Since arriving in Bellator in 2010, Alexander Shlemenko has gone on to become one of the promotion’s top fighters, by winning two middleweight tournaments as well as the promotion’s championship. In addition, the Russian fighter has lived up the hype and then some about his striking arsenal, which he’s utilized to record several highlight reel wins.
Recently Shlemenko spoke to MMA Fighting.com about his style, tonight’s bout with Brett Cooper, and the sport in general. Here’s some of what “Storm” had to say.
“A fight should be brutal; it should be a fight, a war. This is not fighting” noted Shlemenko, who stopped Maiquel Falcao in February to lay claim to the promotion’s middleweight belt.
“This type of fighter, they’re slowly killing MMA,” Shlemenko (47-7) said about fighters who grind and stall their way to victories. “They just kill the interest of people to mixed martial arts. People in the audience pay money to watch battles, to watch wars. Not to watch this type of ‘sport’ thing. I don’t like this style at all and if I’m doing my best for my fights, they will be remembered, even if it’s a spectacular loss.”
“It’s going to be a very brutal and entertaining fight,” he vowed. “Nobody in the audience will have the desire to fall asleep during this fight. People who’ll be watching this fight, they shouldn’t blink, because it’ll be over in any second and they don’t want to miss it.”
Wow. Now that’s how you promote a fight, and tonight’s main event definitely has the potential to be pretty entertaining. Bellator 98 will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut and will be broadcast on SPIKE.