Nurmagomedov MMA Legacy superior to Mayweather in boxing, says Usman

  • The value of the Nurmagomedov brand in MMA is greater than the Mayweather legacy in boxing.
  • That’s according to undefeated Bellator MMA fighter Usman Nurmagomedov.
  • Usman told Insider the comparison makes sense, but the Nurmagomedovs — as a collective — did more.

The Nurmagomedov family’s legacy in mixed martial arts outweighs Mayweather’s brand worth in boxing, according to rising Bellator MMA star Usman Nurmagomedov, who is following in his famous cousin Khabib’s footsteps as an undefeated fighter and dominant.

“I think we’re even better than the Mayweathers,” Usman told Insider through a translator earlier this month.

Despite Khabib’s retirement from MMA, following his resounding victory over Justin Gaethje in 2020, Usman, Abubakar and Umar continue to carry the Nurmagomedov family flag in a variety of combat sports promotions.

Conversely, Jeff, Roger and Floyd Sr. all competed at a high level in boxing in the 1980s, but it was Floyd Jr. who inducted the name Mayweather into his sport’s Hall of Fame due of his great status.

“We have a better record and I believe the caliber of me and [my family members] is higher than the Mayweathers,” Nurmagomedov said. “But I can see why you would compare us.”

Usman returns to Bellator MMA on Friday against Chris Gonzalez

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Photo by Getty Images

Usman returns to competition on Friday for a Bellator 283 lightweight bout against American athlete Chris Gonzalez.

“I wouldn’t say my next opponent is the toughest of my career,” Usman said with the composure and composure that characterizes his cousin Khabib’s run to the top echelons of the UFC.

Unfazed by the prospect of facing the undefeated Gonzalez, he added, “For me, it’s just another fight.”

If he triumphs at the Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel in Tacoma, Wash., Usman will have a Bellator title in his sights.

“I have huge goals,” he told us. “I move step by step and focus on my opponent to get my arm up. But I want this title, win the belt, then defend the belt.”

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Photo by Getty Images

Nurmagomedov’s blend of high-level wrestling with mastery of Muay Thai saw him advance his undefeated professional MMA record to 14 wins (12 finishes).

He told us that Russian wrestling “is much better” than American wrestling because “Russian wrestlers are hungrier” and “have advantages over Americans in every aspect.”

Whether Gonzalez fights on the ground or on his feet, Usman said he’ll be ready. But, if he had a preference, he would rather engage in stand-up battles. “I like hitting,” he said.

Nurmagomedov is part of a new wave of talent making a name for themselves in Bellator MMA

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Usman Nurmagomedov.

Photo by Getty Images

Usman represents one of the things Bellator has been doing well lately as the Los Angeles-based company targets up-and-coming talent they can tap into viable contenders and champions.

Bellator boss Scott Coker has a proven history of developing talent — from Dan Cormier and Ronda Rousey in his Strikeforce days — to next-gen American fighters like AJ McKee and Aaron Pico.

Usman might just be one of those talents too.

“I’m excited and happy to be a part of this new wave in the Bellator MMA organization,” he told Insider. “I am proud.”

But as to whether there will be other young Nurmagomedovs joining Bellator, or his rival MMA organizations like the UFC or PFL MMA, Usman has remained tight-lipped.

“Not at the moment,” he told us. “But, in the near future…we’ll see.”

The Bellator 283 event airs Friday starting at 7:00 p.m. on Showtime Sports. The preliminaries are available on YouTube.

Douglas Lima and Jason Jackson square off in a welterweight main event.

Sidney Outlaw and Lorenz Larkin face off in separate bouts.


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