UNCASVILLE, Conn. – As fight day rapidly approaches, Danny Sabatello is beginning to feel what it would be like to have a piece of the Bellator bantamweight title around his waist.
In the main event of Bellator 289, Sabatello takes on interim champion Raufeon Stots in a bantamweight grand prix semifinal bout. The event takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena, and the main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
The build up to the fight has been filled with trash talk from both competitors. Finding a positive comment from either man about their opponent has been a tough search, but Sabatello adamantly explained his reasons for that approach.
“We’re very different and I just don’t like him in general,” Sabatello told MMA Junkie and other reporters at media day on Wednesday. “Also, obviously, if I’m going inside a cage with somebody, and we’re gonna go toe-to-toe and he’s gonna almost, potentially, maybe kill me, and I’m almost potentially, maybe gonna kill him, why the f*ck would I be this guy’s friend?”
Stots has not backed down in any of the heated verbal exchanges over the past few months in various interviews. But when asked how he would rate Stots’ smack talk, Sabatello promptly replied, “Negative 2.”
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Regardless of how he may feel about his opponent’s gift of gab, Sabatello is potentially on the verge of becoming a Bellator champion in just his fourth fight with the promotion, which would be a massive accomplishment for the 29-year-old ATT product.
“I’m getting f*cking chills just thinking about it,” Sabatello said. “It’s an absolutely dream come true. You know, all I want to be is just the best fighter on f*cking Earth, and I can obviously have that fortune to display my skillset in just two days and get it.
“Obviously, it’s a massive fight just in general. But to add to it, getting this f*cking belt, which by the way, is not for the interim f*cking belt. Sergio Pettis is not the champion of this division. Sergio Pettis is a p*ssy. He couldn’t even make it in the f*cking world grand prix. So right now, to me, Stots is the champion, and when I beat him, I will be the f*cking champion.”
Sabatello did have a rare compliment to offer about his opponent: he acknowledged that Stots is the best bantamweight in the division. That is, next to himself, of course.
The winner of Friday’s Bellator 289 main event will face the winner of Magomed Magomdeov vs. Patchy Mix in the grand prix final, a bout which takes place earlier on the main card.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 289.