Nurullo Aliev is a fighter to keep an eye on in the UFC lightweight division.
On February 25, Aliev made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 70. The 155-pound prospect took on Rafael Alves, who now holds a promotional record of 1-3. The fight was close, but ‘Tajik Eagle’ emerged victorious by a majority decision, becoming the first Tajikistan-born fighter to win a UFC fight.
Aliev received a massive amount of support from Tajikistan, including thousands of people meeting in an outdoor venue to watch his UFC debut. Dana White was shocked by the video showing everyone cheering on ‘Tajik Eagle,’ leading to him saying this on Twitter:
“This is how many people showed up in a stadium in Tajikistan to watch UNDEFEATED @NurulloAliev first fight in the @ufc. How BADASS is this?!?!”
During the UFC Vegas 70 post-fight press conference, the UFC president provided another reaction to Aliev’s hometown support by saying:
“That’s fun when that happens. When these guys come over here and fight in Vegas and they come from these places all throughout Europe, when that kinda stuff happens, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and I don’t even know what to say other than that it’s cool to watch on social media when that stuff happens, or when they come home after a big win. It’s cool to see.”
Nurullo Aliev opens up about his dedication to MMA
Nurullo Aliev has added motivation as the first Tajikastan-born fighter to win a UFC fight. ‘Tajik Eagle’ plans to use his fighting skills to make his native country well-known throughout the world. During his UFC Vegas 70 post-fight media interview, Aliev had this to say:
“I’m young, I’m hungry, I wanna make sure to make my country famous, and I’m only 22. Usually people that are my age in my country are partying every day and I’m away from my home, I’m training. I only see my family for about two months out of the year, other than that I’m here and this is what I do.”
Aliev made his pro-MMA debut in February 2018, winning his first seven fights with six by decision. In September 2022, the Tajikistan-born fighter earned his UFC contract by securing a first-round TKO on Dana White’s Contender Series. Only time will tell if he can evolve into a legitimate lightweight contender.
Watch Nurullo Aliev’s UFC Vegas 70 media interview below: