Expect fireworks as middleweight strikers as Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko and Doug “the Rhino” Marshall will collide at Bellator 109 on November 22. This is a fight that MMA fans do not want to miss. Both fighters are primarily strikers, which is going to make for a great fight.

Doug Marshall: 18-6 (12 KO’s- 4 Sub)

It seems that Marshall’s career has recently found a second wind. The former WEC middleweight champion did not take any time off after losing the title to Brian Stann at WEC 33, as he compiled a 5 fight win streak with 3 wins coming by way of knockout with 1 decision and 1 submission. Marshall experienced a few career bumps shortly after this, but really came into his own after being signed by Bellator. He is currently 4-0 in Bellator with 3 of those wins coming by way of first round knockout. The bottom line, do not stand with Doug Marshall because HE HITS HARD.

Alexander Shlemenko: 48-7 (28 KO’s- 7 Sub)

Alexander Shlemenko is not only dangerous stylistically, but he is incredibly seasoned for a 29-year-old fighter, having competed in 55 mixed martial arts fights in 9 years. Shlemenko’s kickboxing is incredibly unorthodox, and I would imagine that Doug Marshall had a great deal of difficulty in finding sparring partners to prepare for this bout. Shlemenko brings spinning backkicks, brutal knees and a great grappling game into this fight. Shlemenko’s X-factor is unpredictability. It’s impossible to anticipate what he is going to throw because his style is so unpredictable.

Bottom Line:

This is going to be a solid stand-up fight. Expect Marshall to swing early in hopes of catching Shlemenko in the opening moments. The experienced Shlemenko will utilize his footwork to stay out of danger, while also mixing in kicks from the outside. In the third round, expect Doug Marshall to tire out and Shlemenko will pour it on him finishing the fight with a steady serving of punches and knees.

My Prediction: Alexander Shlemenko wins via TKO in the 3rd