Mike Shipman would upset champion Yannick Bahati with a spectacular spinning back fist knockout in the third round to win the BAMMA middleweight title.
Apart from sporadic exchanges, Shipman was on Bahati like a leech, keeping his back on the cage and using under hooks to control the champion. Eventually securing the takedown, Shipman would force Bahati to work hard to stand up and finish the round on his feet.
The physical dominance of the local favourite continued at the start of round two as the London Shootfighters‘ product continued to utilise the clinch and control the pace of the fight. Things would start to change on the break as Shipman became suddenly hesitant as he frustrated Bahati, who flipped him off mid-round, by circling on the outside and moving away until the referee issued a warning for timidity. Bahati would take the round with a takedown as he took over on the ground, transitioning at will and was looking for an Americana as the round ended.
The third round continued to go well for the champion as he landed some clean strikes on the seemingly spent challenger. From out of nowhere, Shipman unleashed a spinning back fist from hell that connected flush on Bahati and dropped him flat on his front. The referee stopped the fight before any further punishment could be handed out to give the Londoner the win
Aaron Chalmers, star of MTV’s Geordie Shore, built on his promising start to his MMA career as he secured the second professional win of his career with a stunning first round KO of Alex Thompson.
After threatening with combinations from the off, Chalmers turned the pressure up on the debuting Thompson as he kept him on the back foot in the welterweight bout. As “Iron Born” retreated, he left his chin high and Chalmers took advantage landing a perfectly placed left hook that knocked his opponent out cold just 32 seconds into the bout.
Despite the stigma of his reality tv past, “The Joker” will slowly turn those opinions if he continues with performances of this calibre and keeps finishing his opponents.
Elsewhere on the card, Daniel Crawford halted the French dominance of the Featherweight division as he scored an impressive TKO victory over champion Damien Lapilus to become the first Englishman to hold the 145lb title.
Crawford seemed a step ahead of the champion from the start, avoiding the long strikes of Lapilus and landing his heavy shots when closing the distance. The fight eventually went to the ground where Crawford was able to get the upper hand and finish the round on top.
It would only take 26 seconds of the second round for Crawford to find the finish as he landed a thunderous left hand followed by a clean and powerful right which dropped Lapilus to the floor. All he could do was cover up as Crawford rained down strikes for the stoppage and the gold.
BAMMA 31 Results
BAMMA Welterweight Title Bout: Alex Lohoré def. Nathan Jones via KO (Knee) (Round 1 – 4:13)
BAMMA Middleweight Title Bout: Mike Shipman def. Yannick Bahati via KO (Spinning Back Fist) (Round 3 – 1:17)
Welterweight Bout: Aaron Chalmers def. Alex Thompson via KO (Punch) (Round 1 – 0:32)
BAMMA Featherweight Title Bout: Daniel Crawford def. Damien Lapilus via TKO (Ground & Pound) (Round 2 – 0:26)
Middleweight Bout: Alex Montagnani def. Martin Hudson via TKO (Ground & Pound) (Round 1 – 2:08)
Lightweight Bout: Nathan Rose def. Ollie Mathis via Decision (Split)
Welterweight Bout: Tommy King def. James Reedman via TKO (Strikes) (Round 1 – 1:12)
Bantamweight Bout: Javid Basharat def. Tony Hall via Submission (Guillotine Choke) (Round 2 – 1:42)
Featherweight Bout: Liam Davies def. Tanvir Boora via TKO (Elbows) (Round 2 – 3:56)
Catchweight Bout: David Khalsa def. Charlie-Boy Howard via Decision (Split)