MENU
#UFC 217 #UFC Fight Night 120 #GSP #Michael Bisping #Conor McGregor #TJ Dillashaw #Dustin Poirier #Anthony Pettis #Fight One #Cody Garbrandt #Colby Covington


Vitor Vianna will enter Bellator 57 on a five-fight winning streak. | Photo: Keith Mills


In a standup confrontation, Russian middleweight Alexander Shlemenko is a whirling dervish of creativity, capable of unleashing a spinning back fist or exotic kick at a moment’s notice.

His striking aptitude has paid dividends, as the RusFighters Sport Club representative has earned 26 of his 42 career victories by knockout or technical knockout, including a second-round TKO of Brian Rogers in the Bellator Fighting Championships Season 5 middleweight tournament semifinals at Bellator 54 on Oct. 15.

Vitor Vianna, his opponent in the 185-pound final at Bellator 57 on Saturday in Rama, Ontario, Canada, is well aware of the dangers Shlemenko presents on the feet. That does not mean he is afraid to engage the Russian there, however.

“I can knock out anyone, and Alexander Shlemenko is no exception,” Vianna said. “All I need to do is punch him on the button, and he’s going down.”

The winner of their encounter receives $100,000, as well as a title shot against current Bellator middleweight king Hector Lombard.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Rodrigo Medeiros, Vianna is noted for his ground skills, but three of his victories in a current five-fight winning streak have come via TKO. That includes a 54-second finish of Bryan Baker in their half of the middleweight bracket at Bellator 54. In that bout, the Brazilian dropped Rogers with an overhand right before finishing him with a barrage of hammer fists on the canvas.

As the bout began, Vianna felt that Baker was a little too nonchalant for his liking.

“I saw in his eyes before the fight; he didn’t give me the respect that I deserved, and it motivated me a lot,” he said.

Vianna felt extremely comfortable trading with Baker, whom many had tabbed as the tournament favorite following his TKO victory over Jared Hess at Bellator 50.

“My plan against Bryan Baker was exactly what I did -- keep the fight [standing] up and punch him very hard with small combinations,” Vianna said. “I trained that combination for him [for] about three weeks after my classes. He is good on the ground but has a lot of holes in his standup.”

While the Wand Fight Team product is confident he can trade strikes with Shlemenko, Vianna also realizes that his best opportunity for success could lie with his submission skills.

“I know Shlemenko is very capable on the ground, but I definitely feel like I can submit him. Whatever it takes; I’m here to be a champion,” he said.

Once considered one of the sport’s top unsigned talents coming out of Brazil, Vianna is quickly becoming an established commodity within Bellator’s middleweight ranks. A couple more victories will complete the transition.

“I want to show the world that I’m one of the best fighters on the planet,” Vianna said. “I can fight standup and on the ground. It doesn’t matter where the fight ends up -- I’m always ready to finish it.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

'Robbed' against Mousasi, Shlemenko also wants 5-round non-title Bellator headliners

  • 23 days ago
  • 16 views

Count Alexander Shlemenko among those who would like to see Bellator adopt five-round fights for non-title Bellator headliners.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos read news >>

Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith: Standing up with Alexander Shlemenko is a gamble

  • 29 days ago
  • 10 views

As experienced as Gegard Mousasi is as a striker, he should think twice about duking it out with Alexander Shlemenko.Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News read news >>

Bellator 185 weigh-in results: Gegard Mousasi, Alexander Shlemenko official for main event

  • 29 days ago
  • 30 views

The Bellator 185 official weigh-ins are in the books, and the headliners are official for their middleweight contenders fight.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>

Gegard Mousasi, Alexander Shlemenko pass drug tests prior to Bellator 185 headliner

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

The clean tests clear the way for the Bellator 185 headliner, which likely will serve as a middleweight title eliminator.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 185 Weigh-in Results & Video: Gegard Mousasi Cleared for Bloodiest Fight in Bellator History | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 257 views

Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Shlemenko were on the mark on Thursday, and are now set for "the bloodiest fight in Bellator history." read news >>

Bellator 185 headliner Alexander Shlemenko: Win over Gegard Mousasi already makes me champ

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

It’s no secret ex-champ Alexander Shlemenko would like to fast-track his way back to the Bellator middleweight belt against Gegard Mousasi.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos read news >>

Twitter reacts to Gegard Mousasi's narrow decision win over Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 185

  • 27 days ago
  • 157 views

See the top Twitter reacts to Gegard Mousasi’s win over Alexander Shlemenko in the Bellator 185 main event.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 185 results: Gegard Mousasi gets past Alexander Shlemenko – and hears it from the fans

  • 27 days ago
  • 55 views

It was a pretty rough Bellator debut for Gegard Mousasi, but he got out of the main event with a win over Alexander Shlemenko.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News read news >>

Check out the Bellator 185 main event scorecard for Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko

  • 27 days ago
  • 30 views

See how the judges scored the controversial Bellator 185 main event between Gegard Mousasi and Alexander Shlemenko.Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2549 with Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko

  • 24 days ago
  • 2 views

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>