Bellator 162 results: Alexander Shlemenko, Bobby Lashley pick up wins
It looks like Alexander Shlemenko will be the next man to challenge for the 185-pound Bellator title.
Fighting in the main event of the card, Shlemenko defeated Kendall Grove in a wild, back-and-fourth scrap that had the Russian fighter in trouble at one point.
The 32-year-old Shlemenko caught the Hawaiian early in the fight, but going in for the kill Grove turned things around and caught Shlemenko with a well-timed hook, rocking the former Bellator champion. Grove then followed up with a series of punches and knees from the clinch, but it wasn't enough to put away Shlemenko. For the rest of the round, both middleweights exchanged solid strikes in an even fight.
Entering the second, Grove looked to stay away from brawling and stayed in the outside, utilizing his range. However, Shlemenko stalked Grove down and landed a left hook to liver followed by a right hook to Grove's chin, causing the Hawaiian to fall to the canvas. Shlemenko raised his hands in victory and then followed up with ground-and-pound, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
In the post-fight interview, Jimmy Smith asked Shlemenko on his thoughts on the title fight between champion Rafael Carvalho and Melvin Manhoef, and he'd like to fight the winner.
"I think Melvin will win, and I will wait for Melvin, again," Shlemenko replied to Smith.
Shlemenko is now 53-9 as a professional fighter, and looks to gain what he lost in 2014 – the middleweight title.
Additionally, Bobby Lashley faced Josh Appelt in the co-main event of the card, and it was another dominant performance for the pro wrestler.
Lashley and Appelt exchanged a few punches at the beginning of the fight, before Lashley scored a takedown against the cage. For the rest of the round, Lashley landed a steady stream of ground-and-pound and mixed it up with a few submission attempts, but nothing significant enough to get the referee to stop the fight.
At the start of the second, Lashley looked very tired, and for a second it seemed that things were going to go south for the 40-year-old heavyweight. But again, Lashley scored a takedown and began punching Appelt from turtle position. In one of the exchanges, Appelt let his guard down and Lashley snuck his massive right arm underneath Appelt's neck, and just a second or two after locking the rear-naked choke from turtle position, Appelt tapped out.
Lashley is now on an eight-fight wining streak and remains undefeated in Bellator. He's 15-2 as a professional fighter.
In the second fight of the main card, Goiti Yamauchi submitted Ryan Couture in 61 seconds.
This fight was Yamauchi's return to the lightweight division, and he delivered in impressive fashion. Couture took down the 23-year-old Yamauchi in the beginning of the round, and it was pretty much over from there, as Yamauchi played high guard to eventually lock up an arm-bar on Couture.
With this victory, Yamauchi is now 20-3 as a professional fighter, and 6-2 under the Bellator banner. He remains a hot prospect in MMA at only 23-years of age.
Opening the main card Hisaki Kato took on A.J. Matthews in a middleweight bout.
Kato started the first round looking sharp, catching Mathews with a heavy shot. But that power punch only seemed to wake up Mathews, as the 28-year-old fighter turned up the pressure and had Kato backing up for a good portion of the fight. A little past the first half of round one, Kato accidentally poked Matthews in the eye. The fight was stopped briefly, and when it was resumed the momentum that Matthews was carrying wasn't there anymore. Kato would go on to wobble Matthews towards the end of the round, following up with precise striking, and finishing Matthews via technical knockout with just two seconds remaining in the round.
Kato, who made a name of himself for his brutal knockouts over Joe Schilling, is now on a two-fight winning streak with both victories being technical knockouts.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall 2 to main event UFC Belfast with Gunnar Nelson out
The UFC's return to Northern Ireland is getting a significant reshuffling.
Gunnar Nelson is injured and out of his main event with Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 99 on Nov. 19 in Belfast, sources told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani. In that fight's place will be a new headliner: a rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall.
The extent of Nelson's injury is unclear at this time. The change has not yet been officially announced by the UFC.
Mousasi (40-6-2) is coming off a second-round TKO of Vitor Belfort at UFC 204 earlier this month. The Dutchman has won three straight and his lone loss since 2014 came against Hall in September 2015 via spinning kick-flying knee TKO. Mousasi, 31, is one of the best middleweights in the world, but is taking a break from trying to move up in the rankings to avenge the loss.
Hall (12-7) has lost two straight, most recently a first-round TKO defeat against Derek Brunson last month. The New York native has not won since beating Mousasi last year. Hall, 32, is an alum of The Ultimate Fighter 17 and had won five of six before this current skid.
UFC Fight Night 99 does not have an official co-main event. On the card, Ian McCall will meet Neil Seery and James Krause takes on Ross Pearson.