In an unexpected bit of matchmaking news from the Bellator promotion, Tito Ortiz is being targeted to fight Alexander Shlemenko on Bellator’s pay-per-view debut on May 17th.
The idea for the fight seems to have come from current Bellator middleweight champ Shlemenko himself who called out Ortiz in a video which was released yesterday.
Shlemenko is coming off a submission win over Brennan Ward just a couple of weeks ago that marked the third successful defense of his Bellator title to date, and in his video he said he had “no problem” moving up to 205lbs to fight Ortiz.
Ortiz had been eager to appear on this card even although he was responsible for the collapse of Bellator’s last foray into the PPV market when he was forced to pull out of the event’s headliner with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at the last minute due to an injury.
He’s since recovered, but has also been dealing with issues in his personal life, including a messy separation from his long-time partner, Jenna Jameson, a DUI charge in January and stepping down as female star Cris ‘Cyborg’s’ manager after being highlighted by UFC president Dana White as one of the main reasons she hadn’t been signed by the promotion.
The former UFC light-heavyweight champion and hall-of-famer will now look to stay healthy and get back on track by making his Bellator debut, hoping to cancel out his current three-fight losing streak and earn only his second victory in his last 10 fights.
With the announcement of this fight, Bellator’s PPV main card is now taking shape, with a third encounter between lightweight stars Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler set to headline the show, while Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal will square off in the co-main event light-heavyweight tournament final,