Bellator MMA officials have been busy bodies over the past few days, as the promotion announced some important news recently.
Alexander Shlemenko, the reigning Bellator middleweight champion, has signed a new deal with the company.
“Bellator has been my home for many years, and it’s where I want to be,” said Shlemenko, who defends his titl enext month. “I have gained millions of new fans both in the U.S. and in Russia and around the world during my time with Bellator, and I enjoy being Bellator’s longest running champion.
“I will continue wearing that belt with honor during my time with Bellator.”
Shlemenko will face Brennan Ward at Bellator 114 on March 28. He owns 12 consecutive victories to his credit.
“Alexander Shlemenko has been with this organization since its infancy, and has grown into one of the most dominant champions in MMA,” Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “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.”
The company also announced plans to begin airing live events on FOX Sports Latin America starting this Friday night with Bellator 110.
The card features Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event, taking on former Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu.
“When we saw the initial incredible response to our announcement of the Bellator/FOX Latin America alliance, coupled with the ratings from FOX’s first live broadcast in Latin America, we knew we had to figure out a way to have our fans throughout Latin America receive all of our live fights as quickly as possible,” Rebney said. “The team at Fox Sports have been tremendous partners to work with, and I am really pleased to announce that our spectacular 10th season and beyond will be able to be seen live throughout Latin America for many years to come on FOX.”
All 2014 Bellator live cards will air on the network, meaning it will reach over 50 million households in the region of Brazil.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports