Bellator 88: Shlemenko Claims Middleweight Title in Knockout Fashion

Bellator 88 delivered a night of intense mixed martial arts action, culminating in a dramatic victory that crowned a new middleweight champion. The event, which took place at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia, saw Russian powerhouse Alexander Shlemenko face off against Brazilian contender Maiquel Falcao for the vacant title.

Main Event: Shlemenko vs. Falcao

The headline bout was a showcase of Shlemenko’s striking prowess. After a cautious start, Shlemenko unleashed a series of body shots in the second round that visibly hurt Falcao. A left to the body followed by a knee spelled the beginning of the end for the Brazilian. Shlemenko’s relentless attack continued until Falcao collapsed, prompting the referee to step in and declare Shlemenko the winner by knockout. This victory marked Shlemenko’s 10th consecutive win and his 28th career knockout, solidifying his position as one of the most formidable strikers in the middleweight division.

Featherweight Tournament Highlights

The event also featured the Season 8 featherweight tournament, with several fighters vying for a chance to challenge the reigning champion. Marlon Sandro, a well-known name in the featherweight ranks, secured a majority decision win over Akop Stepanyan in a bout that tested his grappling against Stepanyan’s striking. Mike Richman made a statement with a first-round knockout of Mitch Jackson, courtesy of a head kick and punches combination that left the crowd in awe.

Alexandre Bezerra impressed with a quick submission victory over Genair da Silva, locking in an armbar in the first round. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev continued his winning streak by submitting Fabricio Guerreiro with an arm-triangle choke in the second round, demonstrating his grappling acumen and earning a spot in the tournament’s semifinals.

Event Overview

Bellator 88 was a night that mixed martial arts enthusiasts won’t soon forget. With a blend of knockouts, submissions, and tactical battles, the fighters on the card provided a thrilling spectacle. The event’s success was reflected in the TV ratings, with an average of 807,000 viewers tuning in to witness the action unfold.

As the dust settles, Alexander Shlemenko stands tall as the new Bellator middleweight champion, a “Natural Born Finisher” who has once again proven his mettle inside the cage. The featherweight tournament has set the stage for more exciting matchups, with the semifinals promising to deliver just as much, if not more, excitement as the quarterfinals.

Bellator 88 was a testament to the promotion’s ability to put on high-caliber events that captivate the MMA community. With new storylines emerging and champions crowned, fans are already looking forward to the next installment of Bellator’s action-packed series.

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