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Heads-Up: Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao Scrap for Bellator’s Vacant Middleweight Title Tonight

(Pretending to talk on the phone when your opponent is waiting for the face-off: Gangster. Photo via @BellatorMMA)

Bellator 88 goes down tonight at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia, headlined by Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao meeting for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title. This is a big freaking deal, relatively speaking. Here’s why you should care, and perhaps even tune in to the Spike broadcast at 10 p.m. / 9 p.m. CT.

Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, Shlemenko is 7-1 under the Bellator banner, winning the Season 2 and Season 5 middleweight tournaments. Though he lost his first title challenge in a 2010 decision against Hector Lombard, Shlemenko at least holds the distinction of being the only guy who Lombard wasn’t able to KTFO during his Bellator run. (We’d call that a “half-win.”) Shlemenko’s Season 5┬átournament sweep in 2011 should have secured him a rematch with Lombard, but the Cuban slugger buggered off to the UFC, vacating his title.

Enter “Big Rig.” After an odd one-and-done career in the UFC, Maiquel Falcao eventually landed in Bellator, where he scored three consecutive unanimous decision victories last year to win the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament. And so, Bellator’s last two middleweight tournament winners will now face each other. So will Falcao’s power triumph over Shlemenko’s fancy spinnin’-shit? Check out some relevant videos after the jump and let us know what you think…

(Shlemenko vs. Bryan Baker, 6/24/10)

(Shlemenko vs. Zelg Galesic, 9/17/11)

(Shlemenko vs. Brian Rogers, 10/15/11)

(Shlemenko vs. Ikuhisa Minowa, 4/7/12)

(Falcao vs. Julio Cesar Bilik, 7/9/11)

(Falcao vs. Norman Paraisy, 3/16/12)

(Falcao vs. Andreas Spang, 5/18/12)

Cagepotato Comments

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Rear Naked Poke- February 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm
Utah, gimme two!
KidDinomite- February 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm
Falcao's a killer and Shlemenko's got skills as well. This one's either gonna be a war or KO. Either way, damn good match!
painvelasquez- February 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm
shlemenkos gonna win this for mother russia!
Fried Taco- February 7, 2013 at 11:54 am
It's actually his baby's mama calling, asking where the fuck he is cuz it's his turn to watch the kid. And you better not be late with the child support again this month.