Bellator 287: Mansour Barnaoui Wants Lightweight Grand Prix Spot, Nurmagomedov Fight

Mansour Barnaoui had a successful debut at Bellator 287 on Saturday, submitting Adam Piccolotti in the main event of the Milan card.

The rear-naked choke finish came just over halfway into the second round. Now, the ROAD FC tournament winner can set his sights on bigger things, including Bellator’s upcoming lightweight grand prix.

The “techniques, what I studied, I was preparing, were perfect,” Barnaoui told Cageside Press following the bout, during the Bellator 287 post-fight press conference. “I did exactly what I wanted to do, and I won.”

Now, Barnaoui hopes to enter the aforementioned grand prix next year. That’s been his plan all along, the French lightweight stated. “I was coming to Bellator to make the tournament and win the belt.”

Barnaoui could be seen as a potential favorite for the grand prix, given his previous experience. For his part, he’s looking to jump right into the deep end, saying Saturday that he wanted a fight with an upcoming title challenger right out of the gate.

“I really would like to make the tournament and fight against Usman [Nurmagomedov].”

With the grand prix starting next year and an event planned in Dublin, Ireland in February, that could be a landing spot for Barnaoui. “I’m always ready,” he stated later, when asked about fighting in Dublin. “I’m ready even now.”

Watch the full Bellator 287 post-fight media appearance by Mansour Barnaoui above.