What’s in a name? According to Patricky Pitbull, there’s quite a lot of value in it if you carry the right one.
The Bellator MMA Lightweight champion recently told Cage Side Press that he believes the only reason Usman Nurmagomedov earned a shot at his 155-pound title — a fight that will go down this Friday night (Nov. 18, 2022 ) in the co-main event of Bellator 288 — is because if his last name.
“Yeah, for sure. I mean, he hasn’t fought anyone in the top 10, and it’s pretty clear to me that although he’s a very good fighter, his name is what’s really more for him to get the title shot,” said the current 155-pound champion. “Others have done more in the division to get the title shot in front of him.”
Undefeated at 15-0, Nurmagomedov is the cousin of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite the strength of his family tree, Usman did put the work in and stormed his way to the top of the championship contender list by winning his first four fights with the promotion, which includes three first-round stoppages.
Still, Pitbull says he was surprised he got the nod for the title fight seeing as how there were several other fighters he felt were more deserving.
“I was surprised, because I felt there were some names that should be ahead of him. Tofiq [Musayev], Brent Primus, the guy that beat him [Alexander Shabliy],” Pitbull (24-10) told said. “So yeah. I was surprised that he was the one they chose to fight me for the belt.”
At the end of the day, however, Nurmagoemdov is ranked No. 1 in the division.
Bellator 288 is set to be headlined by a Light Heavyweight championship rematch between division champion, Vadim Nemkov, taking on Corey Anderson in what will finally bring the 205-pound Grand Prix tournament to a close.
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