Bellator MMA Saturday live results & play-by-play: Shlemenko vs. Cooper in a great title fight


By Josh Nason

For those of you in the U.S. not watching the Notre Dame vs. Michigan football game or listening to the Bruce Mitchell show from Friday or sleeping in other parts of the world, there's a Bellator show happening on Spike TV, one marred by several injuries to a few of the key names on the roster.

Our action comes from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. No Joe Warren (commission decision) or Fight Master final (Joe Riggs injury) or original challenger for the 185-pound title (Doug Marshall got hurt).

Derek Anderson def. Patricky "Pitbull" Friere by u/d (29-28 x3 - 155)

Good opener for the show. Friere looked good in the first, but Anderson kept using his length to sneak jabs and kicks through. While they weren't hard shots, they broke Friere who was trying to defend and counter. Anderson remains undefeated while Pitbull has lost three in a row and four of his last five.

185-pound opening round: Perry Filkins def. Jeremy Kimball by 3rd round submission

Kimball was landing leg kicks and had Filkins all off balance in the first round, but Filkins used superior cardio and a persistent attack to wear down Kimball. In the 3rd, Filkins got a takedown and worked for a submission that was more a crossface than a rear naked choke. Very quick tap by Kimball, who looks like 170 is more his speed. This was not a pretty or technical fight by any means.

185-pound opening round: Brennan Ward def. Justin Torrey by 2nd round TKO

The highlight, if you can call it that, was a huge mouse that Ward created on Torrey's left eye. Between the 1st and 2nd round, the doctor and ref cleared Torrey to continue even though the eye was essentially closed. The ref even told him that he had to defend it, which I don't think I've heard before. Well, Ward attacked it and eventually popped it, causing blood to stream everywhere. Eventually, it got to the ground and Ward hammerfisted the hell out of his eye for the merciful stoppage. I've seen thousands of fights and am not squeamish, but the replay of the finish was tough to watch.

The most hurtful thing for Torrey? He almost had Ward out at the end of the 1st round, unleashing ground and pound until Ward was saved by the bell.

185-pound opening round: Jason Butcher def. Giva Santana by 2nd round TKO (3:48)

R1: Santana, known as 'The Arm Collector', got this to the ground early (surprise!) and found himself in a great position for a head and arm triangle. He locked on a tight one with less than a minute to go, but Butcher survived. 10-9 Santana, but Butcher avoided any armbars and fought through a submission many would have tapped to.

R2: Well, that changed quickly. Butcher started landing some fists and connected with a counter right that staggered Santana. He swarmed, caught Santana with a straight right that signaled the beginning of the end. Some ground and pound later and this was a wrap.

Santana retired after the fight, and got a nice ovation from the crowd...considering he's someone that most MMA fans couldn't pick out of a lineup. The 41-year-old ends his career at 18-3, and a winner of seven of his last nine. He fought four times in Bellator (2-2), but never competed in the UFC.

185-pound opening round: Mikkel Parlo def. Brian Rogers by u/d (30-27, 30-26 x2)

R1: Had this been in front of a UFC crowd, they likely would have cheered really loudly. This was a hard-hitting round with plenty of punches, kicks and knees that found a home. I'd give it to Parlo as he appeared a bit more precise. Rogers was blinking a lot. That's my expert analysis. Fun first round. 10-9 Parlo

R2: More of the same, but with a twist: Parlo got it to the ground about halfway through the round. Parlo was landing punches to a prone Rogers who was stuck on his back up against the cage. Rogers carries a lot of muscle mass that works against him cardio-wise. Easy 10-9 round for Parlo, so depending on how you scored the first, this could come down to the 3rd.

R3: Let me sum this up: Parlo on top of Rogers most of the round, Rogers makes a brief Hail Mary comeback attempt with a minute to go, Parlo thwarts it, hits a highlight reel knee and Dan Henderson-style KO punch that should have ended the fight but there was about 5 seconds to go. 10-9 Parlo for what should be a u/d victory. 

Two judges gave Parlo a 10-8 round.

Parlo is now 10-1, while Rogers drops to 10-6 and loses his second in a row. Since joining Bellator in September 2011, he hasn't won two straight (seven fights). 185-pound semifinals are Filkins vs. Ward and Butcher vs. Parlo on October 4th.  

185-pound champion Alexander Shlemenko def Brett Cooper by u/d (48-47) to retain the title.

Apparently, both guys are sparring partners, but Cooper doesn't like Shlemenko. The two fought in May 2011 with Shlemenko getting a u/d victory. Weidman/Silva II, this is not.

R1: Good first round. Cooper is giving it all he can, but AS is a few levels above. Just as I type that, Cooper nails AS with a counter left hook that staggers the champ badly. Cooper went on the attack, but AS tied up to defend. Cooper was still landing some clean shots, but gave AS too much time to recover. AS is still going for those wacky spinning back fists. 10-9 AS.

R2: Another good round. AS got bloodied up, but both guys are throwing punches with reckless abandon. AS turned it on with a huge flurry that nearly ended the fight with a minute left to go, but Cooper landed a right hand that dropped AS. Cooper had him hurt badly and nearly out on his feet, but stupidly backed off with 10 seconds to go and WENT FOR A TAKEDOWN. What? Great end to the 2nd round, but Cooper is going to kick himself if he doesn't win this. 10-9 Cooper

R3: Both guys are feeling the effects of the first 10 minutes. If Bellator had bonuses, these guys would earn them. Just when you think one guy gets the advantage, the other comes roaring back. AS tried for a guillotine, but Cooper escaped. Lots of punches standing. With less than a minute to go, Cooper gets a takedown but AS gets up quick. Tough round to score, but I'd give it 10-9 to the champ. Fun fight so far! 

R4: AS lands a huge left hand that drops Cooper and immediately swarms. AS is landing precision shots, but Cooper lands a few light uppercuts to fend him off. Cooper looks drained, but he's hanging in there. AS is landing accurate combos, but Cooper is hanging in there. Both guys are standing and trading and the crowd is into it. My DVR cut off, so that means a lot of people recording this are going to be pissed when they try to watch this later. 10-9 AS

R5: Cooper is desperately trying to get this to the mat, as AS is tagging him standing including that damn spinning back fist of doom. AS is scoring takedowns at will, and Cooper looks completely drained. AS dominates the last minute with a takedown and ground and pound. Not a Fight of The Year candidate, but still a great, fun fight to watch. 10-9 AS

The judges all gave AS three rounds. That's the champ's 11th straight win.

That's all from here. Bellator resumes this Friday at 9 PM EST. Good night!

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