The Bellator middleweight title has been vacant since last year when Hector Lombard left for the UFC, but the title is no longer vacated as Alexander Shlemenko defeated Maiquel Falcao by knockout on Thursday night from The Arena at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Shlemenko ended the fight in the second round after Falcao fell to the ground and a body shot ended the fight. After he landed the body shot, he landed one more shot but Falcao was already done.
This is the 28th career victory by knockout for Shlemenko (47-7) and it was his tenth straight win. He has now won eight fights in Bellator and he can tie the Bellator record for most wins with a victory in his next fight.
He will now wait to see who his first title defesne will be against as the next Bellator middleweight touranament will begin next week in Charlotte at Bellator 89.
Sandro, Richman, Bezerra and Khasbulaev advance in FW tournament
The season eight featherweight tournament began on Thursday night and Marlon Sandro, Mike Richman, Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra and Frodo Khasbulaev advance to the semifinals with victories.
The tournament kicked off with Khasbulaev defeating Fabricio Guerreiro by arm triangle choke submission in the second round. He was able to control the fight from the opening bell and Guerreiro was unable to mount much offense. Khasbulaev now advances to the semifinals where he will face Sandro.
Sandro was able to get a majority decision win over Akop Stepanyan and two of the three judges scored the fight for Sandro. The other judge scored the fight a draw as Stepanyan was deducted a point after the second round for holding on to the fence. Stepanyan was able to control the fight on his feet, but he was unable to keep Sandro from taking the fight to the ground and thats what won him the fight.
In the other quarterfinal bouts, Richman and Bezerra both won by stoppage in the first round as Richman defeated Mitch Jackson with three seconds left in the first round and Bezerra stopped Genair da Silva with an armbar submission at the 1:40 mark of the opening round.
The semifinals of the featherweight tournament are expected to take place next month, but Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney did not announce a date for the semifinal bouts.
The full Bellator 88 Results are below:
Main Card: (Spike TV)
Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao via KO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:18
Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:57
Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair Da Silva via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:40
Preliminary Card: (Spike.com)
Frodo Khasbulaev def. Fabricio Guerreiro via submission (arm triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:15
Joe Ellmore def. Jerrid Burke via KO (punch) – Round 2, 4:11
Ronnie Rogers def. Shane Crenshaw via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Clay Harvison def. Ururahy Rodrigues via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:34
George Hickman def. Stephen Upchurch via submission (RNC) – Round 1, 2:19