Baker, Hess, Schambari, Shlemenko Advance at Bellator 16

By Lutfi Sariahmed Apr 29, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bryan Baker, Eric Schambari, Alexander Shlemenko and Jared Hess all scored victories Thursday at Bellator Fighting Championships 16 and will advance into the semifinals of promotion’s season two middleweight tournament, moving one step closer to a title bout with middleweight champion Hector Lombard.

Last year's 185-pound tourney finalist Jared Hess submitted Ryan McGivern with a guillotine choke 1:54 into the main event’s second round. Hess used his strength advantage to overwhelm the Miletich product with key takedowns in both the first and second rounds that McGivern couldn't regain position from.

Hess lost in the finals of last year's tournament to Lombard last year via doctor's stoppage in the fourth round. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced that Hess will face Alexander Shlemenko in the semifinals at Bellator 20 on May 27.

Siberian striker Shlemenko, an EliteXC veteran, had his way with Matt Major en route to a unanimous decision in their quarterfinal bout. A late addition to the tournament, Shlemenko did whatever he wanted standing, throwing spinning backfists, high kicks and nearly everything else at will, as Major couldn't manage much in the way of offense. Shlemenko bloodied Major's nose in the first round and stayed in control for the bout’s duration.

After dropping a split decision to Bryan Baker three years ago, Eric Schambari fought hard for his rematch, as both won their respective bouts and will meet again on May 27.

Schambari blitzed Luke Zachrich from the opening bell and overpowered the “Ultimate Fighter” alumnus. Schambari took Zachrich down and the end came soon there after with an arm-triangle choke 3:34 into the first round.

Despite downplaying its significance post-fight, Sean Loeffler came into his bout three weeks removed from losing his coach Hector Gil, who’d been shot. Dedicating this bout in his memory, Loeffler couldn’t manage to get out of the first round against Bryan Baker. Ducking under a series of punches from Loeffler, the WEC veteran took Loeffler down, moved to mount and proceeded to throw a myriad of punches earning the TKO victory at 2:43 into the first round.

In one of four bouts not televised on Fox Sports Network, Danny Timms defeated fellow local Brian Davidson by unanimous decision to earn a spot in the promotion’s bantamweight tournament, which will kick off in Bellator’s third season.

In other bouts:

John Eric Marriott def. Demi Deeds -- Submission (Triangle Choke) 3:02 R2
Drew Dober def. Nick Nolte -- Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) 4:45 R1
Brent Weedman def. Rudy Bears -- TKO (Punches) 4:19 R1
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