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Alexander Shlemenko moves to Bellator tournament final with fifth straight win

Few middleweights outside of the UFC are as hot as Alexander Shlemenko these days. Entering last night’s Bellator 54 lineup, the 27-year old Russian had won four fights in a row and eleven of his last twelve with the only exception involving a decision defeat to explosive 185-pound champion Hector Lombard.

By evening’s end Shlemenko had picked consecutive victory #5 and, as a result, also advanced to the final of a Bellator tournament for the second time in his career.

Shlemenko and opponent Brian Rogers slugged it out from the start with Rogers nearly ending things early after a well-placed strike put “The Storm” on his backside. However, Shlemenko got back to business shortly thereafter, landing a few powerful punches of his own and ultimately putting Rogers away with a series of knees midway through the fight’s second stanza.

Facing Shlemenko in the final will be Vitor Vianna, a well-rounded Brazilian who trains alongside Wanderlei Silva in Las Vegas. The 12-1-1 Vianna, whose only loss was the result of an injury-based stoppage, dropped the heavily favored Bryan Baker in the opening minute of their co-headlining clash and put him away with a number of follow-up strikes.

The two middleweights will take to the cage against each other in November with a $100,000 paycheck and title-fight against Lombard on the line.

Here is a complete rundown of Bellator 54 results:

Andria Caplan def. Adrienne Seiber via Unanimous Decision
Claudio Ledesma def. Brian Kelleher via Unanimous Decision
Joey Kirwan def. Lewis Rumsey via Submission Round 1 (Guillotine Choke)
Tim Carpenter def. Ryan Contaldi via Knockout Round 1 (Strikes)
Duane Bastress def. Daniel Gracie via TKO Round 2 (TKO – Cut Stoppage)
Jacob Kirwan def. Rene Nazare via Unanimous Decision
Zach Makovsky def. Ryan Roberts via Submission Round 1 (North-South Choke)
Vitor Vianna def. Bryan Baker via TKO Round 1 (Strikes)
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brian Rogers via TKO Round 2 (Strikes)



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