Bellator MMA returned to the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday night with a middleweight title fight and several tournament semifinal bouts.
Alexander Shlemenko scored the 50th win of his career – his thirteenth consecutive victory – by taking out challenger Brennan Ward.
Ward came out gunning for Shlemenko and landed several solid shots, but none matched the brutal power that the Russian was firing. Ward’s brightest moments were on the mat, twice threatening a guillotine choke in the opening round.
After thwarting his attempts in round one, Shlemenko brutalized Ward’s ribs in the opening minute of round two with knees and kicks. Surprising nearly everyone, as Ward shot in for a takedown, Shlemenko caught him in a guillotine choke and quickly finished the fight.
Aside from his overall winning streak, Shlemenko has now successfully defended his Bellator middleweight championship three times.
In one half of the featherweight semifinal bracket, Matt Bessette had a strong second round against Daniel Weichel. Unfortunately for Bessette, his strong round was sandwiched by much stronger first and third-round efforts from Weichel, who was much more aggressive, scoring strong in the both the stand-up game, and with his takedowns and ground work.
Weichel won a unanimous decision to land a spot in the featherweight final.
In the other featherweight semifinal bracket, Des Green bested Will Martinez both in the striking department on the feet and with numerous takedowns. With neither fighter threatening much of a finish, Green was awarded a unanimous decision victory and moves into the final opposite Weichel.
Kendall Grove dominated the first round of his middleweight semifinal bout, nearly securing a rear naked choke on Brett Cooper and then ground and pounding him to the bell. Cooper eventually turned the tables in round two, dropping Grove with an right uppercut-right cross combination and then knocking him unconscious with a flurry of follow-up punches on the mat.
With the victory, Cooper punched his ticket to the middleweight final.
Bellator 114 Results
Main Card Bouts
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brennan Ward by Sub (Guillotine Choke) at 1:22 R2
Daniel Weichel def. Matt Bessette by Unan Dec (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Desmond Green def. Will Martinez by Unan Dec (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Brett Cooper def. Kendall Grove by KO (Punches) at 3:33, R2
Preliminary Card Bouts
Rad Martinez def. Edson Berto by Unan Dec
Justin Wilcox def. Jason Fischer by Unan Dec
Bubba Jenkins def. Sean Powers by Unan Dec
Linton Vassell def. Trevor Carlson by Sub (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:54, R2
Gavin Sterritt def. Mike Estus by Sub (Guillotine Choke) at 3:29, R1
Joe Rodriguez def. Eric Wahlin by Sub (Arm Triangle Choke) at 2:06, R2