Ali Isaev, the 2019 PFL heavyweight champion and a former Olympic wrestler, has signed an exclusive, multifight agreement with Bellator.
Isaev, at 38 years old, competed in the 2008 Olympics in the super heavyweight freestyle wrestling category and finished 13th. He entered mixed martial arts competition for the first time in 2016. He fought for Fight Nights Global for four bouts before signing with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where he went a perfect 5-0 and won the heavyweight championship in 2019.
Isaev has not played since winning $1 million in December 2019. He was supposed to play in the PFL in both 2021 and 2022, however injuries prevented him from doing so in both years.
“I am very pleased to have a fighter the caliber of AliIsaev join our heavyweight division, a weight class filled with world class fighters and elite prospects alike,” Scott Coker (Bellator president) said.
“Isaev’s elite wrestling pedigree includes an appearance in the 2008 Olympics, and he has achieved great success in MMA as evidenced by championship run at his prior promotion. I expect Isaev to make an immediate impact in the division and foresee many compelling matchups for him.”