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

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos

Count Alexander Shlemenko among those who would like to see Bellator adopt five-round fights for non-title Bellator headliners.

Granted, he’s a bit of a biased party.

This past Friday at Bellator 185, Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) suffered a narrow unanimous-decision loss to to big-show vet Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) in the Spike-televised headliner at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“I would like to say Gegard Mousasi is a very strong, very experienced fighter,” Shlemenko told MMAjunkie Radio through an interpreter. “That’s why it was really difficult to finish him, to knock him out. But I still think that I beat him and I got robbed by this judges’ decision.”

He wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Shlemenko, whose manager said he plans to appeal the loss, was a major underdog to 8-1 favorite Mousasi, who made his promotional debut following a long run with the UFC and Strikeforce. After the fight, folks throughout the industry panned the decision.

Shlemenko heard from many of them.

“(Bellator commentator) Jimmy Smith, even during the fight, he gave me the victory, 29-28, and we agree with that,” he said.

After the fight, Bellator President Scott Coker mentioned the possibility of Bellator scheduling its non-title headliners for five rounds, which the UFC currently does.

Shlemenko, though, said he expressed his support for the idea even before the controversial decision, which saw seven of 11 media outlets score it for the 33-year-old Russian, via MMADecisions.com.

“In one of the interviews prior to my fight with Gegard, I said I wanted this fight to be a five-round fight,” Shlemenko said. “But unfortunately, Bellator doesn’t have such a rule. Their main events are just three rounds if it’s not a title fight. So I think yes, I would love to fight in five-round fights.

“I think it would be a great idea if Bellator would have main events of five rounds, and if this fight against Gegard was a five-round fight, I’m quite confident Gegard wouldn’t have survived. He wouldn’t have seen the end of the fight.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio Highlight, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

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

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko.

Fili, still in Poland, phoned in to talk about his big win over Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118. Shlemenko, who was defeated by Gegard Mousasi this past Friday at Bellator 185, voiced his displeasure in the decision rendered by the judges and would like an immediate rematch.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Alexander Shlemenko to appeal Bellator 185 loss to Gegard Mousasi, manager says

Former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko plans to contest his unanimous-decision loss to Gegard Mousasi in the headliner of this past Friday’s Bellator 185.

Shlemenko’s (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) manager, Alexey Zhernakov, today told MMAjunkie he believes judges scored the fight incorrectly and wants the outcome reversed, whether the bout is re-scored or declared a no-contest. He also welcomed a rematch with Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

“In our opinion, this fight is a career-turning point,” Zhernakov said. “We think he did good enough in this fight to get a win and with a fighter who’s ranked No. 4 in the world. He was a UFC contender. (A win) would mean a lot in developing Shlemenko’s career, so this fight is important – very important to him.”

Mousasi’s manager, Nima Safapour, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mousasi earned unanimous scores of 29-28 in the Spike-televised fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The former Strikeforce champ and top UFC middleweight contender frequently took down Shlemenko and threatened chokes from back control despite a broken orbital bone to his left eye. The decision was widely booed by the crowd.

Zhernakov’s request for a reversal might not be feasible. According to Mike Mazzulli, who heads the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulations that regulated Bellator 185, there is no formal process in place to appeal controversial decisions.

“I stand behind my officials 100 percent, and there is nothing in my rules or regulations that would require or allow the decision to be appealed,” Mazzulli said.

The bout was scored by veteran judges Doug Crosby, Derek Cleary and John English. Crosby is no stranger to controversy as an MMA judge, drawing an accusation of conflict of interest for scoring a fight involving a camp with whom he’d shared a long-standing feud. He was also widely maligned for his scorecard for Frankie Edgar in Edgar’s first title bout against B.J. Penn at UFC 112.

Zhernakov took no issue with the scoring in the first round, noting Mousasi nearly finished Shlemenko with a choke. But he argued that Shlemenko did more damage in the later rounds, negating Mousasi’s control on the ground with punches and kicks.

“Round No. 3, he won with probably a 10-8, because it was judged by the recent changes in the rules,” Zhernakov said. “But Round No. 2 is what we’re talking about. According to statistics, he won the second round, because for three-and-a-half minutes, he was dominating. And by dominating, he was landing significant shots. The damage was on his side.”

The manager said he would speak today to Mazzulli about the next steps to take. He plans to speak to Bellator to voice his concerns about the bout and his plan of action.

In a text message to MMAjunkie, Bellator President Scott Coker scored the first round for Mousasi and the third for Shlemenko. He declined to outline the promotion’s plan in the wake of Mousasi’s win, though the bout was widely characterized as a title eliminator for the winner of an upcoming title fight between champ Rafael Carvalho and Alessio Sakara at Bellator 190.

