Magomed Magomedov, the only man to defeat current UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.
A 28-year-old native of Russia, Magomedov (16-1) is currently riding a three-fight win streak and most recently fought last November under the Absolute Championship Akhmat banner (formerly known as ACB). The signing was confirmed by Bellator officials on Wednesday.
"We're very excited for this signing of Magomed Magomedov," Bellator MMA president Scott Coker told CBS Sports. "My team and I continue to search the planet for the top up-and coming-fighters and we feel that Magomedov has the potential to be a world champion in the sport."
Magomedov already owns a victory over elite competition when took a split-decision over Yan in 2016 to capture the inaugural ACB bantamweight championship. Yan rebounded one year later to hand Magomedov his lone pro defeat via unanimous decision at ACB 57.
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Of Magomedov's 16 pro victories, seven have come via submission (including three of his last four). He competes out of the same DagFighter gym in Dagestan that has produced current UFC fighters like Zabit Magomedsharipov, Said Nurmagomedov and Omari Akhmedov.
Magomedov is expected to compete right away in Bellator's 135-pound title picture that includes new champion Juan Archuleta, Patchy Mix, Sergio Pettis, Kyoji Horiguchi, James Gallagher, Ricky Banderas and Leandro Higo.
"Our bantamweight division has quickly become one of our most formidable weight classes," Coker said. "Guys like Magomed, along with other very recent bantamweight signings like Brett Johns, Jared Scoggins and Jaylon Bates, will make for very fun fights for years to come."