Alexander Shlemenko wants to fight Tito Ortiz at Bellator’s May 17 pay-per-view. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko wants a piece of former UFC titlist Tito Ortiz, and he wants it on pay-per-view.
Shlemenko posted a video online Thursday night, asking Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney to book him opposite Ortiz.
“Tito Ortiz, you say you want to fight May 17 on Bellator’s pay-per-view. I will fight you. I will beat you,” Shlemenko said. “Tito, I respect you, but I must beat you, because I am champion. I know Tito Ortiz is a light heavyweight. This is not a problem for me. I’m ready to fight light heavyweight, no problem. Bjorn, make this fight for me, because I am champion. I am the best. I will make a good fight -- fight of the night.”
Bellator MMA’s inaugural pay-per-view takes place May 17 at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., and is headlined by a lightweight title rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler.
A two-time middleweight tournament winner, “Storm” captured the vacant Bellator title last year by knocking out onetime UFC talent Maiquel Falcao. Shlemenko then went on to defend his belt three times, most recently submitting Brennan Ward with a guillotine choke on March 28.
Ortiz, meanwhile, has not competed since July 2012, when he was outpointed by Forrest Griffin at UFC 148. After a short-lived retirement, Ortiz signed with Bellator and was expected to face fellow former UFC champion Quinton Jackson last November on pay-per-view. However, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” was forced to withdraw from the booking due to a neck injury, and the event was instead broadcast live on Spike TV.