Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz posted on Twitter that his bout at Bellator 120 against middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko is now signed. Ortiz asked on the social media platform earlier this week why Shlemenko was backing off his challenge.
“Congrats on singing on the line,” Ortiz wrote Friday morning. “Now your going 2 know why your a middleweight. May 17th live on PPV! Let the Punishment Begin.”
Ortiz (16-11-1) hasn’t fought since 2012 when he lost his third straight to Forrest Griffin. He retired at that time and was inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame. However, shortly after, Ortiz signed a deal with Bellator and was scheduled to meet Quinton “Rampage” Jackson last November in the first pay-per-view put on by the promotion.
A neck injury canceled the fight and Ortiz has been in rehab since. He has just one win in his last nine fights, submitting Ryan Bader in 2011.
Shlemenko (50-7) successfully defended his belt this past March, submitting Brennan Ward in the second round. He has won each of his last 13 fights, scoring eight finishes since a 2010 loss to Hector Lombard.
The bout joins a card that features Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler and Jackson meeting “King Mo” Lawal in the finals of the season 10 light heavyweight tournament.
@StormShlemenko congrats on signing on the line.Now your going 2 know why your a middle weight.May 17th live on PPV!Let the Punishment Begin
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) April 18, 2014