Bellator 88 was headlined by a middleweight title fight featuring Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao, and the season eight featherweight tournament also got underway.
Here are the results of the Bellator 88 fight card held on Feb. 7, at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao
Both men landed their share of shots during the first round, with Falcao getting the better of the striking exchanges. However, Shlemenko turned up the heat in the second round, softening Falcao up with some vicious shots to the body.
The Russian eventually dropped Falcao to the ground, and he followed up with some vicious ground-n-pound, knocking out the Brazilian at the 2:18 mark of the second round. With the win, Shlemenko secured the Bellator middleweight title.
Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan (featherweight quarterfinal)
Stepanyan got off to a good start at Bellator 88, dominating the first two rounds of their encounter with his striking. However, a questionable decision by referee George Allen — who deducted a point from Stepanyan for grabbing the cage prior to the start of the third round — evened up the fight.
Sandro capitalized on the opportunity, keeping Stepanyan on his back for the majority of the final round. Judge Joey Harnist scored the fight 28-28 (same score I had on my scorecard), while judges Derek Cleary and Ken Coffey both scored the fight 29-27 in favor of Sandro.
Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson (featherweight quarterfinal)
Richman looked solid at Bellator 88, dominating his encounter against Jackson. He dropped Mitch several times during their encounter, and he sealed the deal with a vicious high kick during the final minute of the first round, followed by some vicious ground-n-pound. Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight with three seconds left in the first round.
Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair da Silva (featherweight quarterfinal)
Bezerra stunned da Silva early in their encounter with a stiff jab, and he used the opportunity to transition to Genair’s back. Silva had a hard time shaking him off, but he eventually made some space and ended up in top guard.
Genair proceeded with some ground-n-pound, but he got a bit careless with his arms. Bezerra made him pay and secured an armbar, forcing the tap at the 1:40 mark of the first round.
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva (arm-triangle, round two)
Joe Elmore def. Jerrid Burke (KO, round two)
Ronnie Rogers def. Shane Crenshaw (unanimous decision)
Clay Harvison def. Ururahy Rodrigues (TKO, round three)
George Hickman def. Stephen Upchurch (rear-naked choke, round one)