On Saturday, Sept. 7, Bellator MMA kicked off its ninth season with Bellator 98 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

In the night’s main event, Bellator middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko put his belt on the line for the first time, facing off with season eight tournament runner-up Brett Cooper. Shlemenko was originally expected to face Doug Marshall, who bested Cooper at Bellator 95 in April, but Marshall was forced out due to injury.

Also on the main card, the promotion began a new middleweight tournament. The quarterfinal round featured four bouts, Justin Torrey vs. Brennan Ward, Jeremy Kimball vs. Perry Filkins, Brian Rogers vs. Mikkel Parlo and Jason Butcher vs. Giva Santana.

Rounding out the televised portion of the event, Brazilian lightweight Patricky “Pitbull” Freire looked to snap a two-fight losing streak against Derek Anderson.

The night’s preliminary card streamed live on Spike.com beginning at 6 p.m. ET, with the Spike TV-portion of the card airing 8 p.m. ET.

For a full recap and results of the event, click here.

Below are highlights of the Shlemenko-Cooper title fight (courtesy of Bellator MMA).

Bellator 98 Fight Card
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper – for middleweight title
Brian Rogers vs. Mikkel Parlo – middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Jason Butcher vs. Giva Santana – middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Justin Torrey vs. Brennan Ward – middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Jeremy Kimball vs. Perry Filkins – middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Derek Anderson vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire
Jeff Nader vs. Mike Mucitelli
Josh Diekman vs. Parker Porter
Andrew Calandrelli vs. Ryan Quinn
Nick Piedmont vs. Matt Bessette
Glenn Allair vs. Rico Disciullo

Photo: Alexander Schlemenko (Bellator)

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