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Magomed Magomedov: I was only able to show ‘about 60 percent’ at Bellator 254

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Magomed Magomedov must be one harsh self-critic.

The highly touted Russian bantamweight lived up to the hype in his Bellator debut on Thursday night, as he thoroughly outclassed Matheus Mattos in the co-feature bout of Bellator 254.

Magomedov (16-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was all over Mattos with his grappling, and it showed in the judges’ scorecards, as he earned a unanimous decision on scores of 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

But as far as Magomedov is concerned, he was only able to show off that one aspect of his game and not display for his new American audience his full, well-rounded game. And that left him feeling like he could have performed better.

“I felt great, but I feel like I was basically about 60 percent,” Magomedov told MMA Junkie through an interpreter at the Bellator 254 post-fight news conference. “I basically just showed that I could wrestle, but what I didn’t show was how I mix it up in the standup and so forth.”

This marked not just his promotional debut, but also his first fight in two years, and Magomedov believes all these factors added up.

“I think maybe ring rust played a factor; I had some injuries in camp, but I really wanted to take the fight,” Magomedov said. “Also, it’s a new organization, my first fight here. I wanted to make sure that, you know, you have nerves and everything, so now that I’ve passed that, I think it went well.”

Given all this, Magomedov believes the next time out will be a better representation of what he can achieve.

“I basically just wanted to get my hand raised,” he said. “That’s what I was focused on. In the future, I’m going to show all of everything I have in my arsenal.”

Bellator 254 was held at Mohegan Sun Arena and aired on CBS Sports Network.

For more from Magomedov, watch the video above.

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