Shlemenko v FalcaoIt’s been more than a year since middleweight Alexander Shlemenko was seen fighting under the Bellator banner, opting to stay busy by competing in small organizations instead of risk his status as the division’s top contender. As a result, when he returns to the Bellator ring in a few months, the talented Russian will finally fight for the title he earned a shot at with another successful tournament run.

Specifically, Shlemenko will see action on February 7 where he’ll face fellow tournament winner Maiquel Falcao. The card will also feature the opening round of the organization’s Season 8 featherweight field.

“It doesn’t matter whom I will face to get my title, Falcao, or anyone else. I will smash my opponent, and win the title, because I have my country behind me. I’m fighting for the honor of Russia,” said Shlemenko in a press release announcing the bout.

Shlemenko holds an overall record of 46-7 despite only being 28 years old. He is currently on a nine-fight winning streak including success against Ikuhisa Minowa and Brian Rogers.

Comparably, Falcao is 31-4 with 26 stoppages to his credit and has exited the cage with his hand raised in 13 of his last fourteen fights.