9. Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko
Even though he is only 34 years old, Alexander Shlemenko has 70 professional fights under his belt. The Russian born fighter has collected wins all across the world since turning professional back in 2004.
The man nicknamed “Storm” burst onto the MMA world by winning 22 out of his first 25 contests while being crowned the champion of seven different tournaments. The veteran fighter joined the Bellator roster back in 2011, where he would continue to win tournaments. Shlemenko was crowned the middleweight champion of both the second and fifth seasons of the organization’s tournament.
At Bellator 88, Shlemenenko defeated Maiquel Falcao to capture the vacant middleweight title. The Russian fighter successfully defended the title three times before losing it to Brandon Halsey at Bellator 126. The Russian would sign with M-1 Global and compete in both organizations. In 2016, Shlemenenko would pick up another tournament championship by winning the M-1 Global Middleweight Grand Prix. Shortly after he would rematch Halsey and get his revenge by beating the American by TKO in just 25 seconds.
Throughout his 15-year career, Shlemenko has faced a who’s who list of fighters including Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Hector Lombard, Brennan Ward, Tito Ortiz, Kendall Grove, and Gegard Mousasi.
Shlemenko blends takedowns and trips from the clinch with a technical kickboxing game to best several of his opponents. However, what made his most appealing to the fans were his large arsenal of spinning attacks which included spinning punches, spinning elbows, and spinning kicks.
Though Shlemenko appears to be slowing down after dropping three out of his last four fights, don’t be surprised if Shlemenko is able to win one final tournament before deciding he should retire.