Bellator announces pair of title fights for September, including Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Alexandr Shabliy

By Josh Evanoff - June 18, 2024

Bellator MMA’s schedule for September is heating up, as it now includes the return of Usman Nurmagomedov.

Usman Nurmagomedov

Fans are now six months into PFL’s ownership of Bellator. Last fall, the Donn Davis-led promotion purchased the company from Viacom but had no plans to get rid of the company. Instead, each brand has run events separately in 2024, but have featured a lot of overlap. Names such as Cedric Doumbe have jumped back-and-forth, and that will likely only continue.

This weekend, Bellator Champions Series 3 will go down from Dublin. Headlined by a welterweight title bout between Jason Jackson and Ramazan Kuramagomedov, the card is a fun one. However, it was the only event on Bellator’s schedule, until earlier today. Taking to social media, the promotion announced massive title fights.

On September 7th in California, Usman Nurmagomedov will make his return to the cage against Alexandr Shabliy.  The two were previously scheduled to meet at Bellator Champions Series 2 in May, but the champion was forced out due to injury. A few months removed from that cancelation, the fight is now finally official.


Bellator announces two title fights, including the return of Usman Nurmagomedov

For Usman Nurmagomedov, the fight is arguably the biggest test of his early title reign. The undefeated lightweight hasn’t competed since a unanimous decision victory over Brent Primus last October. However, that bout was overturned following a failed drug test for Nurmagomedov.

Meanwhile, Shabliy is fresh off a unanimous decision victory over Patricky Pitbull in November. However, the return of Usman Nurmagomedov isn’t the only title bout that Bellator announced earlier today. Just one week after Bellator Champions Series 4, Johnny Eblen and Fabian Edwards will run it back in London.

The two previously met at Bellator 299 last September, with the champion winning by third-round knockout. Following the victory, Eblen nearly sparked a brawl with his opponent’s brother, UFC champion Leon Edwards. In the months since that bout, the two have picked up decision victories over the likes of Impa Kasanganay and Aaron Jeffrey.

What do you make of this Bellator news? Are you excited for the return of Usman Nurmagomedov?