Bryan Baker put an exclamation point on a sensational night of fights and turned in a stellar performance against Season 1 Middleweight Tournament Finalist Jared Hess. Both men were committed to takedowns but Baker was able to outwork Hess on the mat. Baker secured two anaconda chokes and attempted a rear naked choke more than once, but in the end it was an exciting ground and pound finish by Baker who sunk in his hooks from rear mount and flattened out Hess until there was no escape from his ground assault.
Alexander Shlemenko showed that he is a complete mixed martial artist and used a standing guillotine choke to submit Zelg Galesic at 1:55 of the first round and as a result will advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
Bryan Rogers defeated Victor O’Donnell by ground and pound as well, but it was a questionable stoppage after Rogers dropped his opponent with a head kick and a barrage of punches. The straight right was the shot that put O’Donnell down and after a number of unanswered punches the referee ran right in to waive a stop to the contest.
In the closest fight of the night, Vitor Vianna edged Sam Alvey by split decision. Alvey opened a cut on Vianna and landed a number of jabs and leg kicks, but Vianna controlled the pace and the judges eventually awarded the Brazilian the victory.
The competition will only get tougher as Baker, Shlemenko, Rogers and Vianna advance to the semifinals. All of these men are working for a shot at reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard. The semifinals will feature Rogers taking on Shlemenko, and Baker meeting Vianna.