This week, the two non-UFC Mixed Martial arts events running on television in North America, Bellator and WSOF, were involved in talk of a potential cross promotional show that featured some very interesting matchups. The potential card is solid throughout, and features fights such as Alexander Schlemenko vs Yushin Okami, Rick Hawn vs Jon Fitch and Georgi Karakhanyan and Daniel Strauss.
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For Bellator, Shlemenko has always delivered with exciting, brutal finishes. he is a striker, potentially the best striker in MMA right now, but people question his level of competition. The one fighter on the Bellator roster he could not handle was Hector Lombard, who famously went to the UFC and had to drop to 170 lbs to remain competitive. Lombard’s first match was a loss to Yushin Okami, who is now with the WSOF and the proposed matchup for Shlemenko. Okami is likely to be favored, but it remains to be seen how Okami will look after being cut from the UFC roster.
And Shlemenko has the style to defeat Okami. If Okami gets lazy, or even if he is controlling the action, Shlemenko will be throwing strikes and he bludgeons people and makes them pay. Shelemnko will have a soht at wearing out Okami and setting him up for a third round stand up fight that Shlemenko can win.
At Welterweight, Bellator would have been in a much better position with Ben Skren facing Jon Fitch, but they are still well represented by Rick Hawn. For the WSOF it opens the question as to why it is Fitch on the proposed card and not Josh Burkman. Perhaps Burkman is in between contracts, or WSOF has a contractual obligation to Fitch. Since being cut by the UFC and joining the WSOF, Fitch has done nothing to recall the once top 5 welter that he once was. For his part, Hawn is probably more suited to competing at 155, but his skill package makes for an interesting matchup with Fitch, who is sliding towards the end of his career.