Bellator’s middleweight finals will be contested by Bryan Baker and Alexander Shlemenko after both emerged victorious at last night’s event.
Shlemenko appeared to be heading for a defeat against Jared Hess going into the third round of their bout, but a knee strike early in the final stanza crumpled Hess to the mat and changed the complexion of the fight.
What had went unnoticed in the process was that Hess had suffered a horrific knee injury during the fall, but yet he was still continuing to fight. The damage only became apparent when he attempted to get to his feet and gave way in a direction it’s not supposed to.
It was a stomach churning moment, and replays of both the original fall and the subsequent stand-up revealed the full extent of one of the worst and most graphic injuries we’ve seen in the sport in quite some time.
For his part Hess stayed remarkably calm throughout the whole ordeal but he was eventually taken out of the cage on a stretcher and it may be quite some time before he returns.
In the other semi-final Bryan Baker made short work of Eric Shambari, requiring just half of the opening round to secure a triangle choke submission victory.
Elsewhere on the main card former UFC heavyweight fighter Eddie Sanchez showed heart to come back from a knockdown and ground and pound assault in the second round to eventually swing the bout back in his favor and then punch out an exhausted Marcus Sursa early in the third.
Main Card Results:
- Bryan Baker def. Eric Schambari via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:29
- Alexander Shlemenko def. Jared Hess via TKO (knee injury) – Round 3, 2:20
- Eddie Sanchez def. Marcus Sursa via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:23
- Nik Mamalis def. Mark Oshiro via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 2, 1:29