Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed that the Russian middleweight champion will likely weigh just over 190lb. come fight night, which puts him at a significant weight disadvantage against former UFC light-heavyweight champ Ortiz.
Rebney estimated that the actual weight disparity between the two competitors would be around '30-35 pounds,' and believes that will add intrigue to the match-up itself.
"It's 20 pounds on paper, but legitimately, Shlemenko walks around at 190." Rebney told Sherdog.com. "He's a guy who cuts four pounds, who stops eating big meals a day and a half before the fight to cut four pounds of water weight to make 185. He's a typical Eastern European fighter who's not interested in the cut. By the time that fight goes into the cage, you're probably looking at a 30-, 35-pound weight disparity between Tito and Alexander. I think that's what gives a lot of the punch behind that big fight that we've got coming up in May."
Shlemenko holds a 50-7 record in MMA competition and has been Bellator's middleweight champ since winning the vacant title back at Bellator 88. Rebney sees the Russian as fighter who can draw ratings, even going so far as to compare him to Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
"That guy's going to turn over numbers, but it's the spinning back fists, it's his amazingly exciting style, coupled with the fact that he's got that whole Drago persona. Literally, we've had the guy signed for four years and I think I've seen him smile three times."
Bellator 120 take place on May 17 at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.