Alexander Shlemenko (50-8) will look to bounce back from his first loss in over 12 bouts, when he defends his Bellator Middleweight title against Season 10 tournament winner, Brandon Halsey (7-0) at Bellator 126.
Shlemenko had his 13-fight win streak snapped at Bellator 120, when moved up a weight class and was submitted by light heavyweight, Tito Ortiz in the first round. This fight with Halsey will be the Russian’s fourth straight title defense. He had previously defended his middleweight title three straight times, defeating Brett Cooper, Doug Marshall, and Brennan Ward. Shlemenko became champion at Bellator 88, when he knocked out Maiquel Falcao to capture the vacant title.
Brandon Halsey entered his first tournament as a late replacement in the Season 10 Bellator -man Middleweight tournament, and ended up being the dark horse by winning it all. Halsey defeated Joe Pacheco by decision, and submitted Brett Cooper in the first round, in the finals.
In the co-main event of Bellator 126, the Season 10 lightweight tournament finals will take place between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (13-5) and Marcin Held (19-3). Both fighters are looking for their first Bellator tournament win, in both their 3rd attempts.
“Pitbull” had two impressive knockouts in the quarter and semi-finals of the tournament, defeating David Rickels and Derek Campos.
The 22 year old Held defeated Rodrigo Cavalheiro and Derek Anderson to secure his spot in the finals, and is currently riding a 4-fight win streak.
And rounding out the four-fight main card on Spike TV: NCAA National Champion, Bubba Jenkins (6-1) takes on Alejandro Villalobos (17-3). And Ed West (18-8) faces Mike Richman (15-6).
Bellator 126 takes place at the Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on September 26th.
Bellator 126 Fight Card:
Main Card (9 PM EST, Spike TV)
- Middleweight Title: Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey
- Patricky Freire vs. Marcin Held
- Bubba Jenkins vs. Alejandro Villalobos
- Ed West vs. Mike Richman