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Bellator 54 Recap: Shlemenko & Vianna Advance, Big Rig is Bellator Bound

Shlemenko vs. Rogers from last night’s Bellator 54

If last night’s Bellator 54 in Atlantic City, New Jersey was a preview of things to come, then under no condition should you skip the finale of this season’s middleweight tournament. Unless you don’t like watching exciting brawls and devastating knockouts. In that case, I really don’t know why you’re here in the first place.

Alexander Shlemenko and Brian Rogers both promised a knockout before the fight, and it quickly became apparent that neither man planned on breaking that promise. A back and forth battle from the opening seconds, the fight saw each fighter land hard shots to his opponent. In the second round, however, Shlemenko’s superior clinch game helped him get the better of Rogers, as Shlemenko rocked Rogers with knees to the head before the referee stopped the fight. Alexander Shlemenko is now 42-7 in his MMA career, and 6-1 in Bellator.

The evening’s co-main event, Vitor Vianna took home a quick TKO over Bryan Baker. From the start of the fight, Baker showed little respect for Vianna’s striking. Bryan Baker chose to throw bombs at Vianna in hopes of getting a quick finish. Bryan Baker chose poorly.

In a non-title bantamweight scrap, Bellator champion Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky took home a first round north-south choke against a game, but overmatched Ryan Roberts. The victory marks Makovsky’s eighth straight. Meanwhile, Roberts is still searching for his first victory in Bellator, having lost a unanimous decision to Eric Marriott at Bellator 32 in his last appearance with the promotion.

Also of note, those of you who watched the prelims on have noticed that Bellator has signed UFC veteran Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao. The 28-4 Chute Boxe product is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with twenty three of his victories ending via knockout. Unfortunately, you probably remember him for beating Gerald Harris at UFC 123 in a fight so boring that both men were subsequently bounced from the UFC. To be fair, Big Rig was technically cut due to legal issues. Hopefully Falcao will add more exciting fights to a middleweight division already full of them.

Full results, courtesy of


Alexander Shlemenko def. Brian Rogers via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:30 – middleweight-tourney semifinals
Vitor Vianna def. Bryan Baker via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:54 – middleweight-tourney semifinals
Champ Zach Makovsky def. Ryan Roberts via submission (north-south choke) – Round 1, 4:48 – non-title bantamweight fight
Jacob Kirwan def. Rene Nazare via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)


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)

Cagepotato Comments

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XENOPHON- October 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm
Good fight, Bellator rocks!
Todd M- October 17, 2011 at 2:15 am
@ Charlie Murphy, Your Boy Tim dropped that fella like a bag of rocks, sweet uppercut, Shame on you CP for not mentioning that one. Slemenko has some heart but we allready knew that, brutal knees but the corner was complaining that Rogers hair was being grabbed, kinda hard to tell on the replays but I definately saw him grabbing at it. LOL at the crowd BOO Dirty Russian, good stuff there. Bryan Baker left himself exposed similar to how Mevin Guillard did last week and got the same result, back to the drawing board for him. That choke Fun Size pulled was sweet, can't remember the last time I saw a North/South. Falcao heading to Bellator is awesome, that guy is brutal and I expect some good fights for him there, all round great card.
smellypiratehooker- October 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm
The champ must have retired his trademark " flurry to the solar plexus"
charliemurphy- October 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm
You left out my friend and training partner Tim Carpenter's results from the Prelim's. Expect big things from him.
SethF- October 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm
De nada, Karma
KarmaAteMyCat- October 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm
SethF- October 16, 2011 at 11:26 am
Much inspirational, Crush.
CrushCo- October 16, 2011 at 11:17 am
Zach Makovsky only strengthens my theory that you never, ever let your girlfriend choose your nickname.