Bellator Fighting Championships returns TONIGHT (Sept. 7, 2013) at The Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, with the debut of season nine featuring a middleweight title fight and the middleweight tournament quarterfinals.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of Bellator 98 below, beginning with the Spike TV telecast at 8 p.m. ET. In addition, we'll deliver up-to-the-minute quick results of all the undercard action much earlier in the evening (beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET), as well as a live stream of the preliminary action.
Headlining the main event will be a middleweight title fight between champion Alexander Shlemenko and challenger Brett Cooper. Cooper was recently a runner-up in the Bellator season eight middleweight tournament but is stepping up as the first fighter to cash in on the new Bellator injury replacement clause as Doug Marshall was unable to compete.
Joe Warren was supposed to fight in the co-main event but was not medically cleared by the local commission.
Last but not least, the season nine middleweight tournament will be kicking off with the quarterfinals as top contenders Jeremy Kimball, Brian Rogers, Jason Butcher, Giva Santana and more all vie for a shot at the title.
Complete Bellator 98 quick results and live play-by-play are posted below!
185 lb. title: Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper via unanimous decision (48-47x3)
185 lbs.: Mikkel Parlo def. Brian Rogers via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Jason Butcher def. Giva Santana via TKO (punches) at 1:12 of round two
185 lbs.: Brennan Ward def. Justin Torrey via TKO (punches) at 3:28 of round two
185 lbs.: Perry Filkins def. Jeremy Kimball by submission (rear naked choke) in round three
155 lbs.: Derek Anderson def. Patricky Pitbull via unanimous decision
205 lbs.: Jeff Nader vs. Mike Mucitelli ends in a no contest (accidental eye poke)
155 lbs.: Ryan Quinn def. Brylan Van Artsdalen via submission (arm triangle) at 2:34 of round one
135 lbs.: Matt Bessette def. Nick Piedmont via TKO (punches) at 1:41 of round one
135 lbs.: Rico Disciullo def. Glenn Allair via knockout (elbows) at 1:21 of round one
265 lbs.: Josh Diekman def. Parker Porter via TKO (strikes) at 1:12 of round one
185 lb. title: Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper
Round one: Cooper comes out swinging and lands a body kick. He slips on a kick but Shlemenko lets him pop to his feet. Shlemenko wades forward with a combination and lands a big knee. Big body kick from Shlemenko and they clinch in the cage center briefly before separating. Uppercut from Cooper but Shlemenko backs him off with another knee. Spinning back fist from Shlemenko and they trade on the inside evenly. Nice right hand from Shlemenko and Cooper shoots in for a takedown but loses his balance on the shot and Shlemenko sprawls to stuff it. Good left hook from Cooper wobbles Shlemenko and he still doesn't have his legs under him. Cooper doesn't go in to try and finish it and that might have been a huge mistake. Uppercut from Cooper connects and Shlemenko tries to respond but he comes up short. 10-9 Cooper
Round two: Shlemenko comes out aggressively and puts Cooper on the defensive. They trade heavy strikes and Cooper is gaining some confidence. Good right from Cooper and Shlemenko scores a body kick. Spinning back fist from Shlemenko but Cooper connects with some punches. Shlemenko is bleeding near his eye and Cooper shoots in and takes him down along the fence. Knee to the leg from Cooper and Shlemenko pops to his feet and they reset. They trad ein the cage center and Shlemenko throws a combination to back Cooper off but Cooper responds with a right hand. Another combination from Shlemenko and he scores with a left hand but eats a right from Cooper. They clinch and trade short punches and Shlemenko lands with a left to the body. Cooper changes levels but almost eats a right hand. Big right from Shlemenko and he throws some big punches backing Cooper up but Cooper rocks him with a huge right hand! Shlemenko grabs a leg trying to score a takedown but Cooper avoids it and lands some big punches. Cooper shoots in and takes Shlemenko down big time at the end of the round. 10-9 Cooper
Round three: Shlemenko again pressing forward stalking from the cage center and he lands a body kick. Good left hook from Shlemenko and they both land big punches on the exit. Shlemenko wades forward with big punches, initiating a clinch. Good right hands from Cooper and Shlemenko throws his hands up as if telling him to bring it on. Another right hand from Cooper and a knee but Shlemenko lands a right hand. Again Shlemenko wades forward with a combination and land a knee. He thinks about a guillotine but gives up on it and lands a big left hand before backing off. Big body kick from Shlemenko and Shlemenko lands a big left hook. Cooper looks for a takedown along the fence and throws a big knee but Shlemenko separates and forces an exchange. 10-9 Shlemenko
Round four: Shlemenko rocks Cooper to open the round, dropping him with some big punches. Cooper recovers and they clinch. Shlemenko lands more punches and he's got a bounce in his step. Shlemenko misses badly with a spinning back fist. Cooper shoots in for a takedown but Shlemenko stuffs it. They trade bombs and Cooper lands an uppercut. Shlemenko covers up and Cooper fires off a combination at his hands. Shlemenko wades forward with punches and lands an elbow on the inside. They separate and Shlemenko lands a big combination forcing Cooper to shoot in for a takedown but he's stuffed. Shlemenko whiffs with a big left hook on the exit. The crowd is really appreciating this fight. Huge right hand from Shlemenko and both men trade punches. Spinning back kick from Shlemenko lands right before the bell. 10-9 Shlemenko
Round five: Spinning kick from Shlemenko and Cooper presses forward with a right hand. Uppercut from Cooper and he grabs a leg looking for a takedown but Shlemenko defends. Another takedown attempt from Cooper but he gives up on it. Good left hand from Shlemenko and another. He throws a knee as they clinch along the fence before backing off. Shlemenko catches a kick and wings a right hand before initiating a clinch. They trade short strikes and reset. Cooper shoots in for a takedown and Shlemenko is kneeling down along the fence avoiding it. Big straight left from Shlemenko and a back fist. Cooper looks exhausted and Shlemenko grabs a body lock, dragging Cooper to the canvas and landing on top in half guard. Cooper gets back to his feet and wings some punches and a kick but Shlemenko throws a combination and a head kick to back him off. Shlemenko again steps inside and grabs a body lock, taking Cooper down. Cooper turtles and gets to his feet, whiffing with a right hand. Less than a minute to go and they trade strikes but Shlemenko shoots in and takes Cooper down again. Big left hand from Shlemenko and he drops down with a huge right hand. Shlemenko drops another huge left hand and an elbow, landing strikes until the bell sounds. 10-9 Shlemenko
Final Result: Alexander Shlemenko defeats Brett Cooper via unanimous decision (48-47x3)
Round one: Torrey opens aggressively hunting for a takedown and he presses Ward into the fence. Ward turns the tide on him and takes Torrey down, landing inside his guard. Ward postures up and drops some nice punches and Torrey is just hanging on trying to stall and force a stand-up. Ward grabs an ankle and drops down for a heel hook but Torrey immediately explodes forward and he's now on top. Torrey works a few punches from top and Ward fires back. Torrey passes to side control and throws a couple knees, looking to isolate an arm. More knees from Torrey and he passes to full mount, posturing up and dropping some big punches. Ward moves with the punches trying to slip them and he survives until the end of the round. 10-9 Torrey
Round two: Push kick from Torrey lands solidly but Ward closes the distance and drags him to the ground. Torrey's left eye is swollen something fierce and Ward is postured up in half guard but Torrey reestablishes his closed guard. Ward tries to slam through Torrey's guard to no avail but he drops down a pair of big right hands. Torrey is bleeding and Ward drops more punches but Torrey scrambles to his feet. Torrey is bleeding badly out of hi sleft eye and he throws a kick but Ward clocks him with a huge right hand and rocks him. Ward takes Torrey down and goes right after the eye with hammer fists and punches, forcing the referee to step in and put a stop to it.
Final Result: Brennan Ward defeats Justin Torrey via TKO (punches)
185 lbs.: Jeremy Kimball vs. Perry Filkins
Final Result: Perry Filkins defeats Jeremy Kimball via submission (rear naked choke) in round three
185 lbs.: Brian Rogers vs. Mikkel Parlo
Round one: Rogers lands a combination and hammers Parlo with a heavy leg kick. Parlo responds and flash knocks him down but they both clinch with each other along the fence and Parlo has inside position. Rogers forces a separation and lands a heavy body kick and a jumping knee before backing off. Heavy left hand from Rogers and another knee scores but Parlo shoots in for a takedown. Rogers backs him off with a hammer fist and Parlo wobbles him with a right hand during an exchange. Good right hand from Rogers as Parlo lands an outside leg kick. They trade and Rogers gets the better of it, landing a heavy leg kick. Parlo presses forward with a combination but Rogers backs him off with a right hand and a knee. They both score with heavy punches and Rogers forces Parlo backwards with some big shots. Parlo lands some short uppercuts on the inside to back Rogers up and he presses him into the fence. They break after Rogers reverses a takedown and Parlo lands a big knee at the bell. 10-9 Parlo
Round two: Good punches from Rogers and a heavy leg and head kick. Parlo responds with some dirty boxing on the inside in the clinch. Rogers lands a combination and a knee to back Parlo up but Parlo rocks him with a left hand. They clinch and Parlo scores with a knee. Rogers tries to throw Parlo but winds up on bottom on his back. Parlo briefly traps an arm and is on top in half guard. Parlo passes to full mount but Rogers hip escapes to half guard. Parlo drops some right hands from top position and Rogers tries to create some space but Parlo drops some big punches and is back on top. Parlo drops left hands and a knee to the body and he's got one minute to work. Parlo stays on top until the round concludes. 10-9 Parlo
Round three: They clinch and Rogers throws some short left uppercuts. Rogers is stalking fowards and whiffs with a jumping knee. Parlo fires off some knees in the clinch and works for a takedown and he gets it, landing inside Rogers' open guard. Parlo passes to side control and Rogers is just too tired to buck him off. Rogers retains half guard. Parlo postures up and drops some big left hands. Rogers tries to hip escape but can't retain his guard. Rogers rolls for a leg and pops to his feet, but Parlo has a body lock and throws some knees to the body. Rogers needs a miracle here. Head kick attempt from Rogers but Parlo clinches again and takes him down. Parlo throws some nice punches and a knee to the body. HUGE knee from Parlo as Rogers tries to get to his feet but he can't quite get the finish. 10-8 Parlo
185 lbs.: Jason Butcher vs. Giva Santana
Round one: Santana pushes forwards and eventually secures a takedown. He works from inside Butcher's guard and methodically passes to side control. Butcher squirms trying to keep him from securing any submissions but he's still stuck on bottom. Butcher turtles trying to escape and Santana passes to full mount dropping a copule punches. Butcher tries to hip escape and Santana attacks with an arm triangle. He's got it locked up and he passes to side control trying to find the proper angle and he's close. Butcher is in big trouble but Santana gives up on the choke. Santana looks for an arm but Butcher rolls on top of him and goes for an arm at the end of the round. 10-9 Santana
Round two: Butcher presses forward and Santana shoots in for a takedown but Butcher sprawls well and stuffs it. Santana wings a right hand but Butcher pops him with an uppercut that rocks him. Butcher smells blood and goes in for the kill, winging right and left hands and Santana drops. Butcher drops left hands on the canvas and the ref calls it.
Final Result: Jason Butcher wins via TKO (punches) at 1:12 of round two
155 lbs.: Derek Anderson vs. Patricky Pitbull
Round one: Good jab from Anderson to get things started and Pitbull responds with a combination that hurts him. Anderson fires off a front kick and Pitbull drops but pops to his feet and returns fire with a big flurry of punches. Good right hand from Pitbull. Double leg takedown from Pitbull and he takes full mount on Anderson. He transitions for an armbar then a triangle choke but Anderson defends by lifting him up and slamming him. Another armbar attempt from Pitbull but it doesn't finish as time expires. 10-9 Pitbull
Round two: Huge shots from Pitbull in the opening seconds and Anderson takes them well. They trade and Pitbull is getting the better of the exchanges early. Anderson returns fire strong, willing to trade with Pitbull in the pocket and he's scoring. Right and left hands for Anderson and Pitbull tries to circle on the outside but he's getting tagged. Pitbull tries to get a takedown but gives up on it and flops to his back. He looks gassed already. Not a good sign. 10-9 Anderson
Round three: Anderson opens nicely with some jabs and utilizes his length. Anderson stalking from the cage center and he's got Pitbull's number right now, keeping the Brazilian on the defensive and Pitbull is bleeding from his mouth. Nice body kick from Anderson and Pitbull whiffs with a spinning back fist. Pitbull shoots in for a takedown and he's stuffed. He just looks tired. 10-9 Anderson
Final Result: Derek Anderson defeats Patricky Pitbull via unanimous decision