Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko has signed a new contract with the promotion.
Announced by the franchise today, the 29-year-old Russian fighter has come to terms with the brand on a neoteric deal that will keep him fighting in Bellator’s charter for the next few years. Although the terms of the agreement were not released, it’s stipulated to be a “multi-fight, multi-year” accord and one that the champion appears to be happy with.
By way of official statement, Shlemenko commented as follows:
"Bellator has been my home for many years, and it's where I want to be. Bjorn (Rebney) made me a promise and he lived up to that promise to provide me with a new deal. I have made a home here at Bellator, and I will continue to represent Russia in my efforts in the cage. I have gained millions of new fans both in the US and in Russia and around the world during my time with Bellator, and I will enjoy being Bellator's longest running champion. I will continue wearing that belt with honor during my time with Bellator, which will now be at the peak of my career."
Shlemenko has a 10 – 1 BMMA record, as over four stints in the brand, with his lone defeat coming by way of a unanimous decision loss to Hector Lombard. Since his 2010 ruination to ‘Lightning’, Shlemenko has gone 7 – 0 in the promotion (12 – 0 cumulatively), won the Bellator’s middleweight belt and defended it twice.
At 49 – 7 overall and an 87.5% success ratio through his ten year career, ‘Storm’ has proven himself not only a prolific and durable fighter, but also a solid one for Bellator to have as its 185 pound champion.
Regarding Shlemenko’s new deal, BMMA CEO Bjorn Rebney appears to be well pleased with the it as well.
Rebney’s official comment reads as follows:
“Alexander Shlemenko has been with this organization since its infancy, and has grown into one of the most dominant champions in MMA. I can say without hesitation Alexander has been a large part of the success we have enjoyed over the last five years and as the biggest name in Russian MMA, he’s been the catalyst to the largest TV deal in the history of MMA in Russia. It’s an honor to have him fight in this organization. I look forward to watching his career continue inside the Bellator cage for years to come.”
All in all, it seems as if both parties are happy with the terms of the deal and that resultantly, Shlemenko will be gleefully toiling away in BMMA’s Octagon for the foreseeable future.That said, it would be great if BMMA could ‘up’ the talent pool in their 185 class and deliver Storm better competition.