Bellator’s 185 pound division is full of exciting fighters and has been featured with tournaments in Seasons 1, 2, 5 and 6. Hector Lombard sat atop the Bellator Middleweight Division after winning the Season 1 Tournament but bolted for the big money of the UFC. Alexander Shlemenko, who lost to Lombard at Bellator 34, won the Season 5 Tournament and will face Maiquel Falcao, the winner of the Season 6 tournament on Spike TV in 2013 with the belt on the line. It also appears that the 185 pounders are once again going to be in action in the Season 8 Tournament which begins in January 2013 when Bellator makes their debut on Spike.
Given the tournament format of Bellator leaving little debate in terms of rankings, it is still important to look at the big picture of recent activity from each fighter as well as their historic results.
And now the ranking of the best of of the Bellator Middleweight Division…
Top Bellator Middleweight Fighter Rankings:
1. Alexander Shlemenko – (46-7, 7-1 BFC) – One of the most experienced fighters on Bellator’s roster across all weight divisions, Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko reminds many of a smaller version of Fedor Emelianenko thanks to his stoic, quiet demeanor. Shlemenko scored a quick 1st round submission of Zelg Galesic before being strongly tested by Brian Rogers during the Season 5 Middleweight Tournament then followed with a dominating unanimous decision win over Vitor Vianna in the finals to win his second Bellator Middleweight Tournament and $100k payday. Injuries delayed him from returning to the cage and after Hector Lombard left for the UFC and vacated the belt, it was announced that Shlemenko will face Falcao for the 185lb title, expected to be in early 2013 on Spike TV.
2. Maiquel Falcao – (31-4, 3-0 BFC) – The winner of the Bellator Season 6 Middleweight Tournament, Falcao defeated Norman Paraisy, Vyacheslav Vasilevsky and Andreas Spang en route to the $100k check. Now 31-4, Falcao has a perfect 1-0 record with both the UFC and Bellator and will face Shlemenko for the 185lb title, expected to be in early 2013 on Spike TV.
3. Brian Rogers – (10-4, 3-2 BFC) – Brian “The Predator” Rogers burst onto the scene at Bellator 50 scoring a 1st round TKO of Victor O’Donnell, an opponent who had never been stopped in his MMA career. The win over O’Donnell was Rogers’ 7th straight 1st round KO/TKO victory after also picking up a win at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson in March 2011. While Rogers was eliminated by Shlemenko at Bellator 54 from the Season 5 Tournament, he returned at Bellator 61 in the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament scoring a highlight reel flying knee KO of Vitor Vianna. Now 3-2 fighting for Bellator, Rogers has already been announced as a participant in Bellator’s Season 8 tournament on Spike.
4. Vyacheslav Vasilevsky – (18-2, 1-1 BFC) – M-1 Global Light Heavyweight Champion Vyacheslav “Slava” Vasilevsky made his Bellator debut defeating Victor O’Donnell in the quarterfinals of the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament at Bellator 61 before dropping a decision to Falcao. A winner of 17 of his last 18 fights, Vasilevsky seems to be an obvious choice to fight in the Season 8 Middleweight Tournament.
5. Bruno Santos – (13-0, 1-0 BFC) – Bruno Santos made his Bellator debut defeating Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana at Bellator 61 to advance to the Season 6 semifinals, but was replaced by Andreas a week before his fight with Brian Rogers thanks to an injury. Still undefeated, Santos seems to be a logical choice to participate in the Season 8 Bellator tournament.
Honorable Mention: Bruno Santos, Vitor Vianna
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Updated December 2012
Complete Bellator Rankings:
- Bellator Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Light Heavyweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Middleweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Welterweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Lightweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Featherweight Division Rankings
- Bellator Bantamweight Division Rankings