Fans React as “The Great Khabib Nurmagomedov” Congratulates His Protege After He Gives Bellator the Lead Against Rizin at Cross-Promotional Event

Published 12/31/2022, 7:04 AM EST

Bellator took the lead against Rizin at the Bellator MMA vs. Rizin crossover event after Gadzhi Rabadanov defeated Koji Takeda by unanimous decision. The Russian, Rabadanov, came to the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo as a heavy favorite and delivered a performance that justified the odds. The Khabib Nurmagomedov disciple got his hand raised after a dominant three-round performance.

The 29-year-old opened the crossover event riding the confidence of a four-fight win streak. He returned to the Bellator camp after putting them in the driving seat of the highly anticipated one-of-a-kind cross-promotional event.


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Fans on social media gave props to both fighters for that impressive outing. Some of them loved watching UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov grace the ring after his protégé’s win.

Fans react to Rabadanov beating Takeda at Bellator MMA vs. Rizin event

Despite putting up a strong resistance, Koji Takeda lost a competitive bout to Gadzhi Rabadanov. Fans of the sport took to Twitter to give props to both Takeda and Rabadanov.

Takeda came into the fight with a 3-2 record in his last five bouts. He ran into some adversity in the first round, where it looked like Rabadanov might get the finish. However, the 27-year-old came back stronger and made his opponent work for the victory.

Rabadanov scored a crucial knockdown which may have been the difference made according to one fan.

Another simply said the fight was a great start for the event and gave Takeda a special mention.

Several fans and pros gave Takeda credit for his toughness after he survived Rabadanov’s early onslaught.

One fan expressed his delight at seeing UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov in the ring after the bout.

The 29-0 retired former champion has had a successful run as a coach. His teammates, Islam Makhachev and Usman Nurmagomedov, are lightweight champions in UFC and Bellator, respectively.


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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 17: Khabib Nurmagomedov reacts after teammate Islam Makhachev’s victory against Thiago Moises in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)|GettyImages

Now, ‘Coach Khabib’ has given Bellator the upper hand on New Year’s eve in what could be a milestone moment in the promotion’s history.


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What did you think about the first Bellator vs Rizin fight? Share your reactions in the comments below.

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Yeswanth Praveen

335 articles

Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His interests mainly lie in the realm of MMA, bodybuilding, and the fitness industry. He finished his Master's in English literature from EFLU, Hyderabad.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu