A rematch of a Bellator MMA middleweight title between Alexander Shlemenko and Brandon Halsey will serve as the main event for M-1 Challenge 79.
The Russian promotion announced the pairing on Tuesday. M-1 Challenge 79 takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 1. The two middleweights first squared off at Bellator 126 in September 2014, with Halsey taking Shlemenko’s 185-pound title via rear-naked choke just 35 seconds into the opening frame.
Shlemenko is unbeaten in six bouts since then, although a victory over Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133 was overturned to a no contest after the Russian fighter failed a drug test. “Storm’s” last four appearances have occurred under the M-1 Challenge banner, including a three-round verdict over Paul Bradley on March 3.
Halsey, meanwhile, enters the bout on a two-bout skid. The HB Ultimate Representative was stopped by a Rafael Carvalho body kick in a title bout at Bellator 144 before falling to John Salter via first-round submission at Bellator 156 in his last outing. Prior to that, “Bull” had been victorious in his first nine professional bouts.