Three impressive finishes and one lopsided decision set the semi-finals for Bellator Fighting Championship’s Middleweight Tournament.
(Alexander Shlemenko is favored to make win the tourney with his arsenal of flashy strikes. See Tim Brumitt’s full gallery here.)
Jared Hess def. Ryan McGivern by submission (guillotine choke) at 1:54 or Round 2 to advance in the Middleweight Tournament.
Bryan Baker def. Sean Loeffler by TKO at 2:43 of Round 1 to advance in the Middleweight Tournament.
Eric Schambari def. Luke Zachrich by submission (Von Flue choke) at 3:34 of Round 1 to advance in the Middleweight Tournament.
Alexander Shlemenko def. Matt Major by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to advance in the Middleweight Tournament.
Eric Marriott def. Demi Deeds by submission (triangle) at 3:02 of Round 2.
Drew Dober def. Nick Nolte by submission (arm triangle) at 4:45 of Round 1.
Danny Tims def. Brian Davidson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Brent Weedman def. Rudy Bears by TKO at 4:19 of Round 1.
At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad of subjective rankings that have become skewed, in many instances, by fighter popularity. In an effort to address this issue FIGHT! Magazine brings you its computerized rankings system which takes into account a fighters strength of opponent, strength of performance, and frequency of activity.
As Bellator’s middleweights rack up qualifying wins for FIGHT!’s rankings system we’ll likely see the tournament winner and no. 1 challenger to reigning champion Hector Lombard enjoy top-25 status. But for right now, the best of Bellator’s 185-ers are either unranked or hovering between no. 40 and 86.
No. 42-ranked middleweight Bryan Baker enjoyed no change in his status after a win over unranked Sean Loeffler. Jared Hess moved from #60 to #43 with his win over IFL vet Ryan McGivern, who re-enters our rankings at #86. WEC vet Eric Schambari stayed put at #52 with his win over unranked Luke Zachrich. All other fighters on the card remain unranked.
(FIGHT!’s ‘Full Time Fighter’ winner Drew Dober finished Nick Nolte impressively. See Tim Brumitt’s full gallery here.)
Bellator Fighting Championship CEO Bjorn Rebney announced the match-ups for the semifinals of the Middleweight Tournament: Bryan Baker will fight Eric Schambari and Alexander Shlemenko will fight Jared Hess on May 27 at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio.
The winner of the Middleweight Tournament will fight Champion Hector Lombard in September.
Rebney made a point to commend Matt Major at the post-fight press conference on the “amazing heart” he showed in his loss to Shlemenko. “He showed us an awful lot. There are a lot of different people who’ve said a lot of things about Matt Major, about his personality. Well I think he showed a lot of people tonight that he is a fighter. [He] has a heart of a fighter and he’ll be back here with us again.
“When you walk down, you can see a lot of the cleavage of the women outside the bar and that was a little bit of a distraction,” explained Sean Loeffler regarding the unique challenges of competing on the Kansas City Power & Light District outdoor stage. “But I would also like to say that I appreciate the type of dresses that women of Missouri wear.”
Bryan Baker is riding a six-fight win streak, one more than the 5 consecutive wins of his next opponent Eric Schambari. Schambari’s streak dates back to his single loss, a 2007 razor thin split decision he dropped to Baker in the WEC.
If Alexander Shlemenko wasn’t dizzy from the near constant spinning backfists/kicks he threw at Matt Major, he must have, at least, been disoriented by the fact that his opponent kept coming forward. Somewhere there is a compu-strike employee in need of a vacation.
FIGHT Magazine’s Full Time Fighter award winner Drew Dober looked spectacular in his first round stoppage victory of Nick Nolte (2-2). After winning the stand-up, and taking down his opponent, Dober established mount and applied an Arm Triangle to coax the tapout at 4:45 of the 1st.