“We have to wait and see what happens in December and how long Gegard is out for,” Coker wrote. “We’ll know more in a week.”

Mousasi’s win extended his current winning streak to six and certified a successful transition to Bellator after riding out his UFC contract. Prior to the fight, he planned to face champ Carvalho and then pursue a belt at light heavyweight, where his weight cut was more manageable.

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with guests Andre Fili, Alexander Shlemenko

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko.

Fili is coming off a win over Artem Lobov on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 118 and will discuss the fight, as well as the potential distraction of dealing with Conor McGregor cageside acting like an unofficial cornerman. Shlemenko is coming off a close loss to Gegard Mousasi on Friday at Bellator 185 and will give his thoughts on the fight.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 185 post-event facts: Heather Hardy suffers 1st combat sports loss

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The Bellator 185 main event came down to the wire when latest UFC crossover Gegard Mousasi narrowly escaped with a victory over Alexander Shlemenko in Friday’s headliner.

Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned a unanimous-decision win over Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the Spike-televised middleweight main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., giving him his first win since parting ways with the UFC earlier this year.

Mousasi’s victory closed out of a five-fight main card, which saw three contests decided by the scorecards. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 185.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 3-3 at the event.

Betting favorites went 3-2 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to 11-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 59:27.

* * * *

Main card

Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Mousasi was successful in his Bellator debut. He’s earned victories in 17 different organizations during his career.

Mousasi’s six-fight winning streak is his longest since December 2009.

Mousasi improved to 9-1 in his past 10 fights.

Shlemenko had his seven-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since September 2014.

Alexander Shlemenko (blue gloves) fight Gegard Mousasi (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Shlemenko fell to 1-3 (with one no-contest) in his past five Bellator appearances.

Shlemenko suffered his first decision loss since Oct. 28, 2010 – a span of 2,549 days (nearly seven years) and 23 fights.

Neiman Gracie (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) improved to 4-0 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.

Gracie has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage. All of those wins are by submission.

Zak Bucia (18-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was successful in her pro debut.

Kristina Williams (blue gloves) fights Heather Hardy (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered the first loss in 23 fights of MMA and boxing combined competition.

Ryan Quinn (14-7-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) has earned five of his eight Bellator victories by decision.

Marcus Surin (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Lisa Blaine (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Ana Julaton (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.

Julaton has suffered all three of her career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Trading Shots: What does it tell us when former UFC fighters struggle in Bellator?

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Former UFC fighters are finding that the transition to Bellator isn’t always an easy one, so what does that tell us about the true difference in talent between the two promotions? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss.

Fowlkes: Well, Danny, if you were thinking that you’d come out of retirement and cruise through the Bellator ranks, might be time to reconsider that strategy.

On Friday night Gegard Mousasi was the latest former UFC fighter to meet more resistance than expected in Bellator. Unlike Lorenz Larkin and Benson Henderson, he still got the win in the end, but he faced some stiff competition from Alexander Shlemenko, and the evidence was written all over his face by the end.

As the sample size grows, is it time to start asking ourselves whether we’ve been selling the competition short in Bellator? Mousasi left the UFC on a five-fight winning streak. If you put him in a fight with the current UFC middleweight champion, he’s probably the favorite. Yet he still got all he could handle in his first fight with Bellator.

As Bellator CEO Scott Coker loves to point out, people did the same with Strikeforce fighters, downplaying their skills because they weren’t in the UFC. But several of them became champs once they finally made the jump to the UFC. Are we making the same mistake all over again with Bellator as the lesser-known MMA organization? If so, will we ever stop making that particular blunder?

Downes: Welcome to the club, Ben! Those of us who actually watch the sport of MMA instead of being a Zuffa Zombie (although I guess now they’re the Endeavor Eunuchs) have known about Bellator for some time. Especially considering the way the UFC roster has ballooned the last couple years, the talent gap outside the top five has drastically narrowed.

We should be asking ourselves if we’ve been selling the competition short, but I wouldn’t count on too many others joining the fold any time soon. The UFC bias is too strong. In Mousasi’s case, despite the fact that he’s competed in every MMA organization you can think of, people will think of him as an “also ran,” like he couldn’t hack it in the UFC.

The same holds true for Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. Even Eddie Alvarez, who became UFC champion after a successful career in Bellator, doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He lost his UFC debut to Donald Cerrone, therefore Bellator is the minor leagues!

