100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (18 Total):
1. Alexandre Bezerra - 93.2
2. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev - 92.6
3. Mike Richman - 92.2
4. Alexander Shlemenko - 90.7
5. George Hickman - 90.5
6. Marlon Sandro - 90.3
7. Joe Elmore - 90.1
8. Clay Harvison - 89.6
9. Genair da Silva - 89.1
10. Akop Stepanyan - 89.0
Bellator 88: Shlemenko vs. Goncalves
Location: Duluth, Georgia
Elevation: 702'
-Fight of the Night-
Alexandre Bezerra vs. Genair da Silva
Fighters & Matches 87.5
Top 10 Fighters 90.7
TOTAL 89.1
(Rear-Naked Choke)
     These guys circled around each other for a minute or so, pawing at each other with nothing punches & kicks, and then Hickman finally shot in for a takedown, almost immediately taking Upchurch's back as he tried to get back to his feet. Hickman punched him in the head a few times on the ground, and then slapped on a rear-naked choke, for the submission victory around the halfway point of the opening round. Decent performance by George Hickman.
      Rodrigues spent the first half of the first round looking for a takedown, pressing Harvison against the cage, but he wasn't able to make any real progress with it. They broke apart 2 minutes into the round, and Harvison blasted Rodrigues in the face with a big right hand that knocked him on his ass. They stood back up, Harvison threw a few winging shots, and then Rodrigues finally took him down against the cage. They stood back up and traded sloppy strikes at a slow pace for a minute or so, until Rodrigues hit Harvison with a direct kick to the dick. When the fight started again, Rodrigues shot for another takedown, and failed again. I guess round one goes to Harvison.
     They continued to trade some sloppy strikes in the second round, until Harvison kicked Rodrigues in the groin. These guys really don't strike me as fighters with futures. They don't have a lot of energy, their striking is sloppy as shit, their wrestling is mediocre. I would probably call the second round a draw. The final round was another round full of sloppy striking, and it ended with 90 seconds left in the round, as Harvison blasted Rodrigues with a big knee, knocking him on his ass. He finished him off with a couple of gangster swag punches, and the fight was stopped by the referee. Congrats to Harvison for a slick finish to an otherwise mediocre fight.
      This fight started with Crenshaw shooting for a takedown, Rogers stuffed it, but was pressed against the fence. They broke apart, Crenshaw tried to throw Rogers, and Rogers immediately grabbed his back. Crenshaw escaped, got back to his feet, and after circling around for a minute or so, finally secured a takedown in the final minute of the round. That round could go either way, but I guess we'll give it to Crenshaw for ending the round on top.
     The second fight took place on the feet, with neither fighter really doing anything for the first 4 minutes. Rogers was backing up Crenshaw the entire round, but only a handful of strikes were thrown by either fighter. I guess that round goes to Rogers? Shitty fight so far though. The final round started with Crenshaw pressing Rogers against the fence for a few seconds, and then they circled around each other for a while. Crenshaw shot for a takedown, and was stuffed. Rogers backed up Crenshaw some more, but barely threw any strikes. Crenshaw got reckless for a second, Rogers threw him down, but he popped back up, and then took down Rogers. Rogers landed some decent elbows from his guard, while Crenshaw threw short punches from the top. Not a great fight, but it probably could have gone either way. All 3 judges scored it 29-28 in favor of Rogers.
      These guys circled around for a couple minutes, trading strikes, and then Burke dropped Elmore with a groin shot. Burke circled around Elmore for the rest of the round, landing a few strikes, but not really doing any damage. Elmore took down Burke with a minute left in the round, but only landed a handful of decent punches, while Burke smacked the shit out of him with a couple of upkicks. I'm scoring that round for Elmore based on the late ground & pound.
     Burke started the second round with a body kick, and then a flying guillotine choke which he used to mount Elmore. Elmore popped his head out, but Burke held a tight full mount for a little while. Burke was squeezing the shit out of Elmore for most of the second round, even though he wasn't doing a lot of damage, he was clearly making Elmore uncomfortable with that mount. He postured up with 2 minutes left in the round, and that allowed Elmore time to kick out and get back to his feet. Elmore blasted Burke with some heavy punches, rocking the shit out of him, and then he continued to attack him for a minute or so with big power punches & kicks, until he landed a final left hand that knocked Burke 100% unconscious. Awesome KO victory for Elmore, after a somewhat mediocre Bellator debut.
