Alexander Shlemenko returns to Bellator with Kendall Grove bout

Former Bellator MMA middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko will return to the promotion to face Kendall Grove on Oct. 21 in Memphis.

Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed the 185-pound matchup to ESPN.com. The fight will take place at a televised event inside FedEx Forum.

Additionally, heavyweight Bobby Lashley (14-2) will make his first appearance of 2016. An official opponent is expected to be announced shortly.

Shlemenko (53-9) has not fought for Bellator since February 2015, when he knocked out Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 133. The Russian tested positive for banned substances in his post-fight test and was originally suspended three years by the California State Athletic Commission.

Last month, the California Superior Court reduced Shlemenko's suspension to one year, based on an original CSAC notification letter that stated Shlemenko only faced a one-year suspension.

Despite his suspension in the U.S., Shlemenko has fought twice this year overseas. He defeated Vyacheslav Vasilevsky in back-to-back fights, in February and June, winning both.

Grove (23-15), a former UFC veteran, is on a two-fight winning streak.

According to Bellator officials, Association of Boxing Commissions president Mike Mazzulli will provide regulatory support for the Memphis event.