MMA fighting

UFC and Bellator ‘must be careful’ with fighters

MIAMI — Mixed martial artists entering free agency now have another promoter to welcome them with open arms.

Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who turned MMA promoter, is on the hunt for top free agents and wants top organizations to know he means business.

Eagle FC 44 is set to take place Friday at FLXcast Arena in Miami for its first show in America and the promotion has already assembled a number of household names who have competed under the UFC and Bellator banners.

With fighters such as Tyrone Spong, Sergei Kharitonov, Rashad Evans, Kevin Lee, Diego Sanchez and Ray Borg, the promotion has already proven they have an attractive platform for fighters who have spent time under the biggest banners. Sport.

Nurmagomedov and his Eagle FC team are hoping to provide a strong alternative to promotions that have been around for years and will look to add fighters who feel they haven’t been treated well by those promotions.

“Big organizations like UFC, Bellator, they have to be careful of their fighters because Eagle FC is there,” Nurmagomedov said at Eagle FC 46’s press conference on Thursday. “Of course we try to recruit good athletes, great athletes with good names. At the same time, we also work with the young generation. We have two objectives. I just want to tell you to be careful. If they don’t treat not the good fighters, Eagle FC is here.

One area that seems to have had an impact is the addition of the 165-pound “super lightweight” division, which provides a middle ground between lightweight and welterweight fighters. Additionally, Eagle FC’s welterweight division increases by five pounds, creating 10-pound increments between weight classes.

“I understand this game (from inside),” Nurmagomedov said. “I was a professional fighter for the past twelve years. I hear a lot of fighters say they really want weight classes at 155, 65, 75 and 85. When I opened this Eagle FC, why can’t I do that? Let’s build a new story.