After initially being matched up with fellow Roufusport fighter and Bellator bantamweight champ Sergio Pettis at Bellator 279, Raufeon Stots was thrown a welcome curve ball.
“I’m super-excited about this one. For me, personally, it’s way easier getting behind fighting Juan Archuleta than it was getting behind fighting Sergio,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press this week. It’s now Archuleta, not Pettis, who Stots will face in the quarter-final round of Bellator’s bantamweight grand prix. “So I’m super-excited to get in there and put my hands on Juan.”
Stots (17-1) added that he’s “gutted” for his teammate, who was forced out due to injury. “That’s not the way I wanted it to go.” But at the same time, there’s definitely a feeling of relief in fighting Archuleta rather than Pettis.
Now, Stots can focus on Archuleta, who appears to have taken the match-up in a more personal direction.
“Juan feels like I’m picking on him or whatever. I saw that he called me a bully or something like that,” Stots observed. “That’s kind of what I want to do in the fight. I’m literally taking your lunch money at this fight. I’m going to be a bully in the fight. I’m not a bully in real life but that’s kind of how I’m approaching this fight. I feel like Juan Archuleta is mentally weak. He’s a strong individual but I want to take advantage of that, so I’ve been picking at him the whole fight camp. And in the fight, I’m going to continue to pick on him for five rounds.”
Watch the full Bellator 279 media day appearance from Raufeon Stots above. More coverage can be found below.