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BAMMA London: Champions dethroned on a spectacular night at Wembley

BAMMA’s return to the capital delivered in a major way with a televised main card producing a string of knockout finishes at Wembley Arena

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Both defending BAMMA world champions lost their titles on a night that saw three new divisional kings crowned at BAMMA London, at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

The main event saw Alex ‘Da Kid’ Lohore and Nathan ‘Mr Bag and Tag’ Jones do battle for the vacant welterweight belt as they sought to settle a rivalry four years in the making.

The fight seemed to be going Jones’ way, as he closed the distance effectively and dominated the grappling exchanges, including two high-amplitude judo throws. But after being thrown for a the second time Lohore turned the tables in spectacular fashion.

Lohore managed to get separation and landed two solid punches before throwing a huge knee up the middle that caught Jones as he shot in, knocking him out cold.

And after the win, Lohore called out Bellator star James Gallagher, who was sat right behind me on press row. Gallagher’s reaction? Laughter.

Shipman spins to win with spectacular finish

The night’s second world title fight saw Mike ‘Seabass’ Shipman land a thumping spinning backfist to separate champion Yannick Bahati from his senses and capture the BAMMA world middleweight title.

Shipman started the better of the two and dominated the exchanges in the opening round, pushing the champion back in an apparent attempt to sap his strength. But Bahati came back strong in the second round to even things up on my unofficial scorecard.

But with the pace dropping in the third, Shipman struck. He seemed to confuse Bahati by constantly changing stances and feinting, then, with the champion looking down, ‘Seabass’ unleashed a huge spinning backfist to end the fight in spectacular fashion.

Chalmers delivers highlight-reel moment

The doubters were out in force again for the second BAMMA fight for Geordie Shore personality Aaron Chalmers, but the UTC-trained striker showed his hands demand respect.

He took on Alex Thompson in a welterweight bout and produced a stunning two-punch combination to send Thompson crashing to the canvas for a spectacular win in just 30 seconds.

Crawford captures the gold

The event saw a new champion crowned at 145lbs as Daniel Crawford put on a superb display to stop defending champ Damien Lapilus in the second round of their featherweight title bout.

Crawford walked down Lapilus throughout the opening round, with the Frenchman looking to keep the Brit at bay with kicks to the body and head. But Crawford wouldn’t be denied and he made the breakthrough early in the second round.

A big punch rocked Lapilus, sending him staggering back agains the fence and, after another barrage of strikes sent the champion to the mat, Crawford unloaded some heavy ground and pound to finish the job and capture the title.

And after saying he’d worked hard for his whole career to win a big title, Crawford then took a jab at French MMA, saying: “The French don’t make them tough like us Londoners!”

Prelim performers

On the preliminary card there were impressive performances from Nathan Rose, who battled all the way to the scorecards to earn a split decision with the equally impressive Ollie Mathis, and for Tommy ‘KO’ King, who lived up to his nickname with an eye-catching salvo of strikes to claim a first-round stoppage win over James Reedman.

BAMMA London: Results

Alex Lohore def Nathan Jones via KO, R1 (BAMMA world welterweight title)
Mike Shipman def Yannick Bahati via KO, R3 (BAMMA world middleweight title)
Aaron Chalmers def Alex Thompson via KO, R1 (welterweight bout)
Damien Lapilus vs Daniel Crawford def Damien Lapilus via TKO, R2 (BAMMA world featherweight title)

Preliminary card
Alex Montagnani def Martin Hudson via TKO, R1
Nathan Rose def Ollie Mathis via split decision
Tommy King def James Reedman via KO, R1
Javid Basharat def Tony Hall via guillotine choke, R2
Liam Davies def Tanvir Boora via TKO, R2
David Khalsa def Charlie Boy Howard via split decision

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.