Bellator is moving to Spike TV in January, and they’re not wasting any time trying to make a splash at their new TV home.
The promotion already announced two title bouts for its inaugural show on the new network, and revealed that its follow-up effort will also be headlined by a title bout.
Bellator will follow the opening salvo with a fourth title bout between Russian knockout artist Alexander Shlemenko and dominating Brazilian Maiquel Falcao. Bellator 88 on Feb. 7 features the two squaring off for the middleweight championship vacated by current UFC fighter Hector Lombard.
Bellator 88 takes place at The Arena at Gwinnet Center in Duluth, Ga.
Aside from the middleweight title fight, the night will also feature the opening round of Bellator’s next featherweight tournament, as well as a preliminary card that will be streamed exclusively on Spike.com.
After successfully winning his second Bellator middleweight tournament in 2011, Shlemenko has his sights set on one thing: The Bellator Middleweight World Championship. Currently riding a nine fight win streak and holding an incredible 46-7 record, Shlemenko knows his Feb. 7 fight will be the biggest of his career.
“It was a long path for me,” Shlemenko said. “It doesn’t matter whom I will face to get my title, Falcao, or anyone else. I will smash my opponent, and win the title, because I have my country behind me. I’m fighting for the honor of Russia, and I’m glad that the audience on Spike TV in and on Russia 2 will be able to watch my fight live!”
“Big Rig” enters the fight after three dominating tournament victories inside the Bellator cage and continues training under the tutelage of head trainer and Luta Livre practitioner Marcelo Brigadeiro in Brazil. After competing in organizations across the world, Falcao knows he has found a home in Bellator and is hoping to etch his name into the Bellator history books on Feb. 7 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
“I’ve had my sights set on the Bellator middleweight title for a long time,” Falcao said. “Bellator is my home, and nothing would make me happier to see my championship banner hanging in the rafters, and beating Shlemenko for the title.”
“Shlemenko vs. Falcao is a spectacular world title fight. If you like fights, this one has fight of the year written all over it,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “With 50 knockouts between the two, Feb. 7 should be absolute fireworks from The Arena at Gwinnett Center and on Spike TV.”
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting The Arena at Gwinnett Center Box Office. The event will broadcast live starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed live and free on Spike.com starting at 8 p.m. EST.