Bellator Fighting Championships crowned a new Lightweight Tournament Champion in Michael Chandler at Bellator 44 last night. In addition to Chandler’s victory over Brazilian Knockout artist Patricky Pitbull and the $100,000 that goes with it, Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard added another knockout win and Alexander Shlemenko earned his way into the Season 5 Middleweight Tournament.
“I was hugely impressed with the performances our fighters put forth in our cage tonight,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The Pitbull-Chandler fight was an epic battle that had the audience out of their seats. Mike Chandler is a very special talent at 155. And, Lombard’s one-punch knockout was another Youtube KO for our middleweight champion. A great crowd got to see great fights live here at Caesars.”
Chandler entered the cage with confidence and an undefeated record, and elected to stand with the dangerous Patricky. It wasn’t long; however, before the NCAA wrestling standout forced the fight to the ground. The back and forth action took more of a toll on Patricky, as Chandler looked more energetic as the fight wound down. Despite losing a point for three low blows, Chandler impressed enough to win the decision and a shot against current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
In a middleweight non-title bout, Hawaiian born and UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale faced off against Bellator Middleweight World Champion Hector Lombard. The fight started slow but one heavy punch from the former Cuban Judo Olympian changed that and put Falaniko down for good. In the end, Lombard’s pre-fight comment that it would be just “another day at the office” proved true.
In another heavily anticipated fight and Season 5 middleweight tournament qualifier, hard-hitting Brett Cooper took on Bellator Season 2 Tournament Champion Alexander Shlemenko. Cooper remained aggressive throughout but caught one too many spinning back fists from the unorthodox Russian striker. Shlemenko punched his ticket to Bellator’s next middleweight tournament with a unanimous decision victory.
Official Main Card Results:
Michael Chandler defeated Patricky Pitbull via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Hector Lombard defeated Falaniko Vitale by KO at 0:54 of Round 3.
Alexander Shlemenko defeated Brett Cooper by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28)