Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves will square off for the vacant
middleweight title on Feb. 7 at Bellator 88.
Sherdog.com confirmed the booking with sources close to the bout,
who also verified that The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.,
will play host to the event, which marks Bellator’s fourth effort
of Season 8. Promotion officials have yet to release any
information about the show, but it will nevertheless air live on
Shlemenko, 28, will take a second run at Bellator’s middleweight
strap, as the Russian previously came up short in his bid to take
the title from then-champion Hector
Lombard after winning the Season 2 tournament in 2010. “Storm”
responded by posting nine straight wins, three of which came in
Bellator’s Season 5 tournament last year. On Feb. 7, the
RusFighters Sport Club leader will return to the cage for the first
time since an April car accident in his home country left him
nursing a broken collarbone and a dislocated thumb.
Known best to fight fans as simply Maiquel Falcao, the Brazilian
won Bellator’s Season 6 draw by besting Norman
Vasilevsky and Andreas
Spang to earn his shot at the middleweight title. The
hard-hitting Renovacao Fight Team representative has won 13 of his
last 14, with only a 2011 submission defeat to Antonio
Braga Neto blemishing his record dating back to March 2009.
“Big Rig” owns 23 of his 31 victories by way of knockout and has
gone the distance just five times in 36 career outings.