Reigning Middleweight Champion Set To Defend Crown March 28th
Newport Beach, Calif. (February 24, 2014) – When reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Alexander Shlemenko steps into the cage on March 28th, the 29-year-old Russian finisher will not only be looking for his incredible 50th win, but will also be fighting with a new contract in hand as Bellator has announced a long term extension for the man known simply as “Storm”.
“Bellator has been my home for many years, and it’s where I want to be,” Shlemenko said. “Bjorn made me a promise and he lived up to that promise to provide me with a new deal. I have made a home here at Bellator, and I will continue to represent Russia in my efforts in the cage. I have gained millions of new fans both in the US and in Russia and around the world during my time with Bellator, and I will enjoy being Bellator’s longest running champion. I will continue wearing that belt with honor during my time with Bellator, which will now be at the peak of my career.”
Currently riding a twelve-fight win streak that includes victories over Brett Cooper, Maiquel Falcao, Doug Marshall and Vitor Vianna, Shlemenko will defend his crown against Season 9 Tournament winner Brennan Ward on March 28th live on Spike. As one of the true Russian ambassadors for the sport, Shlemenko is set to reign over the Bellator Middleweight division for years thanks to his extension.
“Alexander Shlemenko has been with this organization since its infancy, and has grown into one of the most dominant champions in MMA,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “I can say without hesitation Alexander has been a large part of the success we have enjoyed over the last five years and as the biggest name in Russian MMA, he’s been the catalyst to the largest TV deal in the history of MMA in Russia. It’s an honor to have him fight in this organization. I look forward to watching his career continue inside the Bellator cage for years to come.”
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA
About Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 140 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 175 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.
About Spike TV:
Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.