More fight announcements are rolling in for Bellator's fall lineup. Middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko saw his long winning streak abruptly broken by the one and only Tito Ortiz in a special 205 lbs match-up. Back at 185, Shlemenko now gets back to defending his belt, which he'll do against Brandon Halsey on September 26th in Phoenix, Arizona. Also on the card is an enticing lightweight tournament final between Patricky Freire and Marcin Held, which serves as the co-main event.
Shlemenko (50-8) had won 13 straight bouts prior to losing to Ortiz at Bellator 120 in May. The Russian standout last defended the Bellator title when he choked out Brennan Ward in the 2nd round, marking the first time he'd submitted anyone since 2011. The undefeated Brandon Halsey, who is not related to Admiral Halsey, defeated Joe Pacheco and submitted Brett Cooper to claim the season 10 middleweight tournament. The 27-year-old has spent more than half of his 7 fight career in Bellator.
Pitbull (13-5) went through a rough spell of 3 straight losses, including a KO loss to Eddie Alvarez in 2012, but he's picked himself up nicely and has stopped both David Rickels and Derek Campos en route to this lightweight tournament final. Held (19-3) was supposed to fight Freire on the Bellator PPV, but when the Brazilian pulled out with an injury, the 22-year-old native of Poland instead fought and submitted Nate Jolly. The submission specialist is best known for heel hooks, toe holds, and generally just mangling limbs. His trip to the final involved submissions of Rodrigo Calvheiro in the quarterfinal and Derek Anderson in the semifinal.
Bellator 126 airs live on Spike TV at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT, with preliminary card bouts streamed on Spike.com. Other bouts also announced for this show are Bubba Jenkins against Alejandro Villalobos and Mike Richman versus Ed West.