For some reason, people keep underestimating Raufeon Stots. And the Roufusport bantamweight just keeps going out there and proving them wrong.
Case in point, Bellator 253. The 31-year old Stots (15-1) was paired up with Keith Lee. Being the brother of UFC standout Kevin Lee has helped Keith grab his share of the spotlight and then some. Stots, meanwhile, appeared overlooked heading into the fight.
Right up until he won a unanimous decision. Stots is now very much a dark horse candidate in the 135lb title picture, a suggestion he enthusiastically agreed with following the win.
“It’s funny because I’ve been offered title fights. I’ve been turned down by title challengers, I’ve been turned down by top-level people,” Stots told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “So I know in my head that I’m up there amongst the best, because I put some fear in some people. For me, I know it, the rest of the world just has to catch up.”
“I just got to keep racking up these W’s until they catch up,” he added.
So what’s next for Stots, as he embraces his dark horse role? “Soon as Sergio gets the belt, I’m sweeping up everybody underneath him,” he exclaimed. That would be teammate Sergio Pettis, who has made a splash thus far in the Bellator bantamweight division.
Pettis is no doubt a star, and likely to be the man to face champ Juan Archuleta next. As for his own title aspirations, “the only way I fight Sergio is if the belt is on the line,” Stots said backstage at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “Sergio’s like my brother. He’s almost more than a brother, I see him more than I see my brother. So I don’t want to fight him. But if the title’s on the line, that’s supporting my family, to that’s something different. But other than that, I’ll clean out everybody. Everybody in the division.”
Watch the full Bellator 253 post-fight press conference with Raufeon Stots above.