UFC may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but our Sales Advisor, Jamie loves it! Read on as he fills us in on his latest visit to the London O2 Arena to see the UFC Fight Night…*SPOILER ALERT* This review includes celebrity appearances from One D’s Niall Horan!
Having been a big UFC fan for several years, when the opportunity came up to attend their event at The O2 Arena in London on 8th March I jumped at the chance. When told the evening would be spent looking at half-naked well built men my girlfriend grudgingly agreed to come along!
I have been to the London O2 Arena quite a few times, but this was the first time I had driven there, having always gone on the tube. Coming from the M25 the signs aren’t great. I missed the turn off and was forced to go through the Blackwall Tunnel and come back through it again. This little diversion in London traffic took us the best part of an hour, meaning by the time we actually got to The O2 we had to scrap the original plan of eating in one of the many on site restaurants and go straight into the arena.
The main part of the card which was being shown live on Channel 5 wasn’t starting until 8pm, but when we arrived at 5.30pm the arena was already full with people watching the preliminary fights. It’s not that often the UFC visits the UK so the fans lap up all the action than can get! Our seats were great, giving a view straight down onto the Octagon. The highlight of the 6 preliminaries was local boy Luke Barnatt’s first round knockout of Swede Mats Nilsson.
The main card began at 8 sharp and involved the bigger name fighters, with entertaining fights pitting Brad Pickett against Neil Seery and Gunnar Nelson against Amari Akhmedov. The penultimate fight between Melvin Guillard and Michael Johnson drew boo’s from the crowd as both fighters were very cautious and spent most the the fifteen minute fight circling each other. We amused ourselves celeb spotting. Former fighter and husband of Jordan, Alex Reid was sat within inches of us as he had booked through Superbreak. Also in attendance were Niall from One Direction (who drew the biggest boo’s of the night when he was shown on camera!) and MC Hammer!
It was time for the main event, pitting Alexander Gustafsson against Londoner Jimi Manuwa. Gustafsson was coming off a very close loss to the Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones and he was obviously anxious to show he hadn’t lost a step, knocking out the previously undefeated Manuwa in the 2nd round. The crowd were really into this, roaring all the way. Definitely the fight of the night!
Very hungry but too tired to sit down to a meal, we settled with a late dinner at Subway and made our way back to the car and home, making sure to avoid the Blackwall Tunnel this time!
Are you a UFC fan, or seen any other sporting event at the London O2 Arena? Let us know using the comments box below.