Baker-Vianna, Shlemenko-Rogers Semifinals Tabbed for Bellator 54

By Jordan Breen and Jesse Denis Sep 17, 2011
Bryan Baker (top) meets Vitor Vianna Oct. 15 in Bellator's 185-pound semifinals. | Photo: Keith Mills

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- With the quarterfinals wrapped up, Bellator's Season 5 middleweight tournament will resume at Bellator 54 on Oct. 15 at the Boardwalk Hall Ballroom in Atlantic City, N.J.

The semifinal round of the 185-pound bracket will see Season 2 middleweight tournament finalist Bryan Baker take on Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout Vitor Vianna, while Season 2 tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko meets up with fellow heavy hitter Brian Rogers.

Bellator 54 is headlined by a Bellator lightweight title clash between champion Eddie Alvarez and undefeated Season 4 lightweight tournament winner Michael Chandler. Also on the bill, Bellator bantamweight titlist Zach Makovsky will face UFC veteran Ryan Roberts in a non-title bout.

Baker, 25, advanced to the semifinals with a sterling third-round stoppage of Season 1 runner-up Jared Hess. "The Beast" previously made it to the finals of Season 2's 185-pound tournament before being stopped by the aforementioned Shlemenko.

Vianna, a member of Wanderlei Silva's wand Fight Team in Las Vegas, used his stout grappling to slip by Sam Alvey in the quarterfinals, earning a hard-fought split decision victory after 15 minutes.

The knockout-minded Shlemenko showed off his submission game in his Season 5 quarterfinal, guillotining Croatian kickboxer Zelg Galesic in under two minutes. A winner of 10 of his last 11 bouts, Shlemenko's only loss in that span came last October in his title challenge against Bellator 185-pound kingpin Hector Lombard.

Rogers earned his way to the semifinals with a quasi-controversial first-round stoppage of Victor O'Donnell. "The Predator" has won seven straight bouts dating back over two years, with all seven wins by way of first-round knockout.


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