Khabib's cousin Usman Nurmagomedov – tipped to be BETTER than UFC champ – signs multi-fight Bellator deal
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV’S cousin Usman has signed a multi-fight deal to join Bellator.
The undefeated prospect has joined the promotion’s lightweight division and goes in with an 11-0 record.
Bellator president Scott Coker said: “With today’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.
“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.”
Usman last competed a month ago at an event to honour Khabib’s late father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who passed away earlier in the summer.
He defeated Svyatoslav Shabanov via second-round TKO.
Usman has the same coach, Javier Mendez and manager, Ali Abdelaziz, as unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib, 31.
And Abdelaziz has backed the rising star to surpass his cousin.
He told Asian MMA: "The guy to really look out for right now that nobody knows about is Usman Nurmagomedov — Khabib's younger brother [cousin].
"He's an absolute killer.
"He's a Muay Thai specialist and he's Khabib's brother, you understand? If you have the same blood as Khabib, you have good wrestling.
"I'm telling you, he is actually a better version than Khabib. He is better than Khabib.
"I'm telling you, people should watch for him. He's an absolute killer.
"He's got it all.
"He's got the striking, he's got the grappling, he's got the jiu-jitsu, he's got the look, he's got the swagger."
Khabib has emerged as one of the most fearsome champions in UFC history, equipped with devastating wrestling and improving striking.
But Usman has been hailed as a more well-rounded fighter – a mixture of Israel Adesanya, Jon Jones and his cousin.
Abdelaziz said: "He's knocking people out with elbows. He's the guy really to look out for. He's a phenom.
"He's a [combination] of Khabib, Jon Jones, Adesanya. He's a combo of all them."
Khabib, who boasts a 28-0 record, will defend his title against Justin Gaethje on October 24 at UFC 254 on Fight Island.
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