Bellator MMA will come to FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., when the Scott Coker-led promotion presents a card headlined by the return of former middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (53-9), who meets Kendall Grove (23-15) in middleweight action.
In addition, during the card’s co-main event, the always-exciting former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley (14-2) meets Josh Appelt (12-5) in heavyweight action.
Tickets for the event go on sale September 2 at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster or FedExForum Box Office. Bellator Nation (www.bellator.com/bellatornation) will have special access to a pre-sale offering from Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Main card action kicks off LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and additional main card and undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
A former Bellator MMA Middleweight Champion, the “Storm” has kept busy, racking up a pair of wins already in 2016, and adding to his seemingly endless resume of victories since turning pro in 2004. A natural born finisher, Shlemenko’s success in MMA has also translated to coaching, as he’s played a pivotal role in the ascension of current Bellator MMA welterweight kingpin Andrey Koreshkov.
Also of note, due to Shlemenko’s recent suspension, Bellator officials have enlisted the services of The Mohegan Department of Athletic Regulation to administer drug tests before and after Shlemenko’s fight against Grove. The former middleweight champion is presently licensed with the Mohegan commission.
Fixated on getting another shot a Bellator’s middleweight title, Grove has strung together two emphatic stoppage wins since losing his bid to attain gold at “Bellator 137: Halsey vs. Grove.” The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: 3” on SPIKE, the Maui, Hawaii, native has also been competing professionally for longer than a decade, racking up victories and a plethora of finishes along the way. An experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and Muay Thai practitioner, Shlemenko will need to be on his A-game when the two square off in the card’s main event on Oct. 21.
Lashley is a must-see mixed martial artist, as well as professional wrestler, and will make his first appearance inside the Bellator cage in 2016 during the co-main event at FedExForum. “The Dominator” will be looking to run his current winning streak to eight fights, and five-straight finishes. With the heavyweight belt recently vacated, there’s an argument that can be made that the Aurora, Colo., native is the big man to beat in Bellator MMA’s heavyweight weight class.
Appelt was set to make his fifth appearance under the direction of Bellator MMA against Sergei Kharitonov at “Bellator 154: Davis vs. King Mo,” but after the 35-year-old Russian withdrew due to illness, Appelt was forced to wait. Now, “The Juggernaut” is once again set to return, and again, the 33-year-old California native will have his hands full. With ten stoppages in 12 victories, Appelt will look to use his striking ability to nullify the strong wrestling pedigree of Lashley.
Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove Main Card:
- Middleweight Main Event: Alexander Shlemenko (53-9) vs. Kendall Grove (23-15)
- Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Bobby Lashley (14-2) vs. Josh Appelt (12-5)