On May 7, 2018, the fourth inauguration of Vladimir Putin as the President of the Russian Federation took place at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow. The ceremony marked the commencement of a new six-year term for the incumbent president and was attended by approximately five thousand guests. These included notable politicians, religious figures, as well as celebrities such as b-list actor Steven Seagal, musician Yuri Bashmet, and even former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.
Shlemenko, who is coming off a unanimous decision loss against Gegard Mousasi in October 2017, was present at the inauguration as an official guest of the Kremlin.
”I was invited to the inauguration ceremony of the Russian president,” Shlemenko explained. “Therefore, I experienced mixed feelings of interest in what was happening and pride in the honor given to me. I got a seat in the front row, but did not try to get close to Vladimir Putin.”
As a longtime supporter of Putin’s presidency, Shlemenko’s presence was no surprise. He expressed satisfaction in the president’s ability to restore Russia to a position of power on the global stage
“I like that Russia is now to be reckoned with,” said Shlemenko. “Compare this to what happened in the 90’s under the president who liked to drink alcohol. Then no one took Russia seriously. Now Vladimir Vladimirovich has managed to bring respect back to our country. This can only cause approval.
“I think that he is doing well with his job as president. Plus he is a man from martial arts, supports them. The federation of mixed martial arts appeared with his consent, “added Shlemenko.
A native of the Omsk region in Russia, Shlemenko attempted a transition into politics when he began collecting the necessary signatures to become an official nominee for a deputy position in the Legislative Assembly. He planned to represent his home region as an independent candidate in the second consistency but his bid for election was unsuccessful.
Since then, the M-1 Grand Prix champion has continued to take part in MMA competition.