I’ve recently calmed down the Martial arts photography as it was all getting a bit ‘samey’. I wasn’t getting the excitement or thrill of being at the front snapping any more however when I saw the Kyle Greaves was putting on another Stand and Bang at Woking’s H.G. Wells Centre I was all over it. I had missed the last one due to being out of the country, but I wasn’t going to miss this event. Added to the fact that Kyle puts on a great show every time with slick presentation, a great crowd and a twist of his own humour (music during the bouts) there was the added spectacle of the country’s first Muay Boran event. Basically two guys going at each other with ropes on their hands instead of gloves. Stand and Bang is a Muay Thai / K1 event so no grappling and no submissions in 14 seconds on the main event.
It’s hard for me to put into perspective from a technical standpoint how good the fights and fighters were as I’m not as well versed in stand-up as I am MMA, but it seemed to me that pretty much all of the fights were well matched and there was LOTS of striking and kicking action which from a photographers perspective is great. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy MMA, but grappling isn’t photographically appealing, its more suited to video where the intricacies can be seen. Stand and Bang on the other hand does exactly that.
The first of two standout fights for me was Nicola Kaye vs. Anne Linne. I don’t know what it is about women’s combat sports but they really seem to go for it and are a lot less cautious than the guys are. I have no idea why this is but I like it. Maybe its the long hair that looks great in the pics. Who knows?!
Secondly was of course the muay boran fight. Both Rob Hayward and Alan Davies knew that this was a bit of a risky gamble as there had been no muay boran fights in the UK previously. The first round was spent mostly kicking as the fighters gauged each others skill and tactics. To me it almost felt as if they were scared to strike each other. Davies opened up a cut on Hayward’s left eye and continued to capitalise on this as the blood started to flow. During the bread Rob was patched up however it wasn’t long into the second when Davies floored Hayward and the bout was called to a halt. The ref did a good job stopping the muay boran bout despite protestations. The cut was running into Robs left eye and a hematoma was growing on the right. We would later find out that there was a fractured eye socket.
Despite the injuries both fighters embraced with massive smiles one congratulating the other on their achievement saying that they had really enjoyed themselves. Of course Alan Davies came first out of two, however in my opinion both were winners.
Over all the evening was fantastic. Every pair of fighters that fought hugged the other showing great respect, there were no dirty tricks or cheating. The action was fast paced and the crowd awesome.