100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (18 Total):
1. Alexander Shlemenko - 93.2
2. Zach Makovsky - 92.6
3. Vitor Vianna - 92.4
4. Joey Kirwan - 92.3
5. Duane Bastress - 91.7
6. Tim Carpenter - 91.4
7. Brian Rogers - 91.2
8. Claudio Ledesma - 90.2
9. Jacob Kirwan - 90.1
10. Andria Wawro - 89.5
Bellator 54: Shlemenko vs. Rogers
Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Elevation: 7'
-Fight of the Night-
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brian Rogers
Fighters & Matches 87.9
Top 10 Fighters 91.5
TOTAL 89.7
     The first round was basically a clinching & wrestling match, with Caplan (Wawro), ending up on top for most of the round, where she was able to beat up Seiber a little bit with strikes. The second round had Seiber taking the fight to the ground, where she beat up Wawro for most of the fight. The fight is all tied up going into the final round. The final round had Wawro tripping Seiber, taking her to the ground, and beating her up with elbows. In the end, this was a pretty obvious 29-28 victory for Andria (Caplan) Wawro.
      This fight mostly took place with both guys clinching, trying to take each other to the ground. Kelleher secured a takedown in the second round, but Ledesma took him down repeatedly throughout the fight, so based on takedowns alone, I scored this fight 30-27 in favor of Claudio Ledesma in his Bellator debut. I'm not going to lie though, this fight wasn't really all that entertaining. It sort of looked like both guys were suffering from "Octagon Jitters", but I don't know what they call the equivalent condition in Bellator.
(Guillotine Choke)
      Kirwan shot for a takedown early, Rumsey stuffed it, ended up on top for a second, but Kirwan continued to drive through, ending up on top, and then they popped back up, and Rumsey landed some knees from a front headlock clinch. Kirwan eventually ducked down, brought Rumsey to the ground, grabbed his back, suplexed him, locked on a guillotine choke, rolled around like a maniac, and Rumsey was forced to submit. That was a pretty violent submission that seemed to come out of nowhere, since Kirwan was kind of getting beaten up, up until that point. Solid Bellator debut for Joey Kirwan.
      This fight was basically a 2 minute kickboxing match. Carpenter was using his range to pick apart Contaldi with kicks & punches, while Contaldi was mostly just ducking down and throwing overhand punches, hoping to connect with something. Carpenter hit Contaldi with a random uppercut, Contaldi hit the ground pretty hard, so the referee stopped the fight, but he looked like he was still conscious. Solid win for Carpenter though.
(Doctor Stoppage)
      Bastress scooped up Gracie early in the first round, lifting him into the air, and slamming him down, almost on his head. They stood back up and clinched against the cage. Bastress beat up Gracie with some short punches from the clinch, but not a lot happened after that slam earlier in the round. Round one goes to Bastress.
     Bastress took Gracie down early in the second round, and beat the living shit out of him with big punches. Gracie tried to flip around to find a leg lock, but Bastress pounded his way out of that with heavy elbows & punches. Gracie was able to grab guard, but that didn't stop Bastress from beating the shit out of him on the ground. By the end of the second round, Gracie was a bloody mess. They stood back up for the final seconds of the round, and both blasted each other with some big punches. It looked like Gracie almost finished Bastress in the final 5 seconds, which was insane, since Gracie was getting dominated up until that point. The fight was stopped in between rounds, and Gracie was PISSED, since the doctor basically gave Bastress a TKO victory. He was clearly going to win that fight regardless though.
      Kirwan shot for a takedown early in the first round, Nazare sprawled, and then Kirwan drove through to complete the takedown. A few seconds later, Nazare was able to sweep him, ending up on top against the cage. The referee stood them back up with 90 seconds left in the round, they traded some strikes, and Kirwan secured a takedown with a minute left. I gave the first round to Nazare for ground control for the majority of the round. The entire second round consisted of Kirwan on top of Nazare. So I have the fight all tied up going into the final round. Kirwan secured another takedown 30 seconds into the final round, and once again, spent the entire round on top of Nazare. Easy fight to score, 29-28, in favor of Jacob Kirwan. Two judges gave him all 3 rounds, so I'm assuming they must have been sleeping through the first round.
(North-South Choke)
      I'm still not clear why we have to watch guys that clearly don't deserve a title shot, fight guys that are current Champions, without the title on the line. What's the point? Either way, Roberts threw a kick, Makovsky caught it, took Roberts to the ground (obviously), and Roberts tried to lock on a head scissors choke or something, but Makovsky popped out of it and stood back up. They traded strikes for a couple of minutes, Makovsky turned it up a notch in the final 90 seconds, and caught another kick with a minute left in the round, taking Roberts down again. This time he passed the guard, moved to north-south position, cranked on a choke, and forced Roberts to tapout with 10 seconds left in the round. Awesome finish for Zach Makovsky, the Champ, against a guy that's not even on my radar, and probably won't ever be on my radar.
      Baker was throwing a lot of great looking strikes in the opening round, but he barely connected with anything at all. Vianna blasted Baker in the chin with a big right hand out of nowhere, knocking Baker to the ground. Vianna rushed him, basically sat on his chest against the cage, and threw hammerfists at Baker's head, until the referee was forced to stop the fight. That was an outstanding finish by Vitor Vianna, against one of the top middleweights in Bellator.
      The opening round was a pretty violent round, with both guys swinging for the fences with their punches, brutal knees flying in all direction, hard kicks, angry clinching, etc... That opening round was pretty great, and I scored it slightly for Brian Rogers. It was very close while standing, but Rogers threw Shlemenko to the ground with 90 seconds left in the round, so that takedown was probably enough to score the round for Rogers.
     The second round had Shlemenko throwing a spinning backfist, Rogers ducked under it, and took Shlemenko to the ground. Shlemenko got back to his feet, and Rogers beat the shit out of him with some punches & knees before Shlemenko could get some distance. Once Shlemenko backed up a couple of feet, he started unloading on Rogers with massive punches, wild knees, and all kinds of violent attacks. They both started swinging for the fences with big punches, until Shlemenko started unloading with some massive knees from the clinch, causing Rogers to collapse, forcing the referee to step in to stop the fight. Amazing two round fight. That was a really great performance by both fighters, and a huge win for Shlemenko.