There was no need for Raufeon Stots to go out of his way to emulate Danny Sabatello’s trash talk in training ahead of Bellator 289. He already had all the tools he needed.
Sabatello has become perhaps the promotion’s best-known motormouth, with a gift for gab that will no doubt help sell fights to the more casual MMA fan base. As for Stots, he’s well prepared for the chirping both before and during the fight. He sees it, or more accurately, hears it, day in and day out.
“We talk all the time in training,” Stots (18-1), Bellator’s interim bantamweight champion and one half of a grand prix semi-final this Friday, said with a laugh during Wednesday’s Bellator 289 media day. “So yeah, it’s nothing different than we’ve been doing. I feel like I’ve got a chippy group of training partners.”
That includes Adrian Yanez and Jacob Silva, among others. “We do a lot of talking regardless.”
Whether Sabatello believes his trash talk or not, the other half of Friday’s main event has been outwardly quite dismissive of Stots. And at times, quite hostile. None of it seems to bother “Supa” Stots, however.
“It doesn’t bother me, I like, welcome it. As far as it getting under my skin, I know it’s all a facade,” Stots told Cageside Press. “The things he says, ‘I want to kill you, I want to bash your face in.’ You’ve never shown any indicator that you’re even capable of that. So none of that stuff means nothing to me.”
“When we step in there, you’ve got to impose your will on me, and I just don’t see that happening.”
Asked about how Danny Sabatello shapes up in comparison to past opponents, Stots was himself dismissive of his opponent. “As far as the fight, I feel like this is an interlude for the tournament. I don’t feel like this fight will be competitive,” Stots stated. “I feel like I’ll beat the sh*t out of him. That’s just, given my skill set and the opponents he’s faced, the opponents I’ve faced — I just don’t see him being successful.”
On the other side of the Bantamweight Grand Prix bracket is the second semi-final, between Patchy Mix and Magomed Magomedov. As far as that fight goes, Raufeon Stots is picking Mix — but he knows it’s close.
“Man I keep going back-and-forth. Right now, I’m edging Patchy Mix. Right now,” he predicted. “That’s probably more of me wanting to fight Patchy Mix, because I haven’t fought him before, and I want to clean out the division.”
Raufeon Stots faces Danny Sabatello in the main event of Bellator 289 this Friday, December 9, 2022 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.