Bellator middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko challenges Tito Ortiz
Just weeks after successfully defending his Bellator middleweight strap against Brennan Ward, Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko has issued a challenge to former UFC light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz.
The challenge came by way of a YouTube video and the champion acknowledged that he would have to pack on a few pounds for the fight but that he would have no problem in doing so.
“Tito Ortiz, you say you want to fight May 17 on Bellator’s pay-per-view. I will fight you,” Shlemenko said. “I will beat you. Tito, I respect you, but I must beat you because I’m champion.”
“I know that Tito Ortiz is in a different weight class. I know that Tito Ortiz is a light heavyweight. This is no problem for me…Bjorn (Rebney), make this fight for me because I am champion. I’m the best. I will make a good fight – Fight of the Night.”
The video then turns to Shlemenko speaking in his native tongue of Russian, presumably repeating what he already stated in English.
Ortiz was originally scheduled to fight on Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view event on last November against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The fight was scrapped after Ortiz sustained a neck injury and the entire card was moved from pay-per-view to the Spike television network.