Bellator 297: Richie Smullen Had No Hesitation Accepting Fight with Unbeaten Khizriev

SBG Ireland fighter and The Ultimate Fighter 27 alum Richie Smullen has put together a tidy five-fight win streak dating back to September of 2020, when he defeated British prospect Harry Hardwick.

Smullen (10-2-1) returns to action this Friday at Bellator 297, where he faces undefeated featherweight Timur Khizriev — and there was no hesitation on Smullen’s part about taking the fight. That, despite the Dagestani coming off a win over veteran Daniel Weichel.

“No there wasn’t, I’ll fight anybody. I barely got his name sent and I replied straight away saying ‘yes,'” Smullen said during this week’s Bellator 297 media day. “I’m here for everybody. I don’t pick opponents. I’m here for everybody, and to get the belt. That’s my main goal in this sport.”

Things are clearly going right for Smullen at the moment. That’s underscored by “the fact that I’m in America,” he noted, adding that “they’re obviously putting time into me, and they’re bringing me over here. I fought recently in 3Arena [in Dublin, Ireland]… …I keep coming back here to beat these guys, I keep coming back. That’s what I’m going to do. Friday night I’m going to beat this guy, then sit down and [figure out] what’s next.”

In a sport that is focused on “what have you done for me lately,” Smullen stated that he had watched Khizriev’s last fight. “It was kind of a kickboxing match with a little bit of grappling. But it’s going to be an MMA fight on Friday night. All skills are going to be involved.”

Watch the full Bellator 297 media day appearance by Richie Smullen above.