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Bellator signs Usman Nurmagomedov, cousin of UFC champ Khabib, to multiyear deal

Like the UFC, Bellator now has an unbeaten Nurmagomedov on its roster.

The promotion Friday announced it has signed Usman Nurmagomedov (11-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) to a multiyear, multi-fight deal. Nurmagomedov is a younger cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and one of his training partners, as well.

“With (Friday’s) signing of Usman Nurmagomedov, we are making it clear that Bellator is home to the best fighters on the planet and an organization where the sport’s future stars are coming to compete,” Bellator president Scott Coker stated. “I am thrilled to have Usman join the promotion and he will be placed in an immediate position to showcase his skills and contend at 155 pounds. We hope to have him in action inside the Bellator cage by December or January.”

Like his more famous and more established cousin, Usman Nurmagomedov fights at lightweight. He trains at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., alongside Khabib, and also was trained by Khabib’s father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in Dagestan prior to Abdulmanap’s death earlier this year.

Usman Nurmagomedov’s resume includes finishes in 10 of his career wins, including several in the first round. Known for standout wrestling, like his cousin, as well as muay Thai, Nurmagomedov has seven knockouts and three submissions in those 10 stoppages.

Most recently, he finished Svyatoslav Shabanov with a second-round TKO at a Fight Nights Global event in early September, which gave him five straight stoppage wins after the lone decision of his career.

In Bellator’s lightweight division, he’ll eventually be gunning for champion Patricio Freire, who holds the title at lightweight as well as featherweight. A former champion in the division, Michael Chandler, recently left Bellator for the UFC. But the promotion still counts the likes of former UFC and WEC champ Benson Henderson, Patricky Freire and former champ Brent Primus among its contenders at 155 pounds.

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