Alexander Shlemenko will try to run his winning streak to 12 in November. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Bellator’s next trip to Atlantic City, N.J., will host a middleweight title bout between Alexander Shlemenko and Doug Marshall.
Bellator officials Wednesday announced the booking, which takes place at Revel Atlantic City and airs live on Spike TV. The Nov. 15 event, Bellator 107, is also expected to feature the return of UFC lightweight veteran Kurt Pellegrino, as “Batman” comes out of retirement to battle Saul Almeida.
Marshall joined Bellator last year and rattled off three victories to win the promotion’s Season 8 middleweight tournament, capping his run with an April knockout of Brett Cooper to earn a crack at Shlemenko’s title. However, “The Rhino” would see his opportunity delayed after a hand injury placed him on the sideline this summer.
As a result, Bellator was forced to institute a new voting policy to determine a replacement opponent for Shlemenko, as no tournament winners existed to fill in for the 36-year-old. Cooper was chosen and given a title shot last month at Bellator 98, coming up short in a hard-fought unanimous decision defeat to “Storm.”
The victory marked the 11th consecutive victory for the Russian champion, who captured the vacant middleweight title in February by knocking out onetime UFC talent Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves at Bellator 88. Shlemenko is a two-time tournament winner and owns 28 of his 48 career victories by knockout.