After Bellator 109 concludes, Alexander Shlemenko will walk out of the Sands Casino Event Center still the Bellator middleweight champion. Doug Marshall is a worthy opponent and has a puncher’s chance of defeating Shlemenko, but it’s doubtful he will land that perfect punch.
Shlemenko is a good kick boxer and a patient one. He has cardio to go the distance, as shown in his recent victory over Brett Cooper, and will attempt to do so again. Marshall is a dangerous puncher, but a reckless one. Marshall has a tendency to load up and throw wild punches. Shlemenko will counter and catch him if he does. Marshall will have to be calm if he plans to dethrone Storm, who has not lost in 11 fights.
This is not the first striker Shlemenko has fought. Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves was a known striker, as was Brian Rogers and Hector Lombard. Out of the three aforementioned fighters, Shlemenko only lost to one (Lombard). He is not going to fall apart if Marshall happens to land one.
On the flip side, Marshall is used to ending fights in the first round. He did so against Cooper, Andreas Spang and Kala Hose inside the Bellator cage. The one fight that went the distance, he only narrowly won (Sultan Aliev).
There is a chance Marshall will began to break if the fight doesn’t end in the first round. Shlemenko has to know this going into the fight. More than likely, he will lay low and survive the storm and then go on the attack after Marshall wears himself out. Once that happens, Shlemenko will either finish the fight or win the final two rounds by decision.