Bellator 54 took place tonight in Atlantic City, New Jersey tonight and the crowd was treated to a solid card. The Bellator Season Five middleweight tournament final was set after Alexander Shlemenko and Vitor Vianna picked up victories tonight at Bellator 54. The two will face each other at Bellator 58, where a title shot and $100,000 will be on the line.
In the main event, Shlemenko recovered from a tough first round to defeat Brian Rogers via TKO. Shlemenko was knocked down in the first, but managed to keep it reasonably close with his trademark spinning strikes. In the second, Rogers had the momentum early before Shlemenko cracked him with a flush shot that completely changed the bout. From that point on Rogers desparately tried to regain his legs and landed a hard shot on Shlemenko. However, the relentless Russian regained his senses quickly and unloaded with hard knees that finally dropped Rogers.
Vitor Vianna showed his composure in the face of a heavy attack by Brian Baker to score a TKO victory. Baker launched a wild assault on the BJJ ace but left himself vulnerable to counters. Vianna landed a wicked overhand right and nearly cost himself a victory when he fired a soccer kick to the head of Baker that just missed. Vianna then finished Baker with hammerfists to end the bout.
Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky was impressive in victory over Ryan Roberts. The former Drexel wrestler controlled Roberts with impressive speed in the striking game and slick takedowns. Eventually “Fun Size” advanced to north-south position and forced the one-time UFC fighter to tap.
In the opener, Jacob Kirwan upset the talented BJJ fighter Rene Nazare by out wrestling the BJJ world champion. Kirwan handed Nazare his first professional loss with the win. The bout was one of the few times that Nazare has not looked dominant in his career as he was just unable to do much with Kirwan.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
- Middleweight tournament semifinal – Alexander Shlemenko def. Brian Rogers via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:30
- Middleweight tournament semifinal – Vitor Vianna def. Bryan Baker via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:54 -
- Non-title bantamweight fight – Zach Makovsky (c) def. Ryan Roberts via submission (north-south choke) – Round 1, 4:48
- Jacob Kirwan def. Rene Nazare via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
- Duane Bastress def. Daniel Gracie via TKO (cut) – Round 2, 5:00
- Joey Kirwan def. Lewis Rumsey via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:40
- Claudio Ledesma def. Brian Kelleher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andria Caplan def. Adrienne Seiber via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)