Bellator’s world bantamweight grand prix will continue this December.
At Bellator 289, interim 135lb champ Raufeon Stots (18-1) will defend his belt against trash-talking “Italian Gangster” Danny Sabatello (13-1). Also featured on the card, Patchy Mix (16-1) will face Magomed Magomedov (18-2).
Both fights are semifinal bouts in the bantamweight grand prix. Promotion officials announced the news via press release on Monday.
Stots is undefeated through six fights under the Bellator MMA banner, and rides a ten-fight win streak overall. Most recently, Roufusport fighter floored Juan Archuleta with a head kick to capture the interim belt created when champ Sergio Pettis was forced to abscond from the grand prix.
A winner on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, Sabatello did not get a UFC deal, and instead made his way to Bellator, doing nothing but winning thus far. In three fights with the organization, he’s secured wins over Brett Johns, Jornel Lugo, and Leandro Higo.
With a gift for gab reminiscent of Chael Sonnen, Sabatello should have no trouble selling his latest fight.
Patrick “Patchy” Mix, meanwhile, will be looking to work his way back to a second shot at gold, after coming up short against Juan Archuleta at Bellator 246 in September 2020. Since then, Mix has won three straight, and took former champ Kyoji Horiguchi the distance, winning a unanimous decision in the quarterfinal round of the grand prix.
Magomedov submitted former The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 winner Enrique Barzola in June to avance to the semifinal round.
Bellator 289 will take place on December 9, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.