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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun and Ken Hathaway

Tajikistan’s first UFC fighter, Nurullo Aliev, plans to ‘smash’ lightweight division

LAS VEGAS – Nurullo Aliev doesn’t want to waste any time after securing a UFC contract at Dana White’s Contender Series 55.

Aliev (8-0), Tajikistan’s first UFC fighter, remained unbeaten when he stopped Josh Wick by first-round TKO on Tuesday at the UFC Apex. It was a dominant performance for the 22-year-old, who is aiming straight for the top of the division.

“I smash you, lightweight division,” Aliev told reporters through an interpreter at the DWCS 55 post-fight press conference.

He continued, “I already said to Dana give me right away. You can give me even top 15 if you wanted.”

Born in Tajikistan, Aliev is feeling the love from his home country, which he says pulled an all-nighter to watch him compete.

“For the past two days since I made weight, nobody was sleeping,” Aliev said. “Starting from young people to old people. It’s 7 a.m. in the morning in our country; people are celebrating. I mean, it’s just crazy.”

He continued, “Of course, I do want to put my country on the map. I do want to make it famous and hopefully by signing in the UFC, it will open a lot of doors, because I do know that there is a lot of perspective fighters from our country.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Dana White’s Contender Series 55.

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