A competitor to watch in the UFC lightweight class is Nurullo Aliev.
Aliev made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 70 on February 25. Rafael Alves, a 155-pound prospect who currently has a 1-3 promotional record, was the opponent. The battle was close, but “Tajik Eagle” won by majority vote, becoming the first person born in Tajikistan to triumph in a UFC contest. Tajikistan gave Aliev a tonne of support, with hundreds of people gathering in an open space to watch his UFC debut. Dana White tweeted the following after watching the video of everyone supporting “Tajik Eagle” and being astonished by it:
“This is the attendance during UNDEFEATED @NurulloAliev’s opening UFC fight in a stadium in Tajikistan. How DASSASS is that?
The UFC president responded to Aliev’s hometown support once more during the UFC Vegas 70 post-fight news conference by saying:
“When that happens, it’s fun. I don’t really know what to say other than that it’s cool to see on social media when that stuff happens, or when they come home after a big win, but when these men come over here and fight in Vegas and they come from these areas all around Europe, it’s wonderful, it’s exciting. I like what I see.
Nurullo Aliev opens up about his dedication to MMA
Nurullo Aliev has more drive because he is the first UFC fighter from Tajikistan to triumph. ‘Tajik Eagle’ intends to use his combat prowess to promote his native nation all over the world. Aliev said the following in a post-fight media conference at UFC Vegas 70:
“I’m young, I’m hungry, and I want to ensure that my country becomes well-known. I’m also only 22. People my age in my nation typically go out to parties every night, but I’m away from home because I’m in training. The rest of the year, I only spend around two months with my family; otherwise, I work here.
In February 2018, Aliev made his professional MMA debut. He won his first seven matches, including six by decision. The fighter from Tajikistan won a first-round TKO on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2022, earning him a contract with the UFC. If he can develop into a serious lightweight contender, only time will tell.