A new champion was crowned tonight at Bellator 88 in a bout featuring middleweights Alexander Shlemenko (46-7) and Maiquel Falcao (31-4) throwing down at the top of the card. Both men were riding the momentum of impressive winning streaks and came out aggressive with a scintillating stoppage stemming from their approach.
The title was vacated by Hector Lombard upon departing for the UFC, providing a perfect opportunity for the tournament winners to battle for the belt. Shlemenko had come out triumphant in nine straight tilts and owns 34 finishes over past opponents entering the bout, while Falcao had won thirteen of his last fourteen fights and has 26 total wins by TKO alone.
When the smoke cleared, Shlemenko was the man standing with a strike-based stoppage in the second round. Falcao looked good early on but faded, perhaps a product of a tough weight-cut, and ultimately went down due to some shots to his midsection. The Russian powerhouse followed up with a few more blows thereafter to put his foe away.
The quarterfinal round of the Season 8 featherweight tournament also unfolded on the show with Alexandre Bezerra, Frodo Khasbulaev, Mike Richman, and Marlon Sandro advancing to the final four. The victors all finished their foes with the exception of Sandro who earned a controversial Majority Decision over the game Akop Stepanyan.
Read below for a rundown of Bellator 84 winners/losers:
Kelvin Tiller vs. Dave Vitkay
George Hickman def. Stephan Upchurch via Submission Round 1 (Rear-Naked Choke)
Clay Harvison def. Ururahy Rodrigues via TKO Round 3 (Strikes)
Ronnie Rogers def. Shane Crenshaw via Unanimous Decision
Joe Elmore def. Jerrid Burke via Knockout Round 2 (Strikes)
Frodo Khasbulaev def. Fabricio Geurreiro via Submission Round 2 (Arm-Triangle Choke)
Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair Da Silva via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan via Majority Decision
Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR