In the end, it was a submission that helped Bellator MMA middleweight champion, and striking specialist, Alexander Shlemenko retain his title.
Shlemenko faced season nine tournament winner Brennan Ward in the eagerly anticipated main event of Bellator 114, which took place at Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah tonight (Friday, March 28, 2014).
See all the live results and play-by-play here.
it was a fight that lived up to the hype. From the beginning, Ward and Shlemenko pushed a hard pace, trading stiff strikes and attempting to take each other out.
Although the first round was very close, Shlemenko caught Ward coming in on a takedown attempt in the second and locked on a beautiful 10-fingered guillotine choke. "The Irish Bad Boy" had no way out and was forced to tap almost instantly.
With the win, Shlemenko improves his current win streak to 13 in a row and also records his third successful defense of his Bellator 185-pound belt.
Elsewhere on the card, Daniel Weichel took a unanimous decision over Matt Bissette in the semifinal round of the featherweight tournament. The bout was a back-and -forth affair that came down to the third round after Weichel solidly won the first and Bissette took the second. It was a takedown midway through the round that likely sealed the round for the German, with Beissette simply unable to get up and mount any offense once on his back.
In the other featherweight tournament semifinal bout, Desmond Green won a rather lackluster decision over Will Martinez.
The first bout of the Spike TV-televised portion of the evening saw Brett Cooper defeat former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season three winner Kendall Grove by way of a devastating second round knockout.
See the GIF here.
Grove looked dominant in the first, taking Cooper down early and controlling him from the back for much of the round. However, Cooper came back in a big way in the second, and began to work his strikes in close, eventually leading to huge right hand that sent Grove to the mat. Cooper followed up his advantage with a fight ending ground and pound flurry that sent Grove's eyes rolling up in the back of his head.
Bellator MMA returns to Spike TV next Friday, April 4, 2014 with "Minakov vs. Kongo" featuring a heavyweight title main event pitting reigning champion Vitally Minakov vs. former UFC mainstay Cheick Kongo.
See you then!