‘Not fighting him... smashing him’ – Khabib cousin Usman on facing Bellator rival & McGregor training partner Queally

Usman Nurmagomedov notched up a 14th win of his undefeated career on a routine night’s work in Moscow, before demanding tougher opposition from Bellator bosses – potentially in the form of Conor McGregor teammate Peter Queally.

The highly touted Nurmagomedov, 23, made light work of unheralded Finnish opponent Patrik Pietila in their catchweight bout at the VTB Arena, dominating him on the ground before securing a rear-naked choke finish at 4:06 of the first round.

“I want to put on a good show for my fans, Bellator give me someone from the top 10, because the amount of haters is increasing,” said Nurmagomedov after improving to 3-0 with the promotion.

Watching on from Nurmagomedov’s corner was his cousin, former UFC lightweight champion Khabib.

“For me it’s everything, this is someone who is teaching me how to conduct myself, I can’t imagine my career without my brother,” said the Bellator fighter when asked what it meant to have Khabib’s experience to draw upon.

Khabib was part of his cousin's corner along with coach Javier Mendez. © Bellator MMA

At his post-fight press conference, the younger Nurmagomedov admitted that tough task master Khabib had already pointed out a few mistakes that he needed to improve upon.  

He was also asked if he had an opponent in mind for his next step up in competition, given the straightforward nature of Saturday's victory.  

"To be honest, I don’t really follow any opponents [to call out]," said the up-and-coming Dagestani. 

"I would fight anybody from top 15 – anybody they will give me. I really don’t care. I can’t give you any particular names – I just don’t follow them that much."

Usman Nurmagomedov said he wants a step up in opposition. © Bellator MMA

The led one journalist to toss in the name of Irish Bellator lightweight Queally.

‘The Showstopper’ – who owns a 13-5-1 record – is slated to face Patricky Pitbull at Bellator 270 for the vacant 155lbs title in a rematch in Dublin in November.  

Queally, 32, has won two straight fights – including a doctor’s stoppage second-round TKO win over Pitbull at Bellator 258 in May.

Despite the potential step up in experience and quality, Usman Nurmagomedov would not be daunted.

"Fighting him – no, but smashing him would be interesting," replied the Russian lightweight when asked if he would be keen on a potential bout.

A contest between the pair would be loaded with added intrigue, given Usman’s family ties and Queally’s friendship with former Khabib foe Conor McGregor.

While it might not be on the immediate horizon, it’s certainly food for thought for Bellator bosses as they manage the rise of another Nurmagomedov with potential MMA superstar power.

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