Part of it is also Bellator’s own doing. In an effort to deliver some name brand fighters, the “legends tour” moniker can seem too familiar. We all love a good “freak show” fight, but even then Bellator is held to a different standard. If Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock III happens inside a Rizin ring instead of a Bellator cage, I think the feelings and expectations are much different.

We often talk about how the number of UFC events can make fans feel less inclined to watch. This has ramifications outside the UFC. Even though Bellator and the UFC rarely go head to head, there’s only so much MMA you can consume. Even the hardcore fans have to go to work and occasionally bathe. Who has time for another MMA promotion?

The boom period of MMA is over. Isn’t it too late to catch up to the UFC now? If not, how do they gain ground?

Fowlkes: First of all, props for being the hip guy who knew Bellator was good before it was cool. Second, how do you catch the UFC from behind? Maybe you have to meet it halfway.

Bellator has been slowly gaining ground on the UFC, both through its own talent acquisitions and the UFC’s missteps, but there’s still a ways to go. What I wonder is whether it helps that cause to see former UFC fighters struggle in the Bellator cage.

On one hand, you paid good money to lure these fighters away, so you want to make your investment back. You want them to be the successful stars you thought you were paying for, right?

On the other hand, if they come over and get roughed up by existing Bellator fighters, it prompts the kind of conversation we’re having now.

Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe some people see it as proof that the UFC was right to let that guy go. Maybe they don’t even notice, because Bellator just draws so much less attention to begin with.

Or maybe this conversation about quality of fighters isn’t one that most fans are truly interested in anymore. We used to love that argument when it was PRIDE vs. UFC. We loved it slightly less when it was Strikeforce vs. UFC. But could it be that the UFC brand name is so solidified at this point that a certain segment of the fan base doesn’t even care if it’s where the best fighters are?

That’d be a little depressing, now that I think about it. But does that mean it’s not true?

Downes: I take it back. We don’t want you in our club anymore. I bet you’d probably never pay your dues.

There is something to the thought that the UFC is so ingrained as the face of MMA that it would be hard to catch it (there’s something to it because I said the exact same thing earlier, and you repackaged it as your own thought). People like to make fun of the “I train UFC” crowd, but there’s something to the joke. The term MMA may have more traction now than ever, but there are still a huge number of fans who think UFC = MMA.

Part of that has to do with the role of media. Dana White may talk about Bellator’s Viacom money, but the UFC has a lock on content. In mainstream outlets like ESPN or FS1, the UFC is the MMA content.

This brings us to a chicken or the egg argument. The UFC receives the most coverage because that’s what fans want. But how much of that has to do with what we give them?

Can you name three Bellator champs? How many fighters on the Bellator roster can you list? Is Alexander Griboyedov a current heavyweight or a 19th century Russian playwright? Certainly the failure to answer those questions isn’t the media’s fault, but we have to wonder if fans will ever be willing (or able) to make up that lost ground in the information battle.

Having good fights isn’t enough. What that extra piece of the puzzle is, I don’t know. I do know that there are only so many hours in a day, so many articles a website can write, and so much time an MMA fan can commit. Maybe fans will start to commit more of that time to Bellator. But maybe they’ll find something else to do. If they do that, it won’t just be bad for Coker – it’ll be bad for everyone.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 185, including Green Day and James Brown

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Friday’s Bellator 185 event in Uncasville, Conn., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Gegard Mousasi def. Alexander Shlemenko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gegard Mousasi: “Hate or Glory” by Gesaffelstein

Alexander Shlemenko: “Within Temptation” by Angels

Neiman Gracie def. Zak Bucia via submission (neck crank) – Round 2, 2:27

Neiman Gracie: “Pharoahe Monch” by Simon Says

Javier Torres: “Ten Thousand Feet” by I See Stars

Kristina Williams def. Heather Hardy via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 2:00

Kristina Williams: “Building 429” by Bonfire

Heather Hardy: “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys

Ryan Quinn def. Marcus Surin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Ryan Quinn: “Mighty Quinn” by Manfred Mann

Marcus Surin: “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown

Lisa Blaine def. Ana Julaton via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Lisa Blaine: “I Stand Alone” by Godsmack

Ana Julaton: “She’s a Rebel” by Green Day

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 185 highlights: Did Mousasi deserve win? Who picked Hardy's upset?

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Check out all of the video highlights from Friday’s Bellator 185 event, which had a few surprises.

One of those surprises? Perhaps the way UFC vet and 8-1 favorite Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) struggled against former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the main event.

Bellator 185 took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and the main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Mousasi, who was making his promotional debut after a successful run with promotions such as the UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM and PRIDE, ultimately squeaked by with a trio of 29-28 scores for the unanimous-decision victory, but his takedown-heavy game plan didn’t exactly win over the crowd.

