Mike Hamel had a feeling he’d be the one to welcome Usman Nurmagomedov to Bellator.
When Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s cousin, signed with Bellator, Hamel started researching the 11-0 fighter. After spending some time looking into him, he started telling his coaches and teammates he will end up fighting. Then, weeks later, Hamel got offered to fight Nurmagomedov at Bellator 255, which is exciting for him.
“Honestly, I spoke it into existence. When they signed him I was looking into him and told some of my teammates, Bellator is going to offer me him because he is a big name and I’ve proven I’m a game opponent and can put on a show,” Hamel said to BJPENN.com. “I started to think I was going to fight him months before I got the contract. Then, my manager texts me and says Bellator is offering you Usman Nurmagomedov, and it was an immediate yes from me.”
Although Bellator will want Nurmagomedov to be a big star, Hamel doesn’t believe he is being brought into lose. Instead, he knows he is a tough fight for anyone, especially Nurmagomedov.
In the fight, Mike Hamel expects Usman Nurmagomedov to try and stand with him early on. However, after he hurts him, he knows the Russian will try and shoot. Yet, Hamel welcomes that and is confident he will beat Nurmagomedov and derail his hype.
“If you watch his fights, he doesn’t go in for too many shots. He’s pretty kick-heavy and tries to stay at range. I have noticed when he gets clipped he goes to his wrestling roots. But, if he wrestles that is fine because I was an NCAA All-American and have been wrestling since I was a kid,” Hamel said. “It doesn’t matter if Khabib is in his corner or not, his corner isn’t fighting. But, I’m going to clip him and it will be interesting to see when it turns into a grappling match. I’m expecting a tough three-round fight and we will test each others will. I’m going to steal all his hype.”
If Mike Hamel does get his hand raised he knows the win will be big for his career. He enters this fight on the last fight of his Bellator contract and is looking to solidify himself as a legit lightweight contender.
“A win over him solidifies what I think about myself. I know I’m one of the best fighters in the world and that shows to everyone that is true,” Hamel concluded. “It also puts some respect on my name. My record is 7-4 which is shit, but I have some split decisions, a DQ loss, you can flip some of my losses, and all of the sudden, I’m a top prospect instead of a journeyman.”
Do you think Mike Hamel will beat Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 255?