Ali Isaev doesn’t regret late MMA start, has sights on Bellator title

LOS ANGELES – Ali Isaev got a late start in MMA, but he’s made the most of his opportunities so far.

In 2019, Isaev won the first heavyweight season in PFL history – and the $1 million prize that went with it. But despite several tries to get back to work after that, he’s been out of action since the end of 2019.

Given the Russian just turned 39, and he started his career well into his 30s, it’d be safe to presume he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare. But Isaev doesn’t seem stressed by any perceived issues with his timeline.

“As any good fighter, I definitely strive to win the title,” Isaev said at Thursday’s media day for Bellator 290. “I still think I have something left in me, and I’m going to go for the title. I don’t regret not getting into MMA sooner. I’m pretty happy and confident with where I am now. … I lost a couple of years, but I still believe I have a lot to show.”

Isaev (9-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will put his unbeaten record on the line and go after a key win in his Bellator debut when he takes on fellow undefeated opponent Steve Mowry (10-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) on the Bellator 290 prelims.

Check out Isaev’s full media day interview above.

Bellator 290 takes place Saturday at Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on CBS following prelims on MMA Junkie.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 290.


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie