Bantamweight free agent signee Magomed Magomedov has been a big success for Bellator MMA thus far.
The 18-1 “Tiger” from Russia has only lost to former UFC champ Petr Yan (and holds a win over Yan, with their career series tied 1-1). Since signing with the promotion last year, Magomedov has won both his fights, and there’s already title talk in the air.
“My transition to Bellator has been smooth so far, I’m 2-0 in the Bellator cage,” Magomedov said at this week’s Bellator 264 media day, “and I think the winner of this fight is going to get the contender’s shot, or a title shot.”
This Friday, Magomedov goes up against another top bantamweight prospect in Raufeon Stots. On preparation for the fight, “everything has been great so far, just got one day left to cut weight, and we’re ready to go,” Magomedov stated.
Ahead of the fight, Magomedov was awarded his brown belt, which adds to the storyline behind the match-up with Stots.
“It’s been a big jump from white belt to brown belt right away, but I’ve been training for about 10 years now, and Ricardo [Almedia] thought it’s time for me to be promoted,” said Magomedov. “And also, I don’t think my black belt is that far away.”
The timing may have raised a few eyebrows as much as the jump. Stots is a standout wrestler (NCAA Division II) who also holds a brown belt in jiu-jitsu.
While on paper the pair are level in terms of BJJ belts, “I’m not worrying about the grappling aspect, I’m a striker first,” Magomedov said Wednesday. “But my grappling has been great as well, and where ever the fight goes, I’m ready for it.”
Magomed Magomedov faces Raufeon Stots this Friday, August 13 at Bellator 264 in Uncasville, CT.