The middleweight finals for the latest tournament in Bellator are set with Alexander Shlemenko and Vitor Vianna making their way there after Bellator 54 on Saturday night.
For the second season in a row, Alexander Shlemenko makes his way to the finals, and this time he was definitely tested by Ohio fighter Brian Rogers.
The powerful Rogers who has a tendency to finish opponents in the first round stunned Shlemenko early in the fight with a few punches, while avoiding the Russian’s attempts to land spinning backfists.
Rogers even managed to mix in a takedown to keep Shlemenko guessing as he likely took round 1 on the scorecards. It all changed however in round two.
This time it was Shlemenko who caught Rogers with a good shot and immediately Rogers stumbled back, obviously stunned and trying to recover. Shlemenko tried to time some well placed knees, but Rogers strategically placed his hand on the ground to avoid any head shots.
Unfortunately for Rogers a few more well placed strikes and his senses were gone and Shlemenko was able to unload a huge knee strike to the head. Rogers crumbled to the mat on all fours and before Shlemenko could do any more damage the referee swooped in for the stoppage.
The other middleweight final ended just as emphatically, but much quicker. Vitor Vianna, who is known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, can also be known know for his punching power after knocking out Bryan Baker in less than a minute into their fight.
Baker came out with reckless abandon showing little respect for Vianna’s hands, and he threw huge wild shots looking for the knockout. His over aggressiveness was his undoing however as he continuously stepped forward, and Vianna timed an overhand right that clocked Baker behind the ear and sent him to his knees.
Vianna quickly followed up with hammer fists and Baker was done. Vianna now moves onto the middleweight fights to face Shlemenko with a $100,000 grand prize and a shot at Bellator champion Hektor Lombard on the line.
Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky kept his record in the promotion unblemished with a flawless performance over Ryan Roberts at Bellator 54.
Makovsky showed supreme confidence as he took Roberts down and will and passed his guard with little resistance. Slipping from side control into the north-south position, Makovsky saw the opening he was looking for and applied a choke.
The Bellator champion weighed down heavy on Roberts with the north-south choke and he got the tap with just seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Makovsky picks up the win and now awaits the bantamweight tournament winner who will be determined later this year.
The opening fight on the Bellator 54 card saw Jacob Kirwan defeat Rene Nazare by unanimous decision. Nazare had a strong first round, but couldn’t keep Kirwan from taking him to the mat through the fight.
As announced after the fight, the finals of the Bellator middleweight tournament between Alexander Shlemenko and Vitor Vianna will be added to a stacked Bellator 58 card on Nov. 19, which also includes lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez against Mike Chandler and middleweight champion Hektor Lombard against Trevor Prangley.
Bellator 54 Full Results:
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brian Rogers by TKO (strikes) at 2:30, R2
Vitor Vianna def. Bryan Baker by TKO (strikes) at :54 seconds, R1
Zach Makovsky def. Ryan Roberts by submission (north-south choke) at 4:48, R1
Jacob Kirwan def. Rene Nazare by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)