Nurmagomedov pulls out of title defense in Paris

Bellator MMA’s event in Paris next month is down to one title bout, but the fight card has added the anticipated debut of a popular Frenchman.

The PFL, which owns Bellator, said undefeated lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov has withdrawn from his title defense against Alexander Shabliy on May 17 because of an unspecified injury. The PFL indicated in a social media post that the bout “will be rebooked in the near future.”

For Nurmagomedov (17-0, 1 NC), it was to be his comeback from a six-month suspension after testing positive last October for a prescription drug that contained a banned substance.

Patchy Mix‘s bantamweight title defense against Magomed Magomedov has been elevated from co-main event to the headline spot for Bellator Champions Series: Paris at Accor Arena. Mix (19-1) will be making his first title defense in a rematch with Magomedov (19-3), whom he defeated by submission in 2022.

The fight card also added the Bellator debut of former two-time Glory kickboxing champion Cedric Doumbé, a Cameroon-born Frenchman. His opponent is still to be determined. Doumbe was to face Derek Anderson, but he withdrew shortly after Monday’s announcement due to a foot injury from a bike accident.

Doumbe (5-1) competed twice in PFL Europe, knocking out Jordan Zébo in just 9 seconds last September but then losing by injury TKO last month to Baissangour Chamsoudinov. The fight was halted in the third round after Doumbe complained that a splinter of glass was embedded in his foot.

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