Russian bantamweight Magomed Magomedov extended his near-perfect professional record with a dominant win over Cee Jay Hamilton at Bellator MMA 255 – then said he hopes to emulate Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zabit Magomedsharipov.
After almost ending his second successful outing for Bellator in the first round, Magomedov won by rear-naked choke with little more than a minute of the second round gone before immediately consoling Hamilton and checking on the debutant’s wellbeing.
“I’m grateful to all the guys who helped me – Khabib and, especially, coach Javier [Mendez],” said Magomedov, who earned his 12th early finish out of 18 fights.
“I’ve known Zabit for a long time – he’s my childhood friend, we grew up together so he knows me better than I know myself, so he’s the only guy who it is tough for me to spar in the gym.
“I’m grateful that they accepted me in their camp and allowed me to train with them. It was a great camp – you saw a lot of things on the ground tonight that I learned in this camp.
“I have improved a lot on the ground with them and I would like to thank all my brothers. They did a lot in this camp.
“With someone like Khabib or Zabit, it’s always great advice and useful advice for someone like yourself.
“I’m learning a lot from these guys: from Khabib, for example, I’m learning a lot from watching his fights and his ground game, ground control.
“I take a lot from him and he gave me a lot of advice. He showed me a lot of my mistakes on the ground. I would like to be on the ground like Khabib and on my feet like Zabit.”
Magomedov’s victorious Bellator debut in December had been his only previous fight in almost two-and-a-half years, leaving him glad that his punishment of Hamilton was allowed to continue for more than three minutes.
“I’m grateful that the referee didn’t stop the fight in the first round because I had prepared for the fight for two or three months and I had a long layoff before that,” he explained.
“I’m glad that I had the opportunity to fight for more time and show [people] more skills.”
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