Raufeon Stots delighted with Danny Sabatello feud: ‘The foreplay makes the fight better for me’


Raufeon Stots wouldn’t change a thing about his rivalry with Danny Sabatello.

The bantamweight stars meet on Friday in the main event of Bellator 289 in Uncasville, Conn., with Stots putting an interim title on the line against an opponent that he has seen plenty of over the past few months.

The two men have made every effort to promote their grudge match. And even though they’ve been joined at the hip from a promotional standpoint, Stots has thoroughly enjoyed the process, especially since it will only enliven what he expects to be another successful night at the office.

“I enjoy the trash talk,” Stots told MMA Fighting. Interviews with him and other situations like this are fine because once I’m in the ring, everything is free. I get to let loose. It’s my turn.

” All this stuff looks just like foreplay. It’s kind of a bunch of foreplay. It’s fun. It’s going to be very entertaining, but I find the fight more enjoyable because of the foreplay .”

Stots hasn’t always been kind when discussing Sabatello’s fighting ability — on The MMA Hour, Stots said that skill-wise ,he’d place Sabatello ‘among the top 5 worst opponents that I’ve faced’ — but he’s grateful that “The Italian Gangster” has been more than willing to verbally engage him. Stots has been undefeated in six fights with Bellator. However, none of his opponents have brought that spark to hype up a fight.

If Stots is to make it to another level of notoriety, he feels opponents like Sabatello are a necessary evil.

” I do believe that Sabatello was necessary,” Stots stated. “That’s one of the reasons I’m happy to fight him. I need a villain, I need somebody who poses a threat, who’s going to challenge me. I do need somebody like that, especially if I’m thinking about my MMA legacy. I think I need something like that because I haven’t had anybody really try to–Like, the last person was Magomed [Magomedov]. Magomed came at me almost like he was going after me, but then I reacted quickly.

“This is something that fans and people should support. It’s just making me a bigger star, I’m sure there’s people that like him also. I do think it’s good.”

Friday’s headliner also serves as one half of the semifinals of the Bellator bantamweight world grand prix, with Magomed Magomedov fighting Patchy Mix on the other side of the bracket in the co-main event. Stots will dispatch Sabatello if he does as he hopes. If he wins, it is possible for Magomedov to be beaten again and Mix to challenge him.

Stots is hopeful that a fight with Mix would produce more fireworks in the lead-up to the finals.

“I think I have more to gain with a fresh matchup, but I definitely think a fight with Magomed would be different this time,” Stots said. He would likely be better prepared with my skills, which would make it more challenging to fight him.

“But, yes, if forced to pick, I’d choose a new matchup. Also, I got some s*** to say about Patchy Mix and Magomed there’s the language barrier, so it can’t be as fun.”

If Stots is unable to close out Bellator’s final domestic event of 2022,, it is that he will miss out on the new year’s party set for Dec. 31 in Saitama Super Arena. In Saitama Japan, some of Bellator’s top fighters are scheduled to meet RIZIN’s finest at Saitama Super Arena. The ebullient Stots would seem a perfect fit for the well-established pageantry of Japanese MMA, and if everything goes according to plan, he aims to be booked on a crossover card next year.

“I would love that,” he said. The Bellator tournament, the Bellator promotion and how Bellator treated their fighters are three of the reasons I signed with Bellator. It would be incredible to me. It’s an incredibly bold move by both promotion’s sides. I think it’d be cool to test your skills against someone who is the top at another organisation outside the U.S. I think that would be amazing.”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/9/23500849/raufeon-stots-delighted-with-danny-sabatello-feud-the-foreplay-makes-the-fight-better-for-me?rand=96749