10 Kendall Grove V Alexander Shlemenko_0051 

Alexander Shlemenko returns with a patented livershot TKO over Kendall Grove


Memphis (Oct. 21, 2016) – The most decorated middleweight in Bellator history, Alexander Shlemenko (54-9, 1NC) returned to the cagetonight in a big way against Kendall Grove (23-16). The first round saw aggressive back and forth action with each fighter getting rocked. Shlemenko successfully utilized powerful spinning backfists and heelkicks to close the distance on the 6’6 Hawaiian. “The Storm” stalked Grove throughout the cage before ultimately connecting with a nasty combo that saw a left hand to the liver, followed by a right hand to the chin, sending his towering opponent to the mat. Shlemenko followed up with a barrage of strikes to “Da Spyda” before “Big John” McCarthy waved the fight off at 1:43 of the second frame.

10 Kendall Grove V Alexander Shlemenko_007510 Kendall Grove V Alexander Shlemenko_003510 Kendall Grove V Alexander Shlemenko_0098

9 Bobby Lashley V Josh Appelt_9877

Lashley sinks in a rear-naked choke to end Appelt’s night in round two


Bobby Lashley (15-2) continued to live up to his nickname of “The Dominator” as he tossed his opponent, Josh Appelt (12-6) to the mat at will. Throughout the first round, Lashley jockeyed for position as he rained down punches while trying to lock in a submission in front of his friend from his days as a WWE Superstar, Jerry “The King” Lawler, who watched from his cage side seat. Appelt landed a couple strikes to start the second frame before being slammed to the mat and ultimately submitted with a one-armed rear-naked choke at 1:43 of Round 2.

9 Bobby Lashley V Josh Appelt_97829 Bobby Lashley V Josh Appelt_97979 Bobby Lashley V Josh Appelt_9885

8 Ryan Couture V Goiti Yamauchi_9715


Yamauchi finishes Couture with armbar submission just one minute into bout


The 23-year-old submission specialist Goiti Yamauchi (20-3) defeated Ryan Couture (10-5) via arm bar submission just 1:01 into the opening round. Making his lightweight debut, Yamauchi becomes the first opponent to submit Couture over his 15-fight career. The win gives the Brazilian-Japanese prospect 20 total over his career, including five since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion back in 2013. The slick arm bar marks the 16th submission victory for Yamauchi, 13 of which have come in the first frame.

8 Ryan Couture V Goiti Yamauchi_97238 Ryan Couture V Goiti Yamauchi_9739


7 Hisaki Kato V AJ Matthews_9642

Kato scores TKO victory over Matthews


The first televised fight of the evening featured two highly gifted strikers in A.J. Matthews (8-6), a muay-Thai practitioner and Hisaki Kato (7-2), who holds a black belt in Kyokushin Karate. Both fighters exchanged great combinations throughout the entirety of the first round, with Matthews even wobbling Kato halfway through the frame. but was unable to capitalize, allowing Kato to regain his composure. A break in the action because of an accidental eye poke to Matthews allowed Kato to completely recover, and when the fight continued, Kato utilized his right kick to the body-left hand to the dome combination to send Matthews to the canvas, pouncing with a flurry of punches forcing the referee to call a stop to the action at 4:58 of the first frame.

7 Hisaki Kato V AJ Matthews_96117 Hisaki Kato V AJ Matthews_96967 Hisaki Kato V AJ Matthews_9626

Complete Preliminary Card:

Welterweight Preliminary Bout:
Ricky Rainey (12-4) def. Gilbert Smith (12-6) via UDBantamweight Preliminary Bout: Steve Garcia (7-1) def. Ronnie Lawrence (1-1) 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 4:31of 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


About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 400 million homes worldwide in over 120 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.


About Spike:

Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike's Internet address is and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike's press site at  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.


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