Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is moving into the breaking news game.

Nurmagomedov on Thursday told MMA Junkie that Bellator has inked PFL and WSOF veteran Islam Mamedov (19-1-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) to a multi-fight deal, a signing Bellator officials subsequently confirmed.

Nurmagomedov also said Mamedov is targeting a July debut for the promotion, fighting on the same card as Usman Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s cousin who debuted for Bellator earlier this month.

Bellator officials declined to comment on that possibility.

Mamedov, unbeaten in his last 19 fights, is a longtime training partner of Nurmagomedov who first fought in the U.S. under the WSOF banner, where he posted a perfect 4-0 mark, including a win over future two-time PFL lightweight champ Natan Schulte.

Mamedov also fought for the PFL. He earned his way to the playoff semifinals in 2018 but was unable to continue competing following a quarterfinal win over Thiago Tavares and was replaced in the bracket. He qualified again for the playoffs in 2019 but fought to a two-round majority draw with Loik Radzhabov and saw his opponent advance to the semifinals via judges’ tiebreaker.

Nurmagomedov has taken over the role of coach from his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, following his death in 2020, and will be in Mamedov’s corner for his Bellator debut.

“I hope we’ll have fans again in the building in July,” Nurmagomedov stated. “I look forward to meeting the Bellator fans there and supporting Usman and Islam.”