Russian lightweight Alexander Shabliy is three fights into his Bellator MMA run, and has now dispatched a former champion.
Shabliy (22-3) hasn’t lost a fight since 2016, and on Friday at Bellator 282, put away ex-champ Brent Primus with a second round TKO.
“This is a big fight for me. He’s last champion, I’m next champion,” Shabliy exclaimed following the fight. “I’m happy.”
How ready? Shabliy is willing to step up if Sidney Outlaw is injured in his title fight with Patricky Pitbull in July. “I am ready. Next month, title shot, Pitbull-Sidney. Maybe a Sidney injury, I’m next, I’m ready [to step in] next,” suggested Shabliy.
On the Primus front, Shabliy said backstage at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT that “Brent’s a good fighter, world [class] fighter. He’s [the] last champion. Nothing but respect for Brent.”
That might come as a surprise to those who heard Shabliy claim after his last fight that Primus had been avoiding him. But, he said Friday, he’s not looking to “kill with my opinions.”
“This is sport, not life. I’m respectful to all my opponents,” Shabliy stated. “All these fighters, all my opponents are the same like I am. All they do, they just train and fight to make a living for their life, for their families. I never wish anything, I don’t have bad intentions for the fighters, but this is the sport, you walk into the cage and you have to win.”
Beyond the title shot, there’s really nothing that seems to have Alexander Shabliy’s attention right now.
“Honestly I have no other names in the top of the division. The only goal I see is the champion, and I want to fight with the champion. If for some reason they’re going to give me someone else, it doesn’t matter. I don’t see any competition for me.”
Watch the full Bellator 282 post-fight media scrum with Alexander Shabliy above. More coverage can be found below.