It appears that Alexander Shlemenko will get his wish, as Bellator revealed on Friday afternoon that the promotion's middleweight champion and former UFC light-heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz will meet on the upcoming PPV card in May.
Discussion regarding this odd match-up began when Shlemenko took to social media and posted a video where he respectfully called out Tito Ortiz for a match-up on the PPV. The following evening, both were present at Bellator 115 and had verbally agreed to meet at the PPV.
According to the press release, Shlemenko signed his bout agreement the day he called out Ortiz, while the "people's champion" needed eight days to make his decision.
"Tito Ortiz says he is healthy and he wants to fight. So now he has a fight. Me," Shlemenko said. "I will fight Tito, and I will beat him. I have a great respect for Tito Ortiz, but I have wanted to fight Tito for a long time, and this is my chance. I am moving up to light heavyweight for this fight, and I will win. When I am done with Tito, I will continue to defend my middleweight belt in Bellator."
Ortiz is 1-7-1 in his last nine fights, and while he had been out with a neck injury, he has decided to make his Bellator debut once he was cleared to fight.
"This fight really came out of nowhere and it took me by surprise, but it took me about three seconds to accept the fight," Ortiz said. "I'm healthy, I feel great, and I'm ready to do this. I knew I wasn't going to get any easy fights in Bellator, it's never what I wanted, and they delivered with a great fight for May 17th. Shlemenko is a tough guy, he's the Middleweight Champion, but he's fighting at my weight class, the weight class where I have beaten some of the best in the world, and it's going to be a very bad night for him."
Also announced for the PPV card is a welterweight feature fight between Michael Page and Rickey Rainey.
The updated fight card includes:
Alexander Shlemenko (50-7) vs. Tito Ortiz (16-11-1)
Rickey Rainey (7-2) vs. Michael Page (5-0)
Bellator 120: Alvarez vs Chandler 3 takes place May 17 at Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi and will be featured live on Pay-Per-View.