There was no Bellator title on the line tonight in Fresno, CA, but the main event was still an anticipated "violent KO in waiting" between middleweights Alexander Shlemenko and Melvin Manhoef. These are two entertaining strikers and the expectation was that this wouldn't go the distance. In the co-main event, Daniel Weichel aimed to extend his winning streak to 7 against recently dethroned featherweight champion Pat Curran. Here are the results from Friday's show, the first of two for Bellator this month.
Alexander Shlemenko def. Melvin Manhoef via KO (spinning forearm and punch) at 1:25 of round 2
Shlemenko was able to outland Manhoef in the opening round, but all of his takedowns were stuffed and Manhoef was the one who connected the hardest strike with a big right hand against the cage. Alexander was able to shake it off and while he wasn't on wobbly legs, he was certainly affected by Manhoef's power.
The 2nd round, however, provided the decisive blow for Shlemenko. His spinning backfist attempt ended up with his forearm catching Manhoef at full speed. Melvin staggered back, fell to his back, and Shlemenko threw one last punch to get the stoppage. Shlemenko said he "wants his belt back" after losing his Bellator title to Brandon Halsey, while Manhoef suffers his 2nd KO in 90 days.
Here's the finish courtesy of the one and only Zombie Prophet.
Daniel Weichel def. Pat Curran via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Weichel may very well have earned himself a featherweight title shot against the Patricio Freire/Georgi Karakhanyan winner. The season 10 tournament champion dispatched Curran in a decision that should've probably been unanimous instead of split. Weichel was the more aggressive fighter and landed the cleaner shots. The only bit of trouble he was in was when Curran took him down late in the 2nd and tried to advance to full mount. Weichel prevented that from happening but lost the round. This is a big loss for Curran, who now drops to 1-3 in his last 4 and continues to have problems generating consistent offense.
Budd did whatever she wanted against an offensively inept Holloway. The scorecards reflect the domination as Budd controlled Holloway on the ground, taking her down with ease and doing everything except get the finish. Holloway was flat out in defensive mode for almost the entire fight and it made for some bad viewing. It definitely wasn't a good fight and not worth revisiting ... ever again.
Chris Honeycutt def. Clayton McFarlane by TKO (punches) at 4:16 of round 3
Have you ever seen a fight end with punches to the shoulder blade? Because that's what happened to Clayton McFarlane. Honeycutt kept his undefeated record intact by soundly outgrappling the Xplode Fight Series product, and he was able to get the finish by getting back mount on McFarlane, flattening him out, and then punching him repeatedly until referee Jason Herzog stopped the fight. Here's the Vine courtesy of Zombie Prophet.
Preliminary Card Results
Emilio Chavez defeats Art Arciniega by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x 2)
Blake Watkins defeats George Zuniga by KO (punches) R1 0:55
Paul Ruiz defeats Nick Sperling by submission (guillotine choke) R1 0:43