FIGHT! Facts & Rankings: Bellator 23 (VIDEO)
Joe Warren and Alexander Shlemenko both took home $100,000 checks from last night’s Bellator event at Fourth St. Live in Louisville, Ky. The winners of the featherweight and middleweight tourneys, respectively, also earned the right to take on Bellator’s reigning divisional champs Joe Soto and Hector Lombard.
Following a few minutes of sloppy striking, Shlemenko dropped Bryan Baker with a short precise right and finished him with a flurry of strikes from top position. “This victory means that strikers soon will be all over MMA and that Bellator Fighting Championships will be owned by the strikers,” Shlemenko said through his translator. Soon – maybe – but not now, as Joe Warren wrestled his way to victory over Patricio Freire.
The Brazilian looked phenomenal in the first round, rocking Warren with punches, neutralizing the Greco-Roman wrestler’s clinch and stuffing takedowns easily. Freire dropped Warren with a punch near the end of the round, followed him to the ground, threw strikes until Warren turned and secured a deep rear naked choke as the bell sounded. Just seconds from being finished Warren rallied in rounds two and three with effective takedowns, doing enough on top with elbows to take the fight on points.
Now Bellator gears up for the start of Season 3, which starts on Aug. 12 and features heavyweight, bantamweight, and women’s flyweight tournaments as well as four championship bouts: Hector Lombard vs. Alexander Shlemenko, Lyman Good vs. Ben Askren, Eddie Alvarez vs. Pat Curran, and Joe Soto vs. Joe Warren.
Full results and analysis of how Bellator 23 affected FIGH!’s computerized rankings are below.
(Shlemenko and Warren took home giant checks. Props to Bellator.)
Alexander Shlemenko def. Bryan Baker by TKO (strikes) at 2:45 of Round 1.
Joe Warren def. Patricio Freire by unanimous decision.
Zoila Frausto def. Rosi Sexton by KO (knee) at 2:00 of Round 1.
Nik “Garfield” Mamalis def. Albert Rios by TKO (strikes) at 4:40 of Round 1.
Brent Weedman def. John Troyer by submission (armbar) at 4:55 of Round 1.
Daniel Straus def. Chad Hinton by unanimous decision.
Stoney Hale def. Mike Fleniken by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:20 of Round 2.
Kurt Kinser def. David Overfield by TKO (strikes) at 2:30 of Round 1.
(Frausto and Mamalis finished their fights.)
At FIGHT! Magazine, we believe there is a need for a completely objective and unbiased ranking system for fighters to replace the myriad 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.
It was a good night for Bellator in our rankings as both of last night’s tournament winners jumped into the top 10 in their respective divisions. Joe Warren slides from #11 to #8 in our Featherweight Rankings with his defeat of previously unranked Patricio Freire. “Pitbull” enters our rankings at #17, and at only 22-years-old, he figures to be a force in the division for some time to come. Alexander Shlemenko leapt from #20 to #20 in our Middleweight Rankings after finishing Bryan Baker, who falls from #28 to #43. No other ranked fighters appeared on the card.