Magomed Magomedov is paired up with Enrique Barzola in a quarterfinal fight in Bellator’s bantamweight grand prix this Friday, which looks to be a very promising match-up on paper.
The Russian standout enters Bellator 282 off a loss to Raufeon Stots, who happens to hold an interim title at the moment. While Stots is on the other side of the tournament bracket, the chance of meeting him in the final is there.
Although Magomedov doesn’t want to look past his current foe, the allure of a rematch with so much on the line is obvious.
“I have a tough opponent in Barzola, so I definitely don’t want to look past him,” Magomedov (18-2) told Cageside Press during his Bellator 282 media day session on Wednesday. “But since you’re making me, if we had to end up in a finals, and be able to fight against Raufeon Stots, and get my revenge, and get a million dollars, and get a title— I mean, how much better can it get?”
Not much better than that, really. A lot is on the line during the grand prix, and as always, a familiar face will be in Magomedov’s corner: Zabit Magomedsharipov.
The UFC featherweight just recently announced his retirement, after being away from the sport since 2019. Despite his extended absence, the retirement of a captivating, downright dazzling fighter who was on the brink of title contention still came as a shock to many.
“Zabit will be in my corner as always; he’s always in my corner. Of course I knew about his retirement before everybody else, so I had time for a while to process it,” Magomedov replied when asked about his teammate walking away from mixed martial arts. “Even though obviously he still had a lot to show and achieve in this sport, this is his decision, and I support him 100 percent.”
Watch the full Bellator 282 media day scrum with Magomed Magomedov above. The event takes place this Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.