The Toughest Tournament in Sports continued as Bellator MMA had set a loaded Featherweight Tournament field from Atlanta’s Gwinnet Center February 7th live on Spike TV. The night was headlined by a Bellator Middleweight World Title fight as Russian knockout artist Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko and dominating Brazilian Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao battled for the Bellator Middleweight Championship.
After successfully winning his second Bellator Middleweight Tournament, Shlemenko had his sights set on one thing: The Bellator Middleweight World Championship. Having a nine fight win streak and holding an incredible 46-7 record, Shlemenko knew his February 7th fight was going to be the biggest of his career.
“Big Rig” entered the fight after three dominating tournament victories inside the Bellator cage. After competing in organizations across the world, Falcao knows he has found a home in Bellator and was hoping to etch his name into the Bellator history books on February 7th from The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
The Russian stopped Maiquel Falcao with a vicious second-round knockout on Thursday to win the promotion's vacant middleweight title at Bellator 88.
Last night "Storm" displayed incredibly powerful body shots, breaking the spirit of Brazilian fighter in the second round, moments before referee George Allen stopped the fight.
When asked about the specifics of MMA in Russia, "Storm" from Siberia answered:
" We have several different regions in Russia, each specializing in different approach. I think we should credit the Russian fighting spirit and the tradition of respecting your opponent."
Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao via KO (punches) - Round 2, 2:18 - to win vacant middleweight title
Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27) - featherweight tournament opening round
Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 4:57 - featherweight tournament opening round
Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair Da Silva via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 1:40 - featherweight tournament opening round
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Fabricio Guerreiro via submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 2, 1:15 - featherweight tournament opening round
Joe Elmore 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 (knee) - Round 3, 3:34
George Hickman def. Stephen Upchurch via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 2:19