Killys Mota fighting for respect at Bellator 301, says Islam Mamedov is ‘nothing special’


Killys Mota feels he’s one of the best lightweights on the planet going into his 160-pound catchweight bout with Islam Mamedov at Friday’s Bellator 301 in Chicago, and he’s out to prove he’s destined for greatness.

Mota won three in a row in a span of 10 months under the Bellator banner, including a decision over UFC veteran Dan Moret and a rear-naked choke finish against Dana White’s Contender Series winner Kenneth Cross. He gets the sense that the MMA community still underestimates him because of his quiet outside-the-cage persona.

“Fighting is business and you have to be surrounded by big-name people, and you have to talk,” Mora said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast. “It’s entertainment, people have to imagine you’re Superman, but that’s not my style. My style is to train and feel good and help people. I don’t sell something I’m not, and people don’t believe that much in me because of that. I train way more than these guys, I work way harder. They are pure media, talking on Instagram so their followers think they have super powers or what, but they’re nothing. They people just like all of us.”

Getting a spot on what could end being Bellator’s final card is an “opportunity to be where I deserve to be,” said Mota. “We will prove ourselves to a lot of people and the organization.”

The Brazilian fighter will have one fight left in his deal with the company after Friday.

“Nobody believes in us and we have to prove ourselves with a beating, winning fights,” Mota said. “I’ve done that in my fights. Not only in Bellator, but all my career. I’ve proven I’m one of the best in the world. I’ve fought big-name guys like Akihiro Gono and Dan Moret and proved I’m better than them. Many people don’t believe in me but I don’t give a sh*t what they think. I know my potential and I know I’m better than this Islam guy. I know I’m better than many top-10 fighters, and I’ll prove that again. I’ll prove to myself I’m the champion.”

The 33-year-old lightweight trained with the likes of Yaroslav Amosov, plus PFL veterans Nathan Schulte and Raush Manfio, and is certain that Magomed won’t give him anything he hasn’t seen before at Bellator 301.

“I’m sure I’m way better than this guy on the feet, more aggressive, and that my hands are heavier. I have no doubt,” Mota said. “In the grappling area, I think it’s 50-50. He’s a wrestler, but I’ve showed in my last fights that I can wrestle, too. I test myself with these guys in the gym every single day. We have Russians here at ATT that have trained with these guys, they know what Khabib [Nurmagomedov] teaches them at AKA. It’s all the same, you know?

“Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I see it’s nothing special. It’s a game of who does it first in grappling. Whoever does it first has the advantage because it’s all about control. It’s a game of control, strength and conditioning. That’s all he knows, but I can do that too. I think I have more weapons because I can do what he does, but I do other things as well.”

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