Bellator’s philosophy after the defection of middleweight champion Hector Lombard to the UFC? The show must go on.

And the show will go on in the middleweight division as they will crown a new champion later this year.

According to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, the winner of the current middleweight tournament between Maiquel Falcao and Andreas Spang will then move on to face the last tournament winner, Alexander Shlemenko, to crown a new champion.

Rebney confirmed the plans via Twitter on Wednesday.

“Winner of Falcao vs. Spang will face Alexander Shlemenko for the world title this fall,” he wrote.

Falcao and Spang will battle it out in just a few weeks for the latest Bellator middleweight tournament title, and then the winner faces multi-time Bellator veteran Alexander Shlemenko.

Currently, Shlemenko is recovering from an auto accident that happened a couple of weeks ago in his native Russia. The middleweight contender suffered a broken collarbone and dislocated thumb in the wreck, but should be recovered to return to action later this year.

The good news for Shlemenko, however, is that when he does come back he’ll be fighting for the Bellator middleweight title; it just won’t be against Hector Lombard.

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