Bjorn Rebney calls Ortiz-Shlemenko fight a 'weird, funky, freaky kind of cirque du soleil-esque type of fight’

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney spoke with members of the media following Bellator 118, where he discussed the "funky, freaky" match-up between middleweight champ Alexander Shlemenko and former UFC heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz.

It appears that even Bjorn Rebney realizes that the Tito Ortiz - Alexander Shlemenko fight is an odd bit of matchmaking.

The Bellator MMA CEO spoke with members of the media following the Bellator 118 show last Friday night, where he discussed a variety of topics including that particular feature fight on the promotion's upcoming PPV.

Rebney had recently stated that there will likely be a 30-35 pound weight disparity between the two competitors come fight night, as Shlemenko walks around at 190-91 pounds while Tito is closer to 220 pounds. This led him to admit that the match-up was a "funky, crazy fight."

"It is just a weird, funky, crazy fight," Rebney said at the post-fight media scrum. "Shlemenko is a small 185er. He is a typical Russian that doesn't want to cut a lot of weight. He walks around at like 91-92 [pounds]. [Douglas] Lima is bigger off-season as our welterweight champion than Shlemenko is when is getting ready for a fight at middleweight."

The discussion regarding this bout began when Shlemenko, who holds a 50-7 record in MMA competition and has been Bellator's middleweight champ since winning the vacant title back at Bellator 88, took to social media and posted a video where he respectfully called out Tito Ortiz for a match-up on the PPV. The match-up was made official less than a week later.

It should be noted that Shlemenko himself sees no issues with the weight disparity, as he believes the size disadvantage will allow him to be quicker and implement his own gameplan.

Rebney would usually not approve of such a odd match-up, but made an exception for Shlemenko, whom he considers to be "one of the most dominant middleweights on earth."

"He is riding a 13-fight win streak, and I think he is one of the most dominant middleweights on earth.  A lot of people want to talk about this or that, but I know what other middleweights are out there and he is as tough as they come.  I wouldn't against bet Shlemenko against anybody.  So it just a weird, funky, freaky kind of cirque du soleil-esque type of fight."

Bellator 120 take place on May 17 at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.

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