Nurmagomedov was joined by his cousin Khabib on a video name within the post-fight celebrations
Usman Nurmagomedov dominated Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire to win the light-weight title by unanimous determination at Bellator 288 in Chicago, Illinois.
Russia’s Nurmagomedov, 24, managed the hanging and grappling exchanges to win his maiden championship.
In changing into a world champion, he emulates his cousin and coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Khabib is a former UFC light-weight title holder and retired undefeated, successful all 29 of his fights.
Like his cousin, Nurmagomedov is undefeated with the victory over Brazil’s Pitbull extending his successful streak to 16.
Within the co-main occasion, Vadim Nemkov retained his light-heavyweight title with a unanimous determination win over Corey Anderson.
In beating Anderson, Russia’s Nemkov, 30, gained the Gentle Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a $1m prize (£840,000).
A brand new Nurmagomedov technology
The light-weight title combat featured a conflict between two iconic names in MMA, with the Pitbulls and Nurmagomedovs attaining historical past within the sport.
Pitbull and his brother, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio, have held Bellator world titles, whereas Khabib’s achievements lead many to treat him as the most effective of all time.
Pitbull, 36, who was competing in his twenty fourth Bellator combat, was making the primary defence of the title he gained by beating Peter Queally final yr after his brother vacated the belt.
Nurmagomedov, in the meantime, was preventing for less than the fifth time in Bellator since signing with the promotion in 2021.
The primary spherical was an indication of issues to return as Nurmagomedov used an array of kicks to maintain Pitbull at distance so the Brazilian couldn’t utilise his harmful punching energy.
The distinction in output between the fighters was stark, with Nurmagomedov trying 36 kicks within the first spherical to Pitbull’s three.
Within the second spherical, Nurmagomedov switched to wrestling the place he took Pitbull down and landed quite a few strikes on the bottom, whereas speaking in Pitbull’s ear, echoing scenes from Khabib’s profession.
Pitbull by no means threatened all through the remainder of the combat till the ultimate spherical, the place maybe figuring out he wanted a end, he began to push ahead extra.
Nevertheless, identical to he had all through the earlier 20 minutes, Nurmagomedov had the reply as he countered with a takedown and safely navigated the remainder of the combat.
Nurmagomedov’s title win comes one month after Dagestan team-mate Islam Makhachev beat Charles Oliveira for the UFC light-weight belt.
His preventing type differs from the wrestling-heavy type of Makhachev and Khabib in that Nurmagomedov seems to favour the stand-up recreation, however is equally adept at taking the competition to the bottom.
Khabib was not in Nurmagomedov’s nook like in earlier bouts, however joined within the post-fight celebrations by way of video name.
“Thanks a lot all people. I do not imagine this second actually. This man [Khabib] and his father make me,” mentioned Nurmagomedov.
“I’ve little barrier with my language, however I’ll enhance this. I’m so glad. Thanks [Bellator president] Scott Coker for the prospect and coach, I really like you a lot – you guys make me.”
Nemkov retains againNemkov is skilled by MMA nice Fedor Emelianenko
The principle occasion was a rematch between Nemkov and American Anderson, 33, after their bout in April led to a no contest following an unintentional conflict of heads.
Anderson seemed to be successful that combat earlier than it was known as off within the third spherical as he managed Nemkov for giant parts along with his wrestling.
He had no such luck within the rematch, nonetheless, as Nemkov’s takedown defence excelled, the Russian stopping each try from Anderson to take the combat to floor.
Nemkov was the busier fighter all through on his ft, touchdown quite a few jabs and crushing calf kicks which nullified Anderson’s risk and swayed the judges in his favour.
In beating Anderson, Nemkov defended his title for the fourth time and prolonged his unbeaten run in Bellator to 9 victories.
Following the win he was joined within the cage by Cuba’s Yoel Romero, who was introduced as the following light-heavyweight title challenger earlier within the night time.
That combat will happen at Bellator 290 in Inglewood, California on 4 February, alongside Ryan Bader’s heavyweight title defence towards Fedor Emelianenko.
Russia’s Emelianenko, 46, who was in Nemkov’s nook for the win over Anderson, will compete within the forty eighth and last combat of his illustrious profession, which has yielded 40 wins and title reigns throughout a number of promotions.