Bellator MMA has bolstered its Heavyweight division, signing undefeated (9-0) contender Ali Isaev to a deal. An accomplished wrestler, Isaev competed in the 2008 summer Olympics in freestyle wrestling where he placed seventh overall competing on behalf of Azerbaijan.
Eight years after the Olympic games, Isaev made his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut under the Fight Nights Global banner in Russia, racking up a perfect record (4-0). He then signed a deal to compete for Professional Fighters League (PFL) in 2019 as a participant in the 265-pound tournament and won four in a row in the span of seven months to win that year’s title.
Per the press release:
Isaev, 38, earned a reputation as a fearsome wrestler prior to transitioning to a career in mixed martial arts. Representing Azerbaijan, Isaev earned bronze and gold medals at the 2009 and 2008 FILA European Championships, respectively. He notably competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a freestyle wrestler. As a mixed martial artist, Isaev boasts an undefeated record of 9-0 replete with four knockouts amongst his dominant performances.
There is currently no timetable for Isaev’s debut, but we likely won’t see him compete inside the Bellator cage until possibly early 2023.
Aside from this great addition to the 265-pound division, the promotion also announced that it had resigned several fighters to contract extensions, including Kana Watanabe, Tyrell Fortune, Gadzhi Rabadanov, Sullivan Cauley, Brian Moore and Norbert Novenyi Jr.
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