Two Russian countrymen will do battle for middleweight contendership at Bellator 208.
A matchup between former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko and rising contender Anatoly Tokov has been slated for the Oct. 13 event, which takes place at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Bellator officials confirmed the booking to MMA Fighting on Thursday following a tweet from Tokov this week.
Shlemenko (56–11, 1 NC) is looking to snap a two-fight losing skid that began with his controversial decision loss to Bellator middleweight titleholder Gegard Mousasi. Shlemenko followed up the disappointing setback with a first-round knockout loss to Bruno Silva this past June at M-1 Challenge 93, a performance which marked Shlemenko’s first knockout loss since 2009.
Prior to that, the 34-year-old Shlemenko racked up a seven-fight win streak that included a 25-second stoppage of Brandon Halsey and a second-round TKO of The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove.
Tokov (26-3), on the other hand, is a perfect 2-0 in Bellator after kicking off his promotional run with back-to-back stoppage wins over Francisco France and Vladimir Filipovic. In total, the 28-year-old Tokov has won 19 of his last 20 contests dating back to early 2012.
Bellator 208 is headlined by a heavyweight tournament semifinal matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen. The card also features a lightweight contest pitting former UFC champion Benson Henderson against Saad Awad, and a heavyweight tilt between Octagon veterans Cheick Kongo and Timothy Johnson.