Raufeon Stots calls Danny Sabatello ‘among the top 5 worst opponents that I’ve faced’


Raufeon Stots has the biggest fight of his career just around the corner, though he’s not convinced his opponent is up to the task.

On Friday, Bellator 289 is headlined by Stots defending his interim bantamweight title against Danny Sabatello, a grudge match that also serves as the semifinals of a $1,000,000 grand prix tournament. Stots and Sabatello have been engaged in a relentless war of words for months, and while Stots has enjoyed the build to the fight, he’s ready to put to rest any doubt that he’s the superior fighter.

“He might be among the top 5 worst opponents that I’ve faced as far as skill level,” Stots said on The MMA Hour when asked to appraise Sabatello’s fighting ability. “Top 5 worst opponent that I’ve faced. One guy, he fought me on a week’s notice and he was, like, coming off of a drinking bender, my first fight. So I know for a fact [Sabatello is] better than that guy. But top 5 worst opponent.”

Overrated or not, Sabatello has looked like a championship contender since debuting with Bellator in May 2021. “The Italian Gangster” is 13-1 as a pro and 3-0 inside the Bellator cage, with decision wins over more established names like Leandro Higo and Brett Johns.

Stots is also undefeated in six appearances for Bellator, and even if the two bantamweights weren’t currently competing in the same tournament, it’s likely their paths were eventually going to cross. Their rivalry has quickly become one of the most heated in MMA, but Stots doubts Sabatello is capable of backing up any threats of violence on fight night.

” If you take a look at his game, it’s a huge game. He loves to talk about how he is going to bash someone’s face in,” Stots stated. Stots said, “How it will be a bloody battle. But all he do is he’s a position artist.

“He is a position and cap artist. He’s not going to do anything other than try to hold me. There’s just one thing that I have to be aware of. Literally, that’s the one thing I have to be concerned about. That’s the easiest fight preparation I’ve had in my career.”

Considering how Sabatello used wrestling to defeat several opponents, it is possible that Stots will use the same strategy. However, Stots wants to assure everyone planning to watch that the fight will deliver on the action front, even if it turns out to be one-sided in his favor.

“I don’t think the fight will live up to the hype for me as far as being competitive, but the fans are going to get to see what they love to see and that’s knockout or submissions because I’m coming in there to hurt him for 25 minutes,” Stots said. Stots said, “S ***, He might be beat up again after that fight.

“But I will make sure that the fans get the fight they desire. Because he hasn’t seen exciting fights, he won’t be able to ensure that. I know how to make fights exciting, and I know how to fight so there’s nothing he can do about being in a position where he’s going to have to take a lot of damage, and people are going to be oohing and ahing and blood is going to be splattering everywhere. There’s nothing he can do to stop that.”

Stots smiles with a grin on his face at the idea that he might be entering the cage Friday feeling agitated. Although the excitement surrounding his fight against Sabatello is consuming a lot of Stots’ life, it hasn’t affected his ability to enjoy the exchanges between them.

And that’s because Stots believes he knows what Sabatello is all about.

“Let me just say one more thing about Danny,” Stots said. I figured Danny out. What he is, is he’s a curmudgeon. He’s like a scrooge that knows everybody’s going to hate him, so he tries to hate them first.

“He hates that I like other people’s s ***. He’s one of those guys that’s looking on people’s pages, but not liking s*** just because he’s like, ‘Oh, he probably doesn’t like me, so f*** you. He doesn’t like you, so f*** him.

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/7/23498846/raufeon-stots-calls-danny-sabatello-among-the-top-5-worst-opponents-that-ive-faced?rand=96749