Raymond Daniels returns to the Bellator cage this Friday for the first time in 2021. He faces off against Peter Stanonik, in a rematch from their ill-fated first meeting.
You know, the one where Daniels kicked Stanonik twice below the belt, halting the fight and causing a no-contest.
It was a vicious foul, the kind that will make you tense up watching the replay. Daniels made no excuses and took full responsibility for it.
“It was very unfortunate for Pete, and I reached out to him personally just to make sure he was okay after it happened,” Daniels said in a recent interview with Cageside Press. “I was just happy to hear that he was able to fully recover without any lingering damage because, after all, this is a dangerous sport, and things happen and could change your life forever.”
After the foul happened, it went viral, but Daniels is used to going viral. In his Bellator debut back in 2019, the long-time kickboxer landed a 720 knockout against Wilker Barros. The knockout would go viral, and it would also end up on ESPN’s Sportscenter that night.
“Press will be good, and the press will be bad, you know what I mean,” Daniels said. “I guess the fact that I’m being covered [by the media] is a positive. When they stop talking about me, that is a problem. The fact that I’m going viral at 40-years-old, throwing high-level technique is something I’m proud of.”
Daniels spent this training camp at Team Alpha Male, a gym founded by MMA pioneer Uriah Faber. It is one of the gyms in North America known for high-level wrestling, and Daniels found that out quickly.
“It was my first time going over to Alpha Male, and I really enjoyed my time there; it was an amazing experience. I got some work in with Uriah himself, Andre Fili, as well as Alex Munoz, who has a fight coming up, plus so many others,” Daniels said. “I definitely got some wrestling in, and it is crazy. I thought I was getting better and had this wrestling thing down, but I realized there are levels to wrestling. It was very humbling – but what is great is that everyone checks their ego at the door.”
Daniels worked on his wrestling just if his opponent wants to wrestle in his upcoming fight this Friday. The kickboxer sees the rematch going the same way it was going before the foul occurred.
“I felt like I was dominating that fight with Pete. I see this rematch going similarly, with me going out there and imposing my will and do what I do. I’m going to go out and show everyone the creative things I’ve been working on, and close to this chapter,” Daniels said.
“I want to show that I’m not just the best kickboxer. My style and ability will continue to transcend into any sport, whatever the ruleset is.”
Raymond Daniels returns this Friday at Bellator 257. The event airs live on Showtime following online prelims available right here on Cageside Press.