Heavy Hitters Lined Up For Bellator 162
By Edward Carbajal
Bellator 162 will be Alexander Shlemenko’s return to fighting for the promotion after his suspension in early 2015. Before that he was the reigning middleweight champion for quite some time before losing to Tito Ortiz when he decided to move up in weight and challenge the former UFC light heavyweight champion. His suspension did not leave him inactive as he fought overseas to keep his blades sharp and come back to Bellator. His opponent, Kendall “Da Spyda” Grove who won his last two fights in Bellator is eager to welcome back a former champion.
Shelemenko has not really been on a layoff and neither has Grove so they could go the distance but Grove probably has more of an edge in submissions and could pull one off he brings down Shelemenko. However, if the Russian striker imposes his game on Grove it could go his way by way ok KO/TKO.
The co-main event features the return of Bobby Lashley who has been undefeated in Bellator since making his debut in 2014. He faces Josh Appelt who holds most of his wins by way of knock out. The fight will be interesting but not likely go the distance given the rate of finishes both fighters hold. Lashley probably has an edge in cardio given his active training schedule between recent pro-wrestling events and preparing for this fight.
Hisaki Kato versus A.J. Matthews could be a make or break fight with Kato having less to worry about since he has come off a win in MMA and Kickboxing. Matthews on the other hand has lost his last two fights and could really use a win over someone like Kato. The thing about Kato is if he is not knocking people out he seems to be getting knocked out. Although, he [Kato] is usually on the better end of that spectrum Matthews has been knocked out twice and odds are in Kato’s favor.
Submission specialist Goiti Yamauchi faces Ryan Couture in the first bout of the Spike TV broadcast. Couture lost really badly when he was knocked out by Patricky Freire at Bellator 148 and could really use a win to get past that. His best bet would be to try and go for a decision over Yamauchi or land a punch that could end the fight early to do so. If he tries to engage Yamauchi in a grappling match, he could make that one mistake that could get him caught in submission. Although he has never been submitted himself, probably best if he plays it safe.
That’s a pretty stacked card for some free fights on Spike TV and you can catch it all at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, Friday night.
“Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove” Fight Card
Middleweight Main Event: Alexander Shlemenko (53-9) vs. Kendall Grove (23-15)
Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Bobby Lashley (14-2) vs. Josh Appelt (12-5)
Middleweight Feature Bout: Hisaki Kato (6-2) vs. A.J. Matthews (8-5)
Lightweight Feature Bout: Goiti Yamauchi (19-3) vs. Ryan Couture (10-4)