Bellator President Bjorn Rebney has kept his promise and taken quick action in reviewing the ‘right of first refusal’ contract stipulations when deciding whether to match the UFC’s offer for Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard. It appears the next time we see Lombard it will be in the UFC, as Bellator is making plans to fill what is now a vacant Middleweight Title. The MAy 25th Middleweight tournament finals just got more interesting, as the winner of the Maiquel Falcao versus Andreas Spang match will face 2 time Bellator tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko for the title. Spang, though a late replacement was impressive in KO’ing Brian Rogers in the semi finals, while Maiquel won a decision after a war with Sasha Vasilevsky. It should be an action packed final, and the title match scheduled for sometime in season 7 with Shlemenko could be a barn burner with either potential opponent.
Spang and Falcao got into a little altercation after their semi final wins, a shoving match in the Bellator Circle that should add some heat to their final matchup. I tend to favor Spang in this fight, though Falcao has a ton of experience and has won a lot of fights. Spang is going to be longer and he showed an ability to weather punishment.
Either guy has a tall order in facing Shlemenko however. The ‘Storm’ is one of the most unorthodox and sophisticated strikers in the game, and he has really been honing his game at a high level in MMA for years. Shlemenko has won two Bellator tournaments, back in Season 2 and in Season 5, and I look for him to be a moderately heavy favorite to win the title.
And what about Hector Lombard, who appears to be UFC bound? Lombard has proven all he can prove outside of the UFC. He has more than 30 wins versus only two losses (Akihiro Gono and Gegard Moussasi) and he has been dominant in Bellator.