The former ACB bantamweight champion outpointed Matheus Mattos in a unanimous decision in the co-main event of Bellator 254 on Thursday night to win his first fight with his new organization. Magomedov (16-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) won 30–26, 30–27, 30–27 on the judges’ scorecards.
Throughout all three rounds, Magomedov’s wrestling and control was in full display.
In the first round, the Russian fighter wasn’t able to cause damage on Mattos (12-1-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) or get a dominant position, but he was able press Mattos against the cage, push the action, having Mattos constantly defending and avoiding getting put in a bad position.
In the second and third, the momentum shifted more to Magomedov’s side.
The 28-year-old was able to score takedowns, get the back of Mattos, and threaten with submissions. The Brazilian did a good job at defending, but it was clear he was on survival mode in the last 10 minutes of the fight. Magomedov’s pressure and wrestling proved too much for Mattos.
“There is a new king in the Bellator jungle,” Magomedov said during his in-cage interview.
Magomedov is currently on a four-fight wining streak, bouncing back strong from his only professional defeat to current UFC champion Petr Yan in 2017. The two bantamweights are 1-1 against one another, as Magomedov outpointed Yan in 2016.
The bantamweight bout was the co-feature of Bellator 254, which was held at Mohegan Sun Arena and aired on CBS Sports Network.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 254 results:
- Magomed Magomedov def. Matheus Mattos via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Linton Vassell def. Ronny Markes via TKO (punches) — Round 2, 3:37
- Romero Cotton def. Justin Sumter via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 3:36
- Shamil Nikaev def. Kemran Lachinov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Grant Neal def. Maurice Jackson via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 2, 3:59
- Cody Law def. Kenny Champion via TKO (punches and elbows) — Round 3, 4:44
- Billy Goff def. Robson Gracie Jr. via TKO (punches and elbows) — Round 2, 1:46