On tonight's Bellator 116 broadcast, Tito Ortiz made his big announcement that he is going to make his Bellator debut on the promotion's May 17th PPV. Ortiz was recently cleared to compete after injuring his neck preparing for a bout with Quinton Jackson last November (Bellator's initial PPV attempt). Middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko will apparently move up to 205 lbs to take on the former UFC light heavyweight champion in what will likely be billed a "superfight". Yesterday Shlemenko released a video challenging Ortiz to a showdown, saying "I will fight you. I will beat you."
Ortiz (16-11-1) has not fought since 2012 when he lost a close decision to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. He's just 1-7-1 in his last 9 fights stretching back to the end of 2006. Shlemenko (50-7) recently defended his middleweight belt with a guillotine choke win over Brennan Ward. The Russian has not lost since a decision defeat vs. Hector Lombard in 2010.
But wait! Despite the staredown at cage-side, this isn't official yet. According to The MMA Report's Jason Floyd, Ortiz/Shlemenko is still "in the works":
Here is the latest on Tito/Shlemenko: There is not a signed contract for this fight. The fight is in the works— Jason Floyd (@Jason_Floyd) April 12, 2014
Bellator 120 takes place at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi (not too far from Memphis, TN), where Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler complete their epic trilogy in the main event, while Rampage Jackson fights King Mo in the co-main.