Alexander Shlemenko has the opportunity to become the most successful fighter in Bellator history tomorrow night when he defends the Bellator middleweight title against Brennan Ward in the main event of Bellator 114.
Shlemenko currently holds the Bellator record for most wins in the middleweight division and a victory over Ward would give him the record for most overall wins in Bellator history, which he is currently tied with Pat Curran and Rick Hawn.
After winning the vacant middleweight title last year, he made successful title defenses against Brett Cooper and Doug Marshall. He is only one of five champions in Bellator history to make at least two successful title defenses and he can join Ben Askren as the only champions to make at least three successful title defense with a win tomorrow night.
His last title defense came in the main event of Bellator 109, where he defeated Marshall by knockout in the first round. After Shlemenko defeated Marshall, Ward came into the cage to let him know that he was coming to bring the belt back to the United States and that he would break the Russian fighter. Shlemenko’s response to the statement, “nothing.”
“What do I feel about Brennan Ward saying he will break me? Nothing,” Shlemenko said. “And since I’ve never fought an Irish fighter before, I guess he’s right when he says I’ve never faced a fighter like him.”
During Ward’s run in the season nine tournament, all of his wins came by stoppage in the second round. Shlemenko knows that his opponent tomorrow night is a finisher and is very good at all aspects of the game, he stated that Ward is a “typical American guy.”
“Brennan Ward is a typical American guy – he wants it all and he wants it now. He carved through the last tournament like a knife through hot butter, and finished all of his fights. He’s a well rounded fighter – he’s good standing up and on the ground, and he’s finished past opponents with both knockouts and submissions. He’s tough and he’s good at everything.”
No matter what happens in the cage tomorrow night, Shlemenko always has one rule in his fights. The rule is simple and very clear, never put on a boring fight and promises that his fight tomorrow night will be an exciting one to watch.
“My fight with Brennan Ward will be another example of my number-one rule about fighting, which is never to show a boring fight. This will be a spectacular fight, and very entertaining one too. It’s like this with all my fights.”