In 1947 Nikolay Belov became the first Soviet athlete to win a European title, when he won the Greco-Roman middleweight event at the 1947 European Championships in Prague. Next Belov competed internationally at the 1952 Olympics, where he won bronze in Greco-Roman middleweight. Domestically, Belov won four Soviet titles, in 1948-51 in Greco-Roman middleweight. He also won three silver (1946 and 1953 in Greco-Roman middleweight and in 1948 in freestyle light-heavyweight) and two bronze medals (1945 in Greco-Roman middleweight and in 1947 in freestyle middleweight) at the Soviet Championships. After finishing his sporting career, Belov worked as a wrestling coach in Moscow.