Bellator MMA’s heavyweight division has a new addition.
On Wednesday, the California-based promotion announced the signing of Russian wrestling machine Ali Isaev. The 38-year-old boasts an eye-catching 9-0 record consisting of four knockouts and five decisions. Notably, the Russian participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as a freestyle wrestler. After switching to mixed martial arts, Isaev had a successful run in the Professional Fighters League that ended in capturing the heavyweight championship after a stoppage over Jared Rosholt on December 31, 2019.
“I am very happy to have a fighter of Ali Isaev’s caliber join our heavyweight division, a weight class filled with world-class fighters and elite prospects. Isaev’s elite wrestling pedigree includes an appearance at the 2008 Olympics, and he has achieved great success in MMA, as evidenced by his championship run during his previous promotion,” said the Bellator MMA president. , Scott Coker, in a press release. “I expect Isaev to have an immediate impact in the division and I foresee plenty of compelling matchups for him.”
Additionally, Bellator revealed that they have re-signed several fighters in different weight classes. The list includes Kana Watanabe, Tyrell Fortune, Gadzhi Rabadanov, Sullivan Cauley, Norbert Novenyi Jr. and Brian Moore.
“We take great pride in our ability to recruit and develop the best talent available, but retaining them is equally important,” Coker added. “I’m thrilled we were able to re-sign these great fighters and I look forward to watching them compete in the Bellator cage for years to come.”