Bellator MMA returns after nearly a whole month hiatus with a stacked fight card on Thursday night from Uncasville, Connecticut. Bellator 254 is set for Dec. 10 from the Mohegan Sun Arena with women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in the main event to defend her title against undefeated surging challenger Juliana Velasquez. But before we get to that, there’s an appertizing co-main event between two bantamweight prospects Magomed Magomedov (16-1) and Matheus Mattos (12-1-1).
Mattos (12-1-1) and Magomedov (16-1) have a few similarities. One, it will be the first time for both men will step into the Bellator cage at Connecticut, and two, each fighter’s only professional loss was against Petr Yan in the Absolute Championship Bekrut (ACB) promotion.
Magomedov hasn’t fought in MMA since Nov. 10, 2018, in a victory over Walter Pereira Jr. at ACB 90: Moscow, via guillotine. He has finished his fights inside the distance in three of his past five fights, with all three wins by way of submission or guillotine. He will be making his Bellator debut and heads into this promotion with a lot of fan attention. This fight might be one of the most anticipated fights in years for Bellator in recent years.
Mattos (12-1-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is a member of the Pitbull Brothers’ gym and has competed for the ACB bantamweight championship. Like Magomedov. Ten of Mattos’ pro victories have come inside the distance.
Here is how the fight played out, round by round.
They touch gloves. Kicks early from Magomed and followed up by a takedown. Magomed scrambles and pushes Mattos up against the cage. Magomed looks for a single and takes the back. A huge suplex from Magomed and tosses Mattos on his head. Mattos scrambles and once again gets pushed up against the cage. Magomed has one hook in. A takedown from Magomed and throws him to the canvas once again. Magomed is riding the hip of Mattos. A huge knee at the end of the round for Magomed.
MyMMANews.com scores it: 10-9 to Magomed Magomedov
Second round starts. Mattos loads up and Magomed slides underneath and gets the leg and pushes him up against the cage. Another takedown landed from Magomed. Mattos tries to scramble and Magomed forces him back down to the canvas. Magomed takes the back of Mattos. Magomed looking to sink in a rare naked choke. Magomed doesn’t see a opening and lets it go. Magomed hanging on the back of Mattos, punching Mattos in the side of the head. Magomed slides off and takes him down again. Twenty seconds to go. Magomed ruthless with the takedowns. Bell goes for round two.
MyMMANews.com scores it: 10-9 to Magomed Magomedov, 20-18
Round three begins. Mattos needs to make a statement in the third. A body kick landed from Mattos. Magomed soon shoots for the single leg and his persistence soon pays off and he gets the fight to the ground. Magomed riding the back once again. Bit of a stalemate on the ground with Magomed controlling the back of Mattos and cancelling him out. Magomed has got the back of Mattos now. Looking to flatten him out. Landing some ground and pound. A dominant performance from ‘The Tiger’. The body looks tight from Magomed. They go the distance, should be a clear winner here.
MyMMANews.com scores it: 10-9 to Magomed Magomedov, 30-27
Magomed Magomedov def. Matheus Mattos via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
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