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Former Bellator champ Alexander Shlemenko pulls drowned man from river

The former champion called police to the scene but it was too late. 

Russia’s Shlemenko defeats his US rival Halsey in their M-1 Challenge 79 mixed martial arts event at SPIEF 2017 Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Alexander Shlemenko made headlines this past week after pulling a drowned man from the Irtysh River beside his home.

The former Bellator champion was planning on taking a dip in the river when he spotted the body floating in the water. He dove into the river and brought the man back to shore and contacted the police and emergency services.

Despite Shlemenko’s efforts, the fighter confirmed that the man had been found dead. The former champ then took to twitter to issue a warning to his fans.

“Such an unpleasant story happened to me,” Shlemenko said on Instagram (h/t RT Sports). ”I saw the body of a man in the river, swam behind it and pulled it ashore. Now I’m waiting for the police. Be careful on the water. Soberly evaluate your strength.”

Shlemenko, who began his MMA career in 2004, was Bellator middleweight champion between 2013-14 until he lost the title to Brandon Halsey at Bellator 126. He has since fought at various Russian promotions, including M-1 Global and Russian Cage-fighting Championship (RCC). He won the M-1 Global Grand Prix Middleweight Final and has won three of his last four fights with RCC, including a submission win against David Branch in his most recent fight in December 2019.

The native of Omsk, Russia was scheduled to meet Louis Taylor at an RCC event in March before the event was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.