Rustam Khabilov set to make Bellator debut this September against Lewis Long

Rustam Khabilov set to make Bellator debut this September against Lewis Long

At the moment, Bellator MMA has three events scheduled, one going down each month up until September.

The final scheduled event of which is titled Bellator 285, and is to go down on September 23, 2022, live from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

We’ve got some exciting bouts going down this night, such as former multi-organization champion Benson Henderson taking on Peter Queally in the main event of the evening, former multi-time UFC title challenger Yoel Romero co-headlining the event opposing former kickboxing champion Melvin Manhoef, and a feature bout between UFC veteran Brett Johns and James Gallagher.

Another exciting bout that’s been signed headlines the early preliminary card and is to be contested in the welterweight division between Rustam Khabilov and Lewis Long.

Rustam Khabilov is a former UFC talent that’s been quite dominant throughout his 28-fight (24-4) career.

Coming to the UFC with a record of 14-1 (only defeat coming via split decision), he had one of the most impressive UFC debuts of all-time, as he KO’d formerly undefeated Vinc Pichel with a series of suplexes in the opening round.

This was followed up by two more victories over the likes of Yancy Medeiros (TKO) and Jorge Masvidal (UD), before suffering back-to-back defeats to Benson Henderson (rear naked choke) in a fight he was winning, and then Adriano Martins (SD), the only man to ever defeat Islam Makhachev.

Following this however, the Russian prospect would win his next six-straight over the likes of Norman Parke (UD), PFL standout Chris Wade (UD), Leandro Silva (UD), Jason Saggo (UD), Desmond Green (UD), and Kajan Johnson (SD).

Khabilov then lost to a streaking Carlos Diego Ferreira (UD), before rebounding with a victory over fellow Russian talent Sergey Khandozhko (UD). But, that last fight, against Khandozhko, went down in November of 2019, and he hasn’t fought since.

Meanwhile, Lewis Long has fought a total of five times since Khabilov last fought, going 3-2 in that time.

It’s great to see Rustam Khabilov finally back in action, and it’s great to see him making his Bellator debut come late summer. Who do you see coming out on top in this welterweight match up at Bellator 285?

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!