Sultan Aliev Retires Following Victory at UFC St. Petersburg

Sultan Aliev UFC
Sultan Aliev Credit: Dave Mandel/

After earning his second victory under the UFC banner, Sultan Aliev called it a career following UFC St. Petersburg.

Former Bellator fighter and UFC welterweight Sultan Aliev made the walk to the octagon for the first time in nearly a year at UFC St. Petersburg on Saturday. He also made it for the last time. Following a win over Japan’s Keita Nakamura at the Fight Night event in Russia, Aliev announced back stage that he was hanging up his gloves. The Dagestani-Russian, 34 years old, has struggled with injury in recent years, and appeared just four times in the UFC, making his debut in January 2015, and going 2-2 including the Nakamura win.

Speaking backstage following the fight, Aliev (15-3), said that “since that was the last fight on my contract, I’d like to retire from MMA. I’ve got a family and job – I just can’t find time for everything. And also I’m starting to feel my age.”

He later admitted that he had considered retirement previously, but St. Petersburg — fighting at home and going out on a high note — was the right moment.

Aliev finishes his career with notable wins over Nakamura, Bojan Veličković, and Luis Henrique. He went 1-1 under the Bellator MMA banner, battling Doug ‘The Rhino’ Marshall but ultimately dropping a split decision at Bellator 92 in 2013. That bout was a semi-final in Bellator’s season 8 middleweight tournament.

Another tournament had a happier ending for Aliev: he won the ProFC Light Heavyweight Grand Prix in in 2011, the year he made his pro debut.

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Editor at Cageside Press, Jay has been covering the sport of mixed martial arts for several years. His work has appeared on The MMA Corner, What Culture, Cage Pages, MMA News, Today's Knockout, and Fox Sports (via Fansided). Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.

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