By: Travis Brown (via our friends at mmawreckage.com)
Saturday, October 22, 2016— On Friday October 21st from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN Bellator 162 Shlemenko vs Grove took place. In the main event Alexander Shlemenko dropped Kendall Grove with a shot to the liver in the second round followed by a finishing TKO. In the co main event Bobby Lashley continued his dominance in the heavyweight division with a submission win over Josh Appelt. Also impressive wins for Hisaki Kato and Goti Yamaguchi on the main card this evening. It was another exciting night for the Bellator promotion.
After a brief feeling out period early in the first round with Alexander Shlemenko (54-9) you knew it was only a matter of time. Spinning attacks are his trademark an there was no hesitation to let his wheels turn. He landed two spinning punches and one spinning back kick to set the tone for what was to come. Kendall Grove (23-15) was game though and sent back a barrage of attacks himself. In the second round is where the former middleweight champion found his groove. He countered a punch from Grove and tagged him in the liver followed by a shot to the chin. Grove stepped back then toppled over. That was all she wrote as Shlemenko jumped on Kendall for the finish. Alexander wants to face the winner of the upcoming title fight and there is no one to stand in his way.
The first round was a test for survival for Josh Appelt (12-6). After feeling some big shots from Bobby Lashley (15-2) he countered with a few of his own before finding himself on the canvas. From there he withstood the onslaught of attacks from the top. Lashley had a few opportunities to grab the back of Josh and sink the hooks in but he was content with the ground and pound. The second round started off with a nice display from Josh but a failed takedown attempt allowed Lashley to take him down once again. This time after a few shots Lashley sunk the hooks in and went for the rear naked choke, he was successful and pulled off the win.
The woes continue under the Bellator banner for Ryan Couture (10-5). After a few lethal kicks from Goti Yamaguchi (20-3) Couture brought on the pressure. He pressed Goti against the cage but was unable to restrain him even after getting him to the ground. Yamaguchi eventually turned the tide and snatched the arm of Couture and a few seconds later it was all over.
It was an expected war between Hisaki Kato (7-2) and AJ Matthews (8-6) and that’s exactly what we got. The first round started with early fireworks from both fighters with excruciating leg kicks from Kato and a nice jab to the body combo by Matthews. No way this fight would go three rounds as each athlete stood in the middle of the cage going toe to toe. Kato almost dropped Matthews early but a recovered AJ was able to regain his footing. After an in adverted eye check from Hisaki he poured on an impressive assault to finally drop Mathews and pounce on him for the finish right at the end of the round. Another impressive first round victory for Hisaki Kato.
Up next for Bellator is Bellator 163 Mcgeary vs Davis on November 4th, 2016.
Complete Bellator.com-Streamed Preliminary Card:
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Steve Garcia (7-1) def. Ronnie Lawrence (1-1) via UD
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Rainey (12-4) def. Gilbert Smith (12-6) via UD
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Julia Budd (9-2) def. Arlene Blencowe (7-6) via MD
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Virgil Zwicker (15-5-1) def. Dan Charles (10-4-1) via TKO at 4:31 of Round 2
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Chase Gormley (14-5, 1 NC) def. Bobby Brents (17-6) via SD
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Wade Johnson (11-1) def. Tyler Hill (6-1) via SUB (rear-naked choke) at 3:35 of Round 3
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: James Wallace (2-0) def. Jonathan Burdine (4-5) via SUB (rear-naked choke) at 3:33 of Round 2
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Eryk Anders (5-0) def. Brian White (5-5) via TKO at 0:23 of Round 1
Catchweight (160 lb.) Preliminary Bout: Jaleel Willis (7-0) vs. Omar Johnson (4-1) via UD
Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Grady Hurley (10-1) def. Chad Cook (10-11) at 2:29 of Round1
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Wessell (15-8) vs. Frank Tate (4-2) via UD
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