Bellator 208 Results: Anatoly Tokov Overcomes Alexander Shlemenko

Anatoly Tokov, Bellator 208
Anatoly Tokov, Bellator 208 Credit: Dan Doherty/Cageside Press

Anatoly Tokov went the distance with fellow Russian and former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, earning a unanimous decision that marked Shlemenko’s third straight loss.

Former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko was back in action on Saturday at Bellator 208, taking on fellow Russian Anatoly Tokov. Tokov had won both his Bellator fights to date, while Shlemenko last fought in the Bellator cage in a losing effort to Gegard Mousasi last year. He’d also lost outside the promotion since then, under the M-1 banner, and was looking to avoid a three-fight skid.

Both men were throwing hard early, with Shlemenko backing Tokov up at times. Tokov had some success with his right hand, while ‘Storm’ would connect with a spinning back fist. The edge was taken off that one, however, as Shlemenko was just out of position.

A clinch along the fence then followed, with the pair briefly going to the ground. That didn’t last long, and they’d exchange knees back on the feet. Down they went a second time, and Tokov seemed to be in better position, with a chance to spend some time in Shlemeno’s guard. However, Shlemenko made it back up — only to be slammed down.

Yet back up went Shelemenko, who then fired off another spinning back fist, this one well wide of the mark.

Round two saw Tokov press forward, backing up his opponent briefly. Shlemenko broke out of that corner with a spinning kick attack, but he’d later land a kick low on Tokov, halting the action. Back underway, the pair would clinch, eating up some clock until Shlemenko managed to fire off a little more offense back out in the open. As the round progressed ‘Storm’ seemed the fresher fighter, but Tokov still managed to land a few punches, and took the back toward the end of the round — though he was unable to take the former champion down.

The third round saw more of a clinching affair. Tokov was landing with better accuracy when the pair did exchange. Winning those exchanges was key. More often than not, Shlemenko was missing the mark, and later in the round, Tokov again took the back and briefly got his opponent to his knees. When it went to the scorecards, the result wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Anatoly Tokov def. Alexander Shlemenko by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)