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Bellator 98 Post-Fight Recap: Shlemenko Edges Cooper In a War
The Bellator MMA middleweight world championship at the Cabaret Theater in the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, went off tonight and with it, a very good card. Every fight in tonight’s main-card event was pretty decent and for the most part, entertaining.
The card featured 6 bouts with none being blow-outs or quick finishes and the paying, and viewing crowds, should certainly have been pleased. Although there were no stand-out or exceptional bouts, they were, nonetheless, well matched and for the most part competitive. All the bouts had solid back-and-forth, with some fighters (literally) being saved by the bell. The card was also blessed with good officiating.
Here are the results, as they transpired:
Fight #1: Patricky Pitbull (155) vs. Derek Anderson (154)
Round 1: An entertaining round, to say the least. Both fighters came out and clashed immediately, with Pitbull getting the better of it. As Anderson through punches, Pitbull was throwing bombs. The fight finally made its way to the ground, where Pitbull was dominating the fight, moving from full-mount to having an Anderson in a nasty triangle choke, which he finally slammed his way out of. As the round ended, the fight was back to its feet; 10 – 9, Pitbull
Round 2: Both fighters came out and Pitbull seemed to want to move to the ground. Unable to do so in a meaningful manner the fight kept on its feet and both fighters settled in. As the round progressed Anderson started getting the better of the tiring Pitbull, and started working his range; 10 – 9, Anderson.
Round 3: PB came out and looked tentative and tired. Still in the fight, he seemed to be having trouble fending off Anderson, while up against the cage. As the round progressed, Anderson confidence seemed to grow and he began to hit Pitbull with effective combinations, including a nice spinning back-kick to the jaw. In watching him work Pitbull around the cage he reminded me very much of Nick Diaz; 10 – 9, Anderson.
The judge’s awarded a unanimous decision victory, to Derek Anderson.
Fight # 2: Jeremy Kimball (186) vs. Perry Filkins (186)
Round 1: Kimball came out aggressively and with a combination of unorthodox strikes dominated Filkins for the entire round. He demonstrated a lot of angles and set a high pace. Filkins, for the most part didn’t know what to do with him; throwing in 4 take-downs in the round Kimball easily won the round; 10 – 9, Kimball.
Round 2: The pace slowed as the round broke and unfolded and the slower pace seemed to benefit Filkins. Where he was outclassed everywhere in the first, Perry began to score strikes and take-downs of his own, and began to progressively take more energy from Kimball. As the round ended, Filkins had Kimball’s back and was raining down blows on Kimball’s turtled-up head. As the referee looked close to ending the round, the bell rang and Kimball was saved; 10 – 9 Filkins.
Round 3: Kimball came out good and with some pace began to score points again, but it was Filkins that looked to be the more confident fighter. As Kimball struck, pointed and moved, Filkins kept moving forward and garner some strikes of his own. As Kimball tired, he went for a takedown that failed and Filkins began to work his ground game. With some rolling and change of positions, Filkins finally took Kimball’s back and chocked him out; winner by rear-naked choke, Perry Filkins, 4:18 of the 3rd round.
Fight #3:Justin Torrey (185) vs. Brennan Ward (185.25)*Replacement
Round 1: The bell rang and the fighters went at it immediately, with Brennan Ward getting the better of it. With some nasty shots, he pushed the fight up against the cage and then took it to the ground with a big slam. However, he was unable to advance his position or land any meaningful damage. Torrey was able to sweep the position and began to control ward on the ground and delivering his own punishment. As the round ended Torrey had been able to take full-mount and was dropping bombs on Ward. If ever a fighter was saved by the bell, then surely it was Ward in this one; 10 – 9, Torrey.
Round 2: Somewhere along the line Torrey must have taken a nasty shot, because the ring-doctor came out to check Torrey’s ugly and shut, left eye. With the doctor’s OK and Torrey’s heart the round began and Ward went to targeting that eye. As if he could only see one thing, Ward kept going for it and landing it. Wanting to get in close, Ward took the fight to the ground and in side control of Torrey, he began to hammer Torrey’s eye with repeated blows. Having seen enough, the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, at the 3:38 mark or round #2; winner by un-answered strike, Brennan Ward.
Fight #4:Jason Butcher (184.5) vs. Giva Santana (185.5)
Round 1: Butcher came out blasting and using his range effectively, Santana went for the takedown and got it. From that point, he slowly and methodically began to work his ground game, throwing no punches. After, what seemed to be an eternity, he finally worked his way to full mount and worked a nasty arm-neck choke. Butcher somehow and magically survived it. Sensing he couldn’t sink it, Santana finally gave it up, with the bell ring shortly thereafter; 10 – 9, Santana.
