Undefeated lightweight prospect Usman Nurmagomedov will return to action in October when he meets Patrik Pietila at Bellator 269.
The promotion announced the booking on Tuesday. Additionally, ex-heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov, who was initally slated to lock horns with Tyrell Fortune, will instead face Said Sowma on the card. An undisclosed injury knocked Fortune out of the matchup.
Bellator 269 takes place at the VTB Arena in Moscow on Oct. 23 and is headlined by a heavyweight tilt between Fedor Emelianenko and Timothy Johnson. The event marks the California-based promotion’s debut in Russia, and the main card airs on Showtime, with specific broadcast details to be revealed soon.
The 23-year-old Nurmagomedov, who is the cousin of retired former UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, has kicked off his professional career with 13 straight victories. After stints with Gorilla Fighting Championships, UAE Warriors and Brave FC, the American Kickboxing Academy product has earned triumphs over Mike Hamel and Luis Muro to begin his Bellator tenure.
Finland’s Pietila made his promotional debut at Bellator 227, where he dropped a unanimous verdict against Ryan Roddy on Sept. 27, 2019. The Primus Fight Team representative, who owns an 11-8 career mark, has not competed since that bout.
Minakov will fight for the first time since August 2019, when he knocked out Timothy Johnson in the opening stanza at Bellator 225. The 36-year-old Russian is 22-1 as a professional, a record that includes a 6-1 mark in Bellator.
After dropping a decision to Fortune in his promotional debut at Bellator 251, Sowma rebounded to score a 69-second KO of Ronny Markes in his sophomore outing at Bellator 262. The 28-year-old Titan FC veteran is 7-2 over the course of his professional career.
Four bouts were also confirmed for the Bellator 269 preliminary card: Brian Moore vs. Nikita Mikhailov at bantamweight; Grachik Bozinyan vs. Ross Houston at welterweight; Irina Alekseeva vs. Stephanie Ielo Page at flyweight and Alexey Shurkevich vs. Christian Eckerlin at welterweight.
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