(Arm-Triangle Choke)
      These guys hopped around for a while in the first round, trading punches, with Khasbulaev landing the harder punches & kicks in the round. Around the halfway mark, Silva clinched, and took Khasbulaev down with a slick trip. Khasbulaev almost immediately swept him, landing in Silva's guard, Silva went for an armbar, and then Khasbulaev beat the shit out of him for the final 2 minutes on the ground. With a minute left, Khasbulaev fell back for a heel hook, but Silva escaped, so Khasbulaev switched to a kneebar, and then gave that up to go back to more ground & pound to finish the ground. Round one clearly goes to Khasbulaev.
     Silva landed some decent punches to start the second round, and then Khasbulaev took him down with a slow calculated double leg. He got on top in a weird position, flipped around to full mount, slapped on an arm-triangle choke, applied that squeeze, and Silva was forced to submit a 1:15 of the second round. That was a really outstanding fight for Magomedrasul Khasbulaev. This dude is pretty legit, especially compared to the rest of the guys on tonight's prelims.
      Bezerra dropped Silva early in the first round with a left hand, and then immediately grabbed his back, looking for a standing rear-naked choke. Silva was able to shake Bezerra off a minute into the exchange, with Silva ending up on top. The landed a few heavy hammerfists, Bezerra slapped on an armbar, and Silva was forced to submit. Outstanding performance by Alexandre Bezerra with the quick first round submission.
(Head Kick and Punches)
      These guys clinched, traded some knees to the body, and then broke apart. They traded some punches, and Richman dropped Jackson with a nice right hand. Jackson stood back up, and they clinched, trading some more knees to the body. Richman landed a nice 1-2 combination, dropping Jackson again, but he popped right back up. Richman dropped him again with a big left hand, and then jumped on him, landing inside his guard. Not a lot happened on the ground, so the referee stood them up with a minute left in the round. Richman landed some more punches, Jackson shot & failed with a takedown. Jackson threw a head kick, but it was blocked. With 10 seconds left in the round, Richman landed a perfect head kick, Jackson crumbled against the cage, and Richman punched him in the jaw repeatedly until the referee finally stopped the fight. That was an outstanding performance by Mike Richman, against a guy I've never heard of.
      Stepanyan threw a nice head kick in the first round, and then Sandro tried to power him to the ground with a back clinch, but Stepanyan did a good job staying on his feet. Stepanyan threw a body kick, and Sandro caught it, and tried to take him down, but failed. They traded a few punches, and then Sandro took Stepanyan down at the end of the round. I scored that round for Sandro, but it really could have gone either way.
     Stepanyan spent the second round teeing off on Sandro, rocking him in the first minute, and then he took him down with a body lock. Stepanyan eventually stood back up. They traded some strikes at a moderate pace for most of the second round, and then in the final 30 seconds, Sandro grabbed a body lock, took Stepanyan down, and slipped back for a leg lock of some sort, but Stepanyan was saved by the bell. Solid round by both fighters, but I probably would have scored it for Stepanyan based on the damage done early in the round. As the final round was starting, the referee randomly took a point away from Stepanyan for grabbing the cage at the end of the second round to avoid the leg lock. Weird call, but whatever. So I guess that round is a 9-9 round.
     Sandro took down Stepanyan to start the final round, and beat up his body with short punches. The referee got bored and stood them back up with 3 minutes left in the round. Sandro took Stepanyan down again, pinned him against the cage, and basically held him there until the end of the round. That final round clearly goes to Sandro. In the end, this fight could have easily been declared a draw, which would have given them an overtime round since it's a tournament fight, but two of the judges gave the fight to Sandro, for the majority decision victory.
      Falcao was aggressive at the start of the fight, pressuring Shlemenko, throwing a few strikes, and then initiating a clinch. They broke apart, they traded a few strikes, and then Shlemenko took Falcao down with a trip, but Falcao locked him up so nothing could happen on the ground. The referee quickly stood them back up. They traded a few strikes, and then clinched some more. That round wasn't very eventful, but I'd probably score it in favor of Falcao based on his forward pressure. The second round was an ugly back & forth brawl, with both guys looking kind of tired, and clunky, landing ugly punches & kicks, Falcao tried for a single leg takedown, Shlemenko dropped him with some weird strikes from the clinch, Falcao laid down, Shlemenko dropped a few big punches to his chin, and put him to sleep. Solid second round finish for Alexander Shlemenko in his return after a 15 month absence from the Bellator cage.