While Bellator has more than a few fighters who should be one any hardcore MMA fans ‘can’t miss’ list, one of the promotion’s top competitors in this respect is middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko. Not only is the 50 fight plus vet a diverse and aggressive striker, but “Storm” carries that icy and ruthless vibe which just adds that extra something.
Case in point, the Russian fighter recently spoke with MMA Fighting.com to promote his bout tonight with Brett Cooper, and he was asked to comment on the wrestling based, win-the-round style that certain fighters are employing. The 29 year-old offered this gulp prompting response:
“This type of ‘fighting,’ if you wish, is sport. I can call it that: ‘sport.’ It’s not fighting,” said Shlemenko, whose only loss in his last 15 bouts came against former champ Hector Lombard.
“A fight should be brutal; it should be a fight, a war. This is not fighting.”
“This type of fighter, they’re slowly killing MMA,” Shlemenko added. “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.”
Wow. How about that? Now, brutality and wars aside, it will be interesting to see how Cooper does against Shlemenko tonight at Bellator 98, as “Fudoshin” was defeated by the champion in 2011. Since then, however, Cooper’s gone 7-1. The main card gets underway tonight on SPIKE beginning at 8:00 PM / ET.
Stay tuned to Caged Insider.com for all your Bellator news and coverage.