Former Rizin lightweight grand prix champion Tofiq Musayev may only be one fight into his Bellator career, but the Azerbaijani fighter has his sights set on the Bellator lightweight title, and a rematch with a familiar foe.

Musayev defeated Patricky Pitbull in the Rizin lightweight grand prix final to capture the Japanese promotion’s tournament title on New Year’s Eve, 2019. He subsequently lost his tilt at the full Rizin lightweight title on his post-COVID return in June last year, before signing for Bellator.

Meanwhile, Pitbull returned to his parent promotion, Bellator, and lost to Irishman Peter Queally before avenging his defeat in the rematch for the Bellator lightweight title at Bellator 270 on November 2021.

The Brazilian is now set to face Russian Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 288 this November, but Musayev has his sights set on Pitbull, and said that he plans a second meeting with the Brazilian in the not-too-distant future.

Speaking after his blistering first-round finish of top-ranked Sidney Outlaw on his promotional debut at Bellator 283, Musayev explained how he is looking to face his former foe again.

“For me, Bellator is one of the most famous fighting organisations in the world due to the fact that the strongest rivals face off here and I want to test my strength by fighting against the strongest,” he told Bellator MMA.

“After I won in Rizin the goal for me is to win the belt in Bellator.

“I treat my opponent with great respect and I know that it will be a very interesting fight.”

Musayev plans to take the fast track to the top and, with a first-round stoppage win over one of Bellator’s top-ranked lightweights already under his belt, he’s well on the way to doing just that.

“I have one goal, to win a belt in Bellator. Naturally he must work on himself and understand the strength of his rivals.

“Naturally, we came here to fight the strongest. We will meet with him and have a beautiful fight.”