Los Angeles, CA — In his debut under the Bellator MMA banner, Islam Mamedov earned a split decision win over a former champion.
At Saturday’s Bellator 263, Mamedov (20-1-1) picked up a win over Brent Primus, who before the fight had expressed his unhappiness with fighting an unranked newcomer. The underlying theme seemed to be that Mamdeov was not on his level.
“Well now he has to sit and be unhappy that he’s not on my level, when he was talking so much before the fight,” the former PFL fighter told media outlets including Cageside Press following the bout. “I heard all this kind of stuff, but now we put everything to sleep.”
When the decision was announced Saturday, it took Mamedov by surprise — he simply could not see what Primus had done to be awarded the fight by any judge.
“I was thinking that I won all three rounds with no doubts. I’m not sure why one of the judges gave my opponent the fight,” Mamedov said. As the scores were called out, “in my mind, I was thinking ‘if this fight goes to him, it’s going to be something crazy.’ In my mind, I could not put together why, and what he did to win this fight.”
What he sees as a dominant decision also has Mamedov sour on a rematch. And the Dagestani fighter never felt in dangerous from Primus’ submission attempts.
“Before this fight, I studied him, I knew his fight style and what he was doing. He was trying to submit me, but I cannot say that he was ever close to the finish.” Even if Primus had gotten close to the finish, said Mamedov, “I was training so many years with so many good fighters, crazy fighters, even if he got me in a good submission, I would never tap. He would have to rip off my head to get this victory.”
Watch the full Bellator 263 post-fight press scrum with Islam Mamedov above.