UFC Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s younger cousin, the lightweight Usman, has signed for Bellator and could fight for promotion in a coup before the end of the year after the undefeated prospect of joining the UFC was announced.
Nurmagomedov underscored his potential earlier this year when he drove to a 40-second win with his famous relative in his corner at UAE Warriors 12, leading many to believe that a move by the UFC to sign him would be almost certain was.
The 23-year-old had competed in the Global Fighting Championship on many occasions but has now been picked up by Bellator in a coup for promotion that could lead to an easy debut in December or January, according to official figures.
“I want to announce my brother [Usman] has signed a multi-year contract with Bellator, “wrote his cousin on Instagram, thanking Bellator, management company Dominance MMA and their boss Ali Abdelaziz for the” opportunity “.
Scott Coker, President of Bellator, acknowledged the signing and the promotion’s apparent ambition to sign more up and coming competitors: “We make it clear that Bellator is home to the best fighters in the world and an organization where the future stars of the sport against each other will compete. “
“I am thrilled that Usman is taking the PhD and he will immediately be able to show his skills and fight at 155 pounds.”
Bellator Featherweight World Champion Patricio Freire won the lightweight title by defeating Michael Chandler in a little over a minute at Bellator 221 in May. He competed in weight for the second time after losing to Benson Henderson in 2016.
After Nurmagomedov raised his personal professional record to ten fights with this blitz win in July, Abdelaziz hailed him as “better than Khabib” and a combination of his cousin, former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and defending champion middleweight Israel Adesanya.
“He’s an absolute killer,” he enthused, affirming the Russian’s nickname “killer”.
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“He’s got it all. He’s got the strikers, he’s got the arguments, he’s got the jiu-jitsu, he’s got the looks, he’s got the boasting.
Nurmagomedov is classified as a versatile fighter thanks to the variety of methods he used to end his ten premature fights.
The youngest of them came on an emotional occasion at the Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov memorial event in Moscow last month, which he called “the most important victory of my life” after stopping Svyatoslav Shabanov in the second round.
The move is likely to end the prospect of a clash between the cousins and result in a move to the UFC should Nurmagomedov continue his impressive record with Bellator.
“It could [be] A way to turn the easy Nurmagomedov rule into a legacy with several generations, “said one fan.” Nice job Bellator, snapped him. Missed opportunity from the UFC. “
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Also on the Bellator list is Usman, the Dagestani fighter Rustam Khabilov.
Khabilov previously had an eight-year run with 13 fights in the UFC, which included a 2013 unanimous win over Jorge Masvidal. However, now he’s okay with becoming a Bellator fighter and confirmed the news through his Instagram page.
“Greetings to all my fans and everyone who is following my career!” he posted.
“Eight years under the auspices of the UFC passed quickly and our collaboration ended. I want to thank the UFC leadership for giving me the opportunity to explain myself to the world and prove myself.
“As of today, I’m a Bellator fighter. I’ve signed a new contract and this will be another boost for me in my career. Bellator is the leading organization in the world of MMA, very often in the US and in the USA is fighting Europe and this organization has many new challenges for me.
“I would like to thank my managers @ aliabdelaziz000 and @rizvan_magomedov. They are really professionals in their field who work with me to the end and create comfortable conditions. Now in my career my new goal is the Bellator belt!”