Douglas Lima and Alexander Shlemenko both were the big tournament winners at Bellator 57 in front of a soldout crowd at Casino Rama. It was just the second time Bellator Fighting Championships had visited Canada and everyone in attendance was treated to a show as they witnessed a pair of action packed tournament final fights, one of which ended by second round knockout.
While Ben Saunders may have entered the fight as a slight favorite over the challenger Douglas Lima, “The Phenom” put this theory to rest in the second round when he ducked under a lead left from Saunders and knocked him out with solid right hand.
“I knew it was there. We worked on that a lot last week; duck the left hook, come back with the right straight. It worked out great,” Lima said. “‘I’mm glad I got the win. It was hard but it paid off. Hats off to Ben. He’s the greatest guy. He’s a great fighter.”
Lima earns a title shot with the win, and will meet Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren in Bellator’s sixth season.
Also ready for a rematch with the middleweight champion, Hector Lombard, is Alexander Shlemenko who won his second tournament final with a unanimous decision over Vitor Vianna. Shlemenko threw at least a half dozen spinning back fists and while nearly none of them landed they kept Vianna on his toes and left Shelemenko dictating the pace of the fight. “Storm” landed plenty of body shots and stayed the aggressor for the entire fight. It was an easy decision for judges after three rounds.
Possibly auditioning for a place in the next Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament were John Hawk and Canadian Roger Hollet who was eager to earn a knockout for his fans at Casino Rama. Hollett tried to trade shots with Hawk in the center of the cage but had trouble getting past Hawk’s jab. Hawk was also hell bent on holding him against the cage and slowing down the action. Whenever Hawk would let Hollett off the cage, he’d land a leg kick or a big punch and then get clinched on again. Hawk attacked his opponent with knees and foot stomps against the cage to the boos of the crowd, but in the end the judges awarded the win to Hollett by split decision not necessarily for landing the most punches but inflicting the most damage on the ones he did.
At the top of the night, Alexandre Bezerra defeated Doug Evans in an exciting matchup where Bezerra applied multiple submissions to Evans, but Evans always managed to escape with a big slam. Eventually Bezerra caught Evans in a submission he had no answer for and at 4:04 of the first round forced a verbal submission due to heel hook.
Bezerra said before the fight, “His first mistake was signing the contract for this fight,” also saying, “I will become the Bellator Featherweight Champion. It’s just a matter of time.”
“It was another spectacular, sold out night at Casino Rama. Shlemenko’s game continues to evolve in a dominate win over Vitor Vianna. Lima, with one strong right hand, went from being the world’s best welterweight prospect to being one of the best 170 lbs. in the world,” said Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney.
Next week on November 19, the Bellator Lightweight Championship is on the line as champion Eddie Alvarez takes on Michael Chandler, the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament Champion. This is Alvarez’ first title defense since he defeated Pat Curran at Mohegan Sun for Bellator 39. Also on the fight card will be champion Hector Lombard, who is set to take on former Trevor Prangley in a non-title Super Fight at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. Fla.