Alexander Shlemenko’s loss to Tito Ortiz this past weekend at Bellator 120 didn’t dim the shine on the middleweight champion, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Despite falling victim to Ortiz via submission, Rebney believes the Russian can continue to be a vital part of the promotion going forward.
“There’s potential to make a series of great fights for him,” said Rebney, during the post-fight press conference. “Some would be on free TV and some may be on pay-per-view.”
Shlemenko (50-8), who had his 13-fight win streak stopped by Ortiz, just turned 30 years old on Tuesday. He will likely face the winner of Brett Cooper and Brandon Halsey, who meet in a tournament finale this July.
After the loss, Shlemenko didn’t have much to say, only commenting “It’s just too bad and I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to win this fight.” He did offer Ortiz congratulations, and added “it was a very good experience for me.”
Shlemenko was the one who asked for the Ortiz contest, despite knowing he would be heavily out-weighed for the fight. Ortiz, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, earned his first win since 2011.