The new year started off with a double header as the lightweight and the featherweight title were on the line. In both title fights the challengers and champions were familiar with each other as it wasn’t the first time they faced each other in the cage.
145 title - Shin Dong Hyuk (c) Vs Lukasz Wolek
In the co-main event we bore witness to the conclusion of a classic trilogy as Lukasz "Wally" Wolek and Shin Dong Hyuk both held a victory over each other coming into their third encounter. The first time they faced off it was a kickboxing brawl where neither got a chance to stand out but it was Wolek who edged out a unanimous decision victory. In the second fight both knew that they needed an edge to come out on top, while Wolek tried to close the distance with the clinch it was Dong Hyuk’s takedowns that made the difference as he won the GAMMA featherweight title for the very first time. Their second affair was close enough to warrant an immediate rematch. Thus these two featherweight warriors went at it for the third and final time. Wolek returned to the strategy that got him the win that started the trilogy while Dong Hyuk did his best to take the fight to the ground. Once again it was a closely contested fight but the feud ended with Wolek edging out the victory.
Winner: Lukasz Wolek by unanimous decision.
155 title - Robert Sito (c) Vs Darren Lamb
Darren Lamb had a seven fight winning streak snapped by Robert Sito the first time they met in the GAMMA cage. That win was the start of Robert Sito’s second run at the GAMMA lightweight title. When Sito won the title by finishing Robin "Rockin" Yount, a rematch was scheduled. Once again we were treated to a high-level striker Vs grappler match-up as Darren Lamb never took a break as he mixed it up a lot by throwing accurate punches and was always looking to take the fight to the ground while Sito let his hands and feet do the talking.
Winner: Darren Lamb by unanimous decision.
GAMMA#606 Rutten v Torres – January 14
265 title - Sebastiaan Rutten (c) Vs Luis Torres
The heavyweight title was on the line as Sebastiaan Rutten defended his belt against one the most dangerous heavy hitters in the game, Luis "El Caliente" Torres. One thing these two giants have in common is that they love to knock people out. A heavyweight collision of this magnitude was sure to give the people the fireworks they crave for and the heavyweights did not disappoint. Torres threw caution to the wind and dictated the pace with an abundance of fast and accurate strikes while looking to close the distance, Rutten was cautious as he wanted to maintain some distance between them. Rutten was knocking the wind out of his opponent’s lungs with some brutal body kicks to set him up for a big knockout punch. Rutten managed to drop Torres three times before being able to finish him, which is a credit to the chin of Torres as Rutten was throwing bombs as if his life depended on it.
Winner: Sebastiaan Rutten by KO (punch) after 2 minutes and 25 seconds in the second round.
GAMMA#607 Lodbrok v Kha – January 21
205 title - Ivar Lodbrok (c) Vs Kai Kha
Grizzled veteran and light heavyweight berserker Ivar "The Boneless" Lodbrok took on the young violence from Malawi, Kai Kha. The young challenger put the pedal to the metal and started throwing hard shorts in a frantic pace. This caused him to miss quite a lot but when he connected he more than made up for it. Lodbrok did his best to slow down the pace by occasionally closing the distance and picking his shots carefully. To no avail as the challenger rocked him with a perfectly timed jab and a couple of strikes later it was all over.
Winner: Kai Kha by TKO (strikes) after 3 minutes and 24 seconds in the second round.
GAMMA#608 Volkov v Williams - January 21
While the light heavyweight title was being defended in London’s Wombley Arena, another GAMMA event took place in LA featuring two title fights.
170 title - Ilya Mstislav Volkov (c) Vs Stanly Williams
Ilya Mstislav Volkov and Stanly Williams had quite an intriguing trilogy under the GAMMA banner. Williams reigned supreme in the first two fights, winning both fights by decision. In the third fight however it was the first time they faced each other with a title on the line and Volkov showed he had the heart of a champion when he finished the former champion. The first round ended up being a classical kickboxing trade-off. Volkov was a little more aggressive and probably won that round. Volkov could have kept it up but he had a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove as the newly crowned welterweight champion. He closed the distance and just brutally assaulted Williams until the referee intervened.
Winner: Ilya Mstislav Volkov by TKO (strikes) after 2 minutes and 48 seconds in the second round.
185 title - Piotr Rokicki (c) Vs Steve Belliveau
Steve "Bells" Belliveau took GAMMA by storm as it took him only two fights to be crowned the middleweight champion. That in itself is impressive, the fact that he dominated and finished those fights is simply amazing. Rokicki had some trouble keeping up with Belliveau on the outside so he decided to change things up a bit by taking the fight to the clinch. That didn’t go so well for him as Belliveau just ended up being more dominant on the inside than he was on the outside. Rokicki was smart enough not the close the distance anymore but Belliveau smelled blood and instigated the clinch himself and ended up finishing Rokicki with his dirty boxing.
Winner: Steve Belliveau by TKO (strikes) after 4 minutes and 41 seconds in the fourth round.
GAMMA#609 Bryant v Jordan – January 28
155 title - Darren Lamb (c) Vs Nicodemo Romero
Darren Lamb was a busy little bee in January. Fresh after winning the lightweight title he immediately took on his first challenger in that same month. Lamb had a little trouble taking the fight to the ground but he scored enough points in the stand-up with his accurate boxing to get his hands raised in the end. Nicodemo Romero made his promotional debut and took the fight to the champion but closing the distance on the takedown expert proved more difficult than expected. Neither man was able dictate their will on the other as they both had plans to take the fight elsewhere but the brawl we ended up with was more than entertaining.
Winner: Darren Lamb by unanimous decision.
265+ title - Gerbert Bryant (c) Vs Joe Jordan
Elite Olympic wrestler Gerbert Bryant is known as the president but he didn’t need the judges’ votes in this fight as he rushed out of the gates like a race horse at the track, took the fight down to the ground and finished his opponent off with some vicious ground and pound. Bryant’s ascension to stardom has been a treat to say the least and his stock has risen far more than anyone could have predicted since signing with GAMMA.
Winner: Gerbert Bryant by TKO (strikes) after 1 minute and 59 seconds in the very first round.