Bellator 274: Andrey Koreshkov Credits Coach Shlemenko for Crushing Kick

Former welterweight champ Andrey Koreshkov dazzled with a spinning back kick finish of Chance Rencountre at Bellator 274. It’s his coach, another former champ in Alexander Shlemenko, who inspired the move however.

“It’s his move, it’s his style,” Koreshkov (25-4) said following the fight, which ended in just 38 seconds, and landed Rencountre in hospital. “I like this move. He prepared me [for] MMA fights. We prepared this kick, and it’s working.”

It certainly is working. Rencountre crumpled almost immediately after the blow landed, and reportedly suffered five broken ribs and a punctured lung.

It was a statement victory from a former champ still in his prime at just 31-years old. Asked what he needs to do to get back into title contention — beyond highlight reel knockouts — Koreshkov replied “In my opinion, I need wins [against] some top guys. And we made the first step.”

Later, he suggested it would take “Maybe one, maybe two fights. Doesn’t matter. I’m ready right now.” But ready or not, the welterweight title is spoken for, on the line as Michael “Venom” Page challenges Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator London this May. In the meantime, Koreshkov has another opponent in mind: the English veteran known as “Semtex.”

“Paul Daley is higher than me in the rankings, and right now, he’s the last one who don’t have an opponent on the event [Bellator London],” Koreshkov said, explaining his callout of Daley. “And I think it’s a good idea, because his style, my style are very impressive, very spectacular.”

If it’s not Daley, “I can fight with anybody who’s higher than me,” Koreshkov said later.

Watch the full Bellator 274 post-fight press conference with Andrey Koreshkov above. More coverage from the event can be found below.