Former Bellator middleweight titleholder Alexander Shlemenko put Melvin Manhoef away in the second round of the Bellator 133 main event at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. on Friday with a spinning backfist knockout.
Shlemenko looked to get the fight to the ground early, but Manhoef shook off the takedown attempts. The Russian suddenly went on the offensive with his striking. He landed a spinning backfist and spinning backkicks to the body. Manhoef appeared hesitant. He may have hurt Shlemenko with a right hand breaking from the clinch, but did little more in the round.
Shlemenko pressed forward and kept Manhoef guessing what was coming next. He uncorked several spinning techniques to start the second frame. 85 seconds into the round, one landed flush on the jaw of Manhoef. Shlemenko stepped in with a spinning backfist that staggered Manhoef briefly at first before his body went stiff and crashed to the canvas.
Following the knockout win, Shlemenko called for a rematch against Brandon Halsey. Halsey defeated Shlemenko by rear-naked choke at Bellator 126 in September to become the champion.
“Scott Coker please, I want my belt back. This is my belt. I made a mistake. I made a mistake,” said Shlemenko. “Halsey, I’m coming for you. Halsey, I’m coming for you.”
Weichel controlled the center of the cage and moved forward. The opening round was closely contested. Curran delivered counter strikes and leg kicks. Weichel swept Curran’s legs twice in the opening round, taking Curran off of his feet. He flurried late in the round, but Curran answered with a counter right hand.
Weichel continued to press the action in the second frame. He was getting the best of the exchanges, but Curran changed levels and secured a takedown with a minute remaining. He moved to side control and delivered elbows. He finished the round in top position
Weichel was the one moving forward throughout the fight, and he continued that approach in the final frame. He dictated the pace and secured two takedowns in the round. Curran picked up the pace in the closing seconds, but it was too little too late on two of the judges’ scorecards.
In women’s featherweight action, Julia Budd demolished Gabrielle Halloway. She pressured Halloway from the sound of the opening bell and dominated the fight with her Muay Thai clinch and ground game. She secured several takedowns, delivered knees from inside the clinch position and threatened with submission attempts. The 30-26, 30-25 and 30-24 scores reflected how one-sided the bout was. Halloway had no answer for Budd’s attack.
A pair of undefeated welterweights kicked off the main card. Chris Honeycutt extended his unbeaten streak to five fights with a late technical knockout win over Clayton MacFarlane.
Honeycutt used his two-time Division 1 All-American wrestling experience to put MacFarlane on his back and to defend takedown attempts. He outclassed MacFarlane with his grappling and top control throughout the bout. After nearly finishing the fight late in the second frame, Honeycutt got the stoppage in the third round. He took MacFarlane down, advanced to the mount position and hammered away with ground and pound. MacFarlane gave up his back and Honeycutt flattened him out and finished with a series of body shots.
Main Card Results
Alexander Shlemenko def. Melvin Manhoef by KO (spinning backfist) at 1:25, R2
Daniel Weichel def. Pat Curran by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Julia Budd def. Gabrielle Holloway def unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-24)
Chris Honeycutt def. Clayton MacFarlane by TKO (punches) at 4:16, R3
Preliminary Card Results
Emilio Chavez def. Art Arciniega by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Blake Watkin def. George Zuniga by knockout (punch) at 0:55, R1
Paul Ruiz def. Nick Sperling by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:43, R1