In the co-main event, welterweight Neiman Gracie (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) stuck to his roots and ultimately submitted Zak Bucia (18-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a second-round neck crank.

Additionally, in a heavily promoted flyweight bout, Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) used a flush shin to the face to score a second-round TKO win – due to a doctor’s stoppage – over pro boxer and 4-1 favorite Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

Also on the card, lightweight Ryan Quinn (14-7-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) survived a late rally from Marcus Surin (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to pick up a unanimous-decision win, and Lisa Blaine (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) spoiled Ana Julaton’s (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) U.S. debut with a narrow split-decision victory.

For more on all of the fights, check out:

And for more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Scott Coker: Bellator considering 5-round main events, but 'once we do it, we can't go back'

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Five-round main event fights could be coming to Bellator, company President Scott Coker revealed at Friday’s Bellator 185 post-fight news conference.

Following a hotly contested unanimous decision win for Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) over Alexander Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the Spike-televised middleweight fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., there was debate over what would have happened with two additional rounds.

The UFC adopted five-round non-title headliners in June 2011, and the results have come with little criticism. Bellator has yet to go in that direction, and although Coker said it’s something that’s being discussed, he admitted there’s some hesitation.

“That’s something we’ve been really debating internally,” Coker said. “Because once we do it, we can’t go back. Right now all the main events except for title fights are three rounds. … If this was a five-round fight, it could have ended in a different outcome.

“We’re going to evaluate internally, we’ll talk to our guys and then we’ll talk about it. At some point, we’ll probably do it, but once we do it, we’re not going to be able to come back.”

Coker did not reveal a timeline for when a decision will be made on implementing five-round title fights, but the widespread debate over the outcome of Mousasi vs. Shlemenko could convince one way or the other.

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Scott Coker on Gegard Mousasi's debut: Bellator's 'going to be a tough going for everybody'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Gegard Mousasi was hoping to make a massive statement in his Bellator debut. He got the win over Alexander Shlemenko in Friday’s Bellator 185 headliner, but it came by the skin of his teeth.

Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) edged former Bellator middleweight champion Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) by unanimous decision in the Spike-televised main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. He was forced to overcome a busted eye for all but the first few minutes of the bout, hindering his ability to inflict his full offensive arsenal.

“The Dreamcatcher” came into the organization as a high-profile free agent signing, joining multiple other notables who have jumped over from the UFC in recent years. There’s a growing trend of those crossovers struggling in the Bellator cage, and company President Scott Coker said it’s a familiar situation.

“Here’s how I feel about it: When I owned Strikeforce and we were doing fights back in the day, we had some of the best fighters on the planet, and it was like, ‘Well, the UFC guys are better than the Strikeforce guys,’” Coker told MMAjunkie at Bellator 185’s post-fight news conference. “Then look what happened. Tyron Woodley, Luke Rockhold, Daniel Cormier – those are all (Strikeforce) guys. It’s just that people when they come over here feel it should be easy, but Shlemenko is a guy that had 55, 60 fights. That’s going to be a guy that’s dangerous.

“To me, I think the people that have come over here from other leagues, they’ve had a hard time. I just say, ‘Hey, welcome to Bellator. This is going to be a tough going for everybody.’”

Coker wouldn’t give a decisive opinion on the decision of the Bellator 185 main event. He said he was “watching as a fan,” but admitted the judging likely came down to a very competitive second round, which all three judges scored in Mousasi’s favor.

Regardless of the result, Coker praised Mousasi’s resiliency in the contest. The former Strikeforce titleholder and No. 6 fighter in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, suffered a badly damaged eye early in the contest, but gutted out all 15 minutes.

“Gegard is a tough guy,” Coker said. “He has a lot of perseverance. He has indomitable spirit. He will come back from this. I know that he’s a little bit disappointed with his performance, but to me, I thought that this fight was going to be a tough, tough fight for him. It was, so on to the next one.”

Coker couldn’t give an immediate update on the condition of Mousasi’s eye, but said he fears a potentially fractured orbital bone. That could thwart the organization’s plans to have Mousasi challenge the winner of Bellator 190 title fight between 185-pound champ Rafael Carvalho (14-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) and challenger Alessio Sakara (19-11 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), but Coker said he will wait for a formal doctor’s opinion before making any decisions.

“He might have an orbital fracture,” Coker said. “If he does he’s going to be out for six to eight months, maybe a year. Who knows? That’s why we always have to come back and see how the fights unfold, see how the fights do and then we’ll reshuffle the deck. That’s what we’ll do here. We’ll see what the doctors say about his eye and then we’ll make a decision at that point.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie