Ex-RIZIN Lightweight Champ Tofiq Musayev Faces Zach Zane at Bellator 278

Tofiq Musayev
Tofiq Musayev Credit: RIZIN FF

Tofiq Musayev has his Bellator MMA debut set.

The former RIZIN FF lightweight champion has been booked opposite Zach Zane at Bellator 278 later this month. Promotion officials confirmed the bout to Cageside Press on Friday, following an initial report by AZE Fighters.

Musayev (18-4) signed on with Bellator earlier this year, one of several RIZIN alumni to join the company of late. The Azerbaijan-born fighter last competed in June of 2021, losing his RIZIN belt to Roberto “Satoshi” Souza. The loss snapped a 14-fight win streak that included victories over familiar names including Darion Cruickshank, Damien Brown, Johnny Case, and current Bellator lightweight champ Patricky Pitbull.

In an extended layoff between 2019 and his 2021 loss to Souza, Musayev spent time as an active-duty soldier in the Azerbaijani military.

Zane (15-11) first hit radars on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. After losing on the show to Justin Gonzales, another current Bellator fighter, Zane went 1-1 on the regional circuit. He then debuted for Bellator MMA in 2019 with a win over Hawaii’s Nainoa Dung. Since then, Zane has posted a 1-2 record outside the promotion, competing for the likes of LFA and Eagle FC.

Come Bellator 278, Zane will be looking to snap a two-fight skid.

Bellator 278 takes place on Friday, April 22, 2022 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Topped by a women’s flyweight title fight featuring Julianna Velasquez defending her belt opposite Liz Carmouche, the event is the first of back-to-back shows in the island state.

The event currently features the following reported bouts:

  • Juliana Velasquez (c) vs. Liz Carmouche – for the Bellator MMA women’s flyweight championship
  • TBA vs. Enrique Barzola – bantamweight grand prix wild card bout
  • Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello – bantamweight grand prix wild card bout
  • Christian Edwards vs. Grant Neal
  • Nate Andrews vs. Manny Muro
  • Weber Almeida vs. Fabricio Franco
  • Cee Jay Hamilton vs. Érik Pérez
  • Makoa Cooper vs. Blake Perry
  • Tofiq Musayev vs. Zach Zane