Cooper puts his hands up and Shlemenko extends an arm to touch gloves. They do and Cooper throws a pair of low kicks. The first hits the leg of Shlemenko the second is caughta and Shlemenko clocks him with a counter punch. Cooper circles away and Shlemenko lands a pair of heavy body shots. He then lands a spinning back fist and Cooper shoots for a leg after absorbing the full impact.
Cooper throws a punch upstairs and it's blocked and Shlemenko fires back with a body punch. He hurts Cooper with the next punch and drops him to the mat. Cooper rolls to his back and puts his guard up, nothing happens so the ref steps in the middle and let's Cooper up.
Cooper lands a pair of leg kicks and Shlemenko misses with a spinning back fist but then chases Cooper until his back is to the fence. Cooper circles away from the cage. Shlemenko lands a spinning kick to the body and a hard spinning back fist to the jaw. Shlemenko hurts him with a right hand but Shlemenko gets his bearings back throws a few more punches and Cooper drops him with another right hand. Shlemenko comes too quickly and is back to his feet. Cooper shoots for a takedown and does't get it. Shlemenko stands over him and looks to pounce. Cooper jumps to his feet and shoots for a single leg, but Shlemenko sprawls well and stays out in a front choke position. Shlemenko is first to his feet and misses with a right hook but lands another spinning back fist. Shlemenko lands a straight left to the face with 10 seconds left and they run out of time.
Cooper misses with a high kick and then shoots for the legs of Shlemenko. He misses the takedown and eats a hook to the head before getting back to his feet. Shlemenko throws another spinning back fist. This one is blocked and Cooper lands about three leg kicks before getting punched in the head again.
Cooper lands a leg kick and then his punch is blocked up top. Shlemenko pressures him up against the cage but Cooper works out of it. He throws a jab and a knee but Shlemenko catches the knee. Coop drops him with a punch and takes his back as Shlemenko returns to his feet. Cooper changes levels in search of a leg, but can't get it, then shimmys up Shlemenko's body returning to a body lock. Shlemenko won't go down but it's in a position to fire back either. He falls to a knee but gets back up and Cooper knees him in the ribs. Coopers tries to do a belly to back suplex but can't complete the slam, he's only able to use it to get from side to rear mount. Shlemenko scramble out the side door and gets back to his feet.
Shlemenko misses a right hook and then lands a heavy punch that's right behind it. He shoots for Cooper's legs and Cooper gets a body lock on him again. He shoots for the single leg and taked Shlemenko to a sitting position, the timekeepers signals 10 seconds left and Shlemenko gets back to his feet. He lands a right hand to the head of Cooper and another to the body before the bell.
Shlemenko lands a powerful punch with his left and misses with a kick. He lands an overhand right and looks to clinch up but Cooper escapes. Shlemenko lands a hook to the body and continues to trade with him. Shlemenko looks for underhooks and Cooper lands a knee to back him up. Shlemenko stuns his opponent with a sharp right hand and then pushes him up agains the cage. He's holding cooper there with a single underhook. He backs up and lands a spinning back first. Cooper comes at him and misses with a hook. Cooper shoots and Shlemenko sprawls. They work to their feet, Copper misses over the top with a hook and Shlemenko counters him.
Cooper shoots for a takedown and eats a flying knee to the head but it doesn't put his lights out. He returns to his feet and eats a lot more punches from Shlemenko. With a minute left Cooper lands a solid uppercut and a hook to the body. He's walking forward taking the fight to Shlemenko but has to be worried about those spinning back kicks and punches. The round ends with both men landing punches.
Alexander Shlemenko def. Brett Cooper by Unanimous Decision [30-27, 30-28, 29-28].
Everyone expected this fight to be a war and it certainly didn't disappoint, as it was non-stop action from the opening bell. It's pretty amazing that this fight made it to the judge's scorecard. It just goes to show the toughness of Shlemenko and Cooper. Shlemenko landed the cleaner, heavier shots throughout the fight and that ended up being the difference. Shlemenko really hurt Cooper on a number of occasions with well-timed spinning backfists. With the win, Shlemenko earns a spot in Bellator's Season 5 middleweight tournament, although Cooper still remains a strong candidate for a slot as well following his performance tonight.