Shlemenko, 29, is a veteran of over 50 cage fights, despite his relatively young age. He is currently riding a twelve-fight win streak that includes victories over Brett Cooper, Maiquel Falcao, Doug Marshall and Vitor Vianna.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has given great opportunities to many top Russian MMA fighters over the years, but Shlemenko has always been the cream of the crop. Rebney is very excited to secure his services for the long haul.
“Alexander Shlemenko has been with this organization since its infancy, and has grown into one of the most dominant champions in MMA,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said of the superstar. “I can say without hesitation Alexander has been a large part of the success we have enjoyed over the last five years and as the biggest name in Russian MMA, he’s been the catalyst to the largest TV deal in the history of MMA in Russia.
"It’s an honor to have him fight in this organization. I look forward to watching his career continue inside the Bellator cage for years to come.”
Shlemenko, a perennial top ten ranked middleweight, is excited to continue his career with one of the top MMA promotions in the world.
Bellator has been my home for many years, and it’s where I want to be. Bjorn made me a promise and he lived up to that promise to provide me with a new deal. I have made a home here at Bellator, and I will continue to represent Russia in my efforts in the cage. I have gained millions of new fans both in the US and in Russia and around the world during my time with Bellator, and I will enjoy being Bellator’s longest running champion. I will continue wearing that belt with honor during my time with Bellator, which will now be at the peak of my career.
Shlemenko puts his middleweight title on the line against Bellator Season 9 tournament winner Brennan Ward on March 28.