Several MMA media sources sprung to the web on Friday to announce a potential bout between Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Shlemenko openly called out the former champion on Thursday. Bellator has yet to officially announce the bout.
Shlemenko, who holds a 50-7 record and has not lost a fight since Oct. 28, 2010 when he lost a unanimous decision to Hector Lombard. Shlemenko won the middleweight strap by defeating Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves on Feb. 7, 2013. He has since defended his title three times (Brett Cooper, Doug Marshall and Brennan Ward). In those three title defenses, only Cooper has seen the final bell.
Ortiz has not fought inside the cage since July 2012, when Forrest Griffin sent the former champion into retirement. His last victory came at the expense of Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in 2011. Prior to that victory, Ortiz had not won since he defeated Ken Shamrock in 2006. Since the Shamrock victory, Ortiz is 1-7-1.
Ortiz was scheduled to make his Bellator debut against Rampage Jackson in November, but a neck injury forced him out of action. The injury aided in the cancellation of the pay-per-view.
There has been no information released as to which weight class the potential fight will take place in.
Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view is slated to go down on May 17. The headliner for the event is a rubber match between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. The season 10 light heavyweight tournament finale between Jackson and Muhammed Lawal is also scheduled for the event.
Bellator Rumors: Tito Ortiz, Alexander Shlemenko Booked for PPV