Bellator FC closed out their seasonal run with Bellator 109 last night from the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In the main event, Middleweight Champion Alexander Shlemenko used ripping body shots to take all the fight out of Doug Marshall, who didn’t get out of the first round. In addition, Rick Hawn and Will Brooks were crowned seasonal tournament winners and earned future title shots in the Welterweight and Lightweight classes, respectively.
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Shlemenko was favored coming into the fight, and he showed why. His body shots ate up Marshall. Shlemenko sits comfortably atop the weight division and awaits a match-up with Brennan Ward, who won the season 9 tournament to earn the next title shot. Ward proved to be a solid fighter, but look for more of the same from Shlemenko.
In the Lightweight tournament, the underdog came through as Will Brooks used a solid wrestling game to control and bust up tough Russian Alexander Sarnavskiy. For his efforts Brooks will earn a title shot at Lightweight. The belt is currently held by Eddie Alvarez, but it is unclear if Bellator is planning a 3rd Michael Chandler vs Alvarez bout after their epic last encounter, or if Brooks will get the shot to start season 10.
Rick Hawn beat Ron Keslar to earn the welterweight tournament title. The taller Keslar made a fight of it, pushing Hawn around at times and getting in solid knees and strikes. Hawn though, weathered a tough first round and started getting in attritive strikes of his own. By the third round, he had stood up to Keslar’s attack and started to land a series of punches that took the fight completely out of Keslar. Hawn now earns a shot at the vacant welterweight title, likely facing season 8 tournament winner Douglas Lima. Lima has won two tournaments in his Bellator career, but could not break the stifling grappling of departed champion Ben Askren. Now against Hawn, Lima will likely come in a favorite for the fight.