Danny Sabatello talked the talk, then walked the walk on Friday at Bellator 282.
He also walked away with a unanimous decision win in the quarterfinal round of the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix. It’s technically his second fight of the tournament, having won a qualifier against Jornel Lugo back in April.
Following a mostly one-sided decision against Leandro Higo, whose best and only chance came in the second round when he had Sabatello’s back, “The Italian Gangster” moves to the semifinals. There, he will meet Raufeon Stots, with interim gold on the line. Stots picked up the interim belt after Sergio Pettis was forced out of the grand prix, but Sabatello isn’t having any of this “interim” title talk.
“Stots is the champion of this division right now. I don’t want to hear sh*t about Sergio Pettis. He’s a p*ssy,” Sabatello (13-1) told Cageside Press and other media outlets following Bellator 282 on Friday. “He couldn’t even make it to the battlefield. I think he pulled his ACL or some sh*t, I don’t know. He might’ve retired, I don’t know. Stots is also a little b*tch, but Pettis is a f*cking little b*tch. He is not the champion. Stots has that belt and I’m going to take it from him.”
As far as Sabatello is concerned, there’s no interim title when he faces Stots. “This is not an interim title fight in my next fight. This is a title fight. So the winner of this f*cking fight is going to be the bantamweight champion, and it’s the same thing with winning the tournament. The winner of this tournament is the best bantamweight on planet Earth.”
Sabatello has become known as a motormouth, a sharp-tongued self-promoter who so far has backed it up in the cage. But fans at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Friday didn’t love the action they saw in the cage, which was heavy on grappling and wrestling, short on striking.
“The boos were music to my cauliflower ears. That was f*cking awesome,” Sabatello exclaimed. “What I did specifically like about this fight was in that second round, I faced some adversity. I had a guy like Higo on my back, who’s an absolute killer on somebody’s back. I weathered that storm, I got up, I smiled, I was happy I got out of it, and then I just pushed forward until the next rounds and absolutely f*cking dominated him.”
Watch the full Bellator 282 post-fight press scrum with Danny Sabatello above. More coverage from the event can be found below.