In a fight that was a far cry from sensible, former UFC light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz, submitted current Bellator middleweight champion, Alexander Shlemenko this past Saturday at Bellator 120. The kicker here was that the fight took place a light heavyweight; 205 pounds. Ortiz, having spent his entire career at light heavyweight is a massive fighter who cuts around 30 pounds just to get to 205. Shlemenko, on the other hand is considered small for middleweight (185 pounds) and weighed in at 201 pounds, leading people to believe that, even after trying to put on weight, this is the heaviest Shlemenko could be.
After weighing in, the already bigger Ortiz looked to rehydrate, get a meal in him and put on as much weight as possible before the fight. Rumor has it that Ortiz weighed as much as 230 pounds come fight time. Not only did he outweigh Shlemenko by 30 pounds, but he owned a 3 inch height and a 3 inch reach advantage. In short, Ortiz looked big enough to be two weight classes above Shlemenko, and it showed in the fight. Ortiz submitted Shlemenko via arm triangle less than halfway through the first round.
The question now lies with Ortiz, namely, what is next for the former champion. Does a win over an undersized middleweight, really propel him into any sort of title contention in Bellator? Ortiz has been under much criticism after his win over Shlemenko, though, all Ortiz did was accept and win a fight. Getting a win under his belt might have been the best thing for Ortiz, as it’s been nearly 3 years since his last victory. At this point in his career, a win over anybody is welcome.
Ortiz has set himself up for a winning streak that could push gain him a spot in the next Bellator light heavyweight tournament, though, not much more can be said for his performance as he has yet to defeat a true Bellator light heavyweight fighter.
Tags: 120, Alexander Shlemenko, Bellator, light heavyweight, Middleweight, MMA, Tito Ortiz