Long Beach, CA — With Bellator CEO Scott Coker revealing plans for the promotion to host a lightweight grand prix next year, one name fans might expect to see is Islam Mamedov.
A former PFL fighter, Mamedov returns this weekend where he takes on former LFA lightweight champ Nick Browne. The Dagestani fighter is 1-1 inside the Bellator cage, with the loss a close split decision against former UFC champ Benson Henderson earlier this year.
Mamedov (21-2-1) got back in the win column in a one-off 165lb fight as part of pal Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC in May. Now, his focus is back on Bellator, but the lightweight grand prix may not be an option.
“For me, tournament is very hard. Once I fight in tournament in PFL, for me it’s very hard to cut weight to 155. I think I don’t want to fight in this tournament; every couple months cutting weight for me is very hard,” he told Cageside Press on Thursday. “Last fight, I make 165 in Eagle FC. For me, it’s easy, 165.” Cutting to 155lbs, however, “last five, six pounds for me are a very hard cut,” Mamedov stated.
That’s no doubt a loss for fight fans. But it does eliminate the possibility of Mamedov having to fight teammate Usman Nurmagomedov. Khabib’s cousin, also a Bellator MMA lightweight, fights for the title this November.
Eagles MMA has a big couple of months coming up, in fact. “We have a big fight in October and November,” Mamedov pointed out. One teammate even picked up a win this week already; Mamedov will look to add to that Saturday. Then in October, Islam Makhachev fights for UFC gold, followed by Usman Nurmagomedov striving for the Bellator belt in November.
As for his fight against Browne, Mamedov noted that he’s a “Good striking, good grappling guy.”
“We will show a big dramatic show,” he added.
Islam Mamedov faces Nick Browne at Bellator 286 this Saturday, October 1, 2022 in Long Beach, CA.