Round 2: Butcher came out and it was obvious he wanted to keep the fight standing. With Santana looking a little tired, he tried to take the fight back-down to the ground and his bread-and-butter. However, lacking the energy to get a take-down he was forced to stand-and-trade with the fresher, Butcher. Butcher came forward and wobbled Santana with a solid, short-right. Pursing his opponent to the cage, Butcher once again rocked and dropped Santana, finishing on the canvas with a series of lefts; winner by TKO at 1: 12 in round #2, Jason Butcher.
Fight #5: Mikkel Parlo (185) vs. Brian Rogers (185)
Round 1: Like all the fights tonight, the bell rang and the 2 opponents just went out it; no feeling out process required. Parlo dropped Rogers early, but with no real effect. At moments the fight looked like 2 rock ‘em sock ‘em robots just throwing heavy shots at one another. As the two go at it, you might have thought it was a 1 round fight; as the round broke Rogers looked to be tired, already.
Round 2: The second round was really all Parlo. As Rogers continued to tire, Parlo was able to take the fight to the ground and work a methodical game of punishment. With Rogers on his back, Parlo delivered judicious shots to the head and body, and there was precious little that Rogers could do about it. By rounds end, Parlo had assumed full mount and was dominating Rogers.
Round 3: Although tired, Rogers came out moving forward and as aggressively as he could. After a nice clinch, that saw Rogers exchanging hard upper-cuts, for nasty knees taken, the fight went to the ground, with a Parlo take-down. Once there, Parlo played a game of heavy top-control and efficient expenditure of energy to beat Rogers up. At one point it was really starting to look bad, but Rogers was able to get up. However, Parlo simply moved the beating over to the fence. He got him down again and as the round was nearing end, Parlo was hammering Rogers with big shots and knees. Roger’s, with one hand on the matt to avoid knees to the head, finally had to give up the position and as he did he was rocked by a big knee. Falling back and to the canvas, Parlo followed Rogers and began hitting him with shots, as the bell rang, Rogers looked to be out; winner by unanimous decision; Mikkel Parlo.
Fight #6: Alexander Shlemenko (183.25) vs. Brett Cooper (184.75)
Round 1: As the bell rang and the fight began, Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko came out and took control of the ring. Working from range Shlemenko began working his opponent and in catching one of Cooper’s leg kicks and pushing him to the ground, the champion immediately backed off and invited Cooper to stand and begin to trade, again. However, in doing so, Cooper got back up and wobbled the champion, but he failed to capitalize on his achievement and allowed Shlemenko to recover. Through the round Cooper held his own; however, Shlemenko surely won the 5 minutes, with better generalship; 10 – 9, Shlemenko.
Round 2: Cooper came out looking confident and perhaps a little fresher than the champ. For his part, Shlemenko perhaps looked a little discouraged and now has a cut over his left eye. Shlemenko continued to work angles and turn up the intensity, while moving forward. As he did Cooper hit him with a big right, wobbled the champ once again and was back in the fight. Cooper scored a take-down. In all likelihood, Cooper stole the round; 10 – 9, Copper.
Round 3: Again Cooper looks to be the fresher fight at rounds beginning, however, Shlemenko was still controlling the Octagon and pointing his way to another 10- 9 round. In doing so, the champ looked to be rallying for the previous round’s ending. As Shlemenko works, he looks to be the more accurate and productive striker; outpointing Copper through the round. Cooper for his part, seemed to be looking to counter with one big shot. With failed efforts to get it to the ground, Cooper had to deal with the more aggressive Shlemenko on the feet and was out-pointed; 10 – 9, Shlemenko.
Round 4: Shlemenko came out and immediately swarmed Cooper and wobbled him, in doing so. With his nose bloodied and up-against-the cage, Cooper was beginning to look sluggish and intimidate. However and with Shlemenko stalking him, Cooper managed to recover and began to catch the tiring Shlemenko with a left, but it’s not enough. As the round closed the champ was finding his range and beginning to catch Cooper on the chin, consistently. However, lacking the KO power to put him down, Cooper withstood it. Of the round, no one can question Copper’s chin; 10 – 9, Shlemenko.
Round 5: The round began with Cooper coming out aggressively and looking good, but Shlemenko met his attacks with a bunch of lefts. With both fighters tiring Shlemenko managed another takedown of the exhausted Cooper and with not much for him on the ground, the battling Cooper managed to make his way back to the feet. However, once there, he had nothing in the way of offense or energy, and Shlemenko was able to finish out the round with another take-down; winner by way of unanimous decision (48 – 47) and still Bellator middleweight champion, Alexander Shlemenko.