Usman Nurmagomedov is set for his first title shot in elite MMA after it was confirmed that he will take on champion Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire on November 18 in Chicago with the lightweight belt on the line at Bellator 288.
The 24-year-old Usman is the cousin of MMA icon Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired unbeaten on 29-0 in 2020.
Khabib now helps to oversee the careers of Usman and Islam Mackachev, who will similarly challenge Charles Oliveira for the 155lbs strap at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on October 22.
Unlike Mackhachev and similar to his cousin, however, Usman is yet to taste defeat in the octagon while boasting a perfect 15-0 record.
Usman getting a title shot sees Bellator president Scott Coker grant a wish that the Russian expressed after defeating Chris Gonzalez via a first-round submission at Bellator 283 last month.
“I don’t want to talk too much, I know the champion is injured,” Usman said through translator Khabib, with Pitbull having pulled out of a main event title defense against Sidney Outlaw that evening.
“When you’re going to be ready let me know, I want to fight for the title,” he added.
Also representing Russia elsewhere on the card at Bellator 288 is light-heavyweight king Vadim Nemkov, who faces Corey Anderson in a rematch with $1 million on the line.
Khabib cousin earns world title shot – media
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