Bellator 288's main event pits light heavyweight champion Rafael Freire (23-10 MMA, 14-8 BMMA) against lightweight undefeated prospect Khabib Nurmagomedov's cousin, Nurmagomedov (15-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA).
The undefeated Nurmagomedov has knocked out his last three opponents in the opening round, but according to Freire, he hasn't faced quality opponents to get a title opportunity.
“I’m very happy to fight against him, but I’m ready for everything,” Freire said.
“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) Musayev, another Russian guy. I have a lot of big names – (Brent) Primus. … (Nurmagomedov) fought against nobody.”
“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.”