Late Thursday night, Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko called out mixed martial arts veteran Tito Ortiz, despite being in a different weight class. Despite Schlemenko needing to move up in weight, the two men have agreed to the fight and they will now be facing off at Bellator’s pay-per-view debut event.
Sherdog.com confirmed the news on Friday morning.
It is a brilliant move by Shlemenko, who is one of the top middleweights in the world. Despite his success inside of the cage, he is still not a name that your casual mixed martial arts fan recognizes, but that will change with a win over Ortiz.
Ortiz may not be the fighter that he once was, but he is still a big name that will put butts in the seats and Shlemenko can continue to build up the buzz surrounding him with an impressive win.
Bellator’s pay-per-view event will take place at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss. on May 17.
The event is headlined by a lightweight title fight between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, who have two of the most exciting bouts in MMA history. The Season 10 light heavyweight tournament final will also be on the card, which places Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the cage opposite Muhammed Lawal.