PRESS RELEASE / CHICAGO, Ill. (October 25, 2010) — Bellator Fighting Championships will close out Season 3 with two World Championship fights destined to make Bellator history. Bellator World Middleweight Champion and former Judo Olympian Hector “Shango” Lombard will square off against Russian knockout artist and Season 2 Middleweight Tournament Champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko for the Middleweight World Title. And, the #1 ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world Megumi “Mega Megu” Fujii will face dynamic striker Zoila “The Warrior Princess” Frausto in a fight to crown the first ever Bellator Women’s Champion at 115 pounds.
“Both of these fights should be electrifying said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Hector Lombard is the most dynamic and powerful Middleweight in the world today and his challenger; Alexander Shlemenko is a knockout artist from Russia. This fight should be a war.And, when it comes to the Bellator Women’s Title, this really is a dream matchup for the Women’s 115-pound Championship. Fujii is the greatest pound-for-pound female on earth and Zoila’s striking ability is the better than any woman on earth, south of 125.Fujii’s pound-for-pound title will be on the line in what promises to be one of the most electrifying battles in the history of women’s MMA.”
Training out of Coconut Creek, Florida, the Cuban-born Lombard has carved out a reputation as the most devastating knockout finisher in the sport during his time spent with Bellator. Making his U.S. debut at Bellator 3, Lombard knocked out Virgil Lozano in an opening round middleweight tournament fight. In the semifinals Lombard overwhelmed Damien Stelly with a barrage of strikes in the first round to advance to the Middleweight Championship fight against Jared Hess. After four convincing rounds of punishment, Lombard stopped Hess by TKO (doctor stoppage) to collect the $175,000 in winnings while becoming first ever Bellator Middleweight World Champion.
For Shlemenko, the Russian born powerhouse entered the Season 2 Middleweight Tournament as one of the favorites, and proved his believers right with an impressive showing throughout. Impressive victories over Matt Major and Hess propelled Shlemenko into the finals where he would face fellow favorite Bryan “The Beast” Baker, whose only previous defeat had come at the hands of UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen via decision. As the first round progressed, Shlemenko connected with a right cross that sent Baker to the canvas where the explosive striker hovered over his grounded opponent and teed off with a volley of unanswered strikes that forced the first round stoppage, and earned him the Season 2 Tournament Championship.
“Winning the title is my main goal, and I went a very long way to get here,” said Shlemenko. “Also, in my home city no one has ever had an MMA championship belt of such a high caliber, and I want to be the first one to achieve it.”
Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, Fujii moved into the MMA record books with her impressive tournament semifinal victory over Lisa Ward at Bellator 31 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. With the win, Fujii became the first MMA fighter to win 22 consecutive fights. Widely respected as the most dangerous ground fighter in women’s MMA, out of Mega Megu’s twenty-two victories, an astonishing eighteen have come via submission. Having achieved the rank of black belt in both Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, a Bellator Women’s Championship Title could be the next belt Fujii adds to her collection.
Frausto continues her rise through the MMA ranks following her drop down in weight from the 135 lb division. The “Warrior Princess” made a great first impression in Bellator, knocking out the world’s top 125-pound female fighter Rosi Sexton in devastating fashion last June at Bellator 23 to secure her spot in the women’s tournament. Following a convincing unanimous decision victory against the top ten ranked Jessica Pene in the quarterfinals, Zoila was matched up against dangerous submission specialist Jessica Aguilar in semifinal action taking place at Bellator 31. After three hard fought rounds, it was Frausto that found her hand raised and a ticket to the finals. The fast rising Frausto is thankful for the opportunity, and ready to compete for a title.
“This the biggest Woman’s Tournament in the World, stacked with the best competition in the weight class,” said Frausto. “Winning this tournament would make me the best of the best, and I want that more than anything in the world right now.”