Patricky Freire says Usman Nurmagomedov doesn’t deserve Bellator title fight: ‘He fought against nobody’

LOS ANGELES – Patricky Freire thinks Usman Nurmagomedov’s last name has everything to do with him getting a title shot.

Lightweight champion Freire (23-10 MMA, 14-8 BMMA) will make his first title defense against Nurmagomedov (15-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), cousin of UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the Bellator 288 main event Nov. 18.

The unbeaten Nurmagomedov has finished his past three opponents in the first round, but Freire thinks the level of competition he’s fought doesn’t warrant a title shot.

“I’m very happy to fight against him, but I’m ready for everything,” Freire told MMA Junkie at Thursday’s Bellator 286 media day. “I think he doesn’t deserve this title fight. He’s fighting for the title because he has a big name: Nurmagomedov. That’s it. But let’s do it. If Bellator put him against me, let’s destroy.

“Bellator put him against me just because of his name, Nurmagomedov. That’s it, because he never fought against nobody from the top 10 in Bellator. (I fought Tofiq) Musayev, another Russian guy. I have a lot of big names – (Brent) Primus. … (Nurmagomedov) fought against nobody.”

That doesn’t mean Freire is taking Nurmagomedov lightly. The Brazilian, who captured the vacant title with a second-round TKO of Peter Queally at Bellator 270, knows he’s in for a tough test, but is ready for it.

“He’s a young boy. Of course he knows wrestling and he strikes very well. But I’m a ‘Pitbull,'” Freire said. “I’m the king. I’m the champion. It doesn’t matter who they put against me. I will destroy everybody. It doesn’t matter.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie