Bellator MMA has bolstered its lightweight ranks, adding former RIZIN lightweight grand prix winner Tofiq Musayev.
The signing, first reported by Ariel Helwani, adds the 18-4 RIZIN veteran to the division currently topped by Patricky Pitbull — a name very familiar to Musayev.
On New Year’s Eye in 2019, Musayev won two fights in a single night to win the lightweight grand prix in Japan, defeating both Johnny Case and, you guessed it, Pitbull. After stopping Case within a round, Musayev went the distance against Patricky Pitbull, winning a unanimous decision. And RIZIN’s lightweight grand prix championship belt.
Musayev would go on to face Roberto Satoshi Souza for the vacant lightweight title earlier this year, only to be submitted in the opening round. He has not competed since.
Overall, Musayev posted a 5-1 record inside the RIZIN Fighting Federation ring. The 32-year old from Azerbaijan holds notable wins over UFC alums Daron Cruickshank and Damien Brown.
Prior to joining RIZIN, Musayev competed for WFCA and other regional shows. Between 2015 until the Souza bout in 2021, he did not lose a single fight, winning 14 straight contests.
Terms of Musayev’s multi-fight deal with Bellator have not been released. No debut date or opponent has been set.
Bellator MMA kicks off their 2022 campaign later this month with Bellator 273, set to take place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.