Bellator MMA’s Bantamweight Grand Prix will be in full swing at Bellator 289 tonight (Fri. Dec. 9, 2022) in Uncasville, Conn., as two semifinal match ups take place to determine who will face off in the finale in early 2023.
Aside from Patchy Mix facing Magomed Magomedov, the headlining bout will be interim 135-pound title holder, Raufeon Stots, defending his title against the always-talkative, Danny Sabatello. One man missing from the tournament is division kingpin, Sergio Pettis, who was unable to partake in the $1 million mix as a result of an injury. Still, “The Phenom” will fight the Grand Prix winner sometime in 2023 in a title unification bout.
According to Sabatello, though, the winner of his fight against Stots will be the only legit champion once the dust settles because Pettis couldn’t make it to the tournament.
“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—king belt,” declared Sabatello during a recent media day (via MMA Junkie).
“Sergio Pettis is not the champion of this division,” he continued. “Sergio Pettis is a p—sy. He couldn’t even make it in the f—king world grand prix. So right now, to me, Stots is the champion, and when I beat him, I will be the f—king champion.”
“The Italian Gangster” is currently on a seven-fight win streak and is undefeated (3-0) under the Bellator banner. And while he has made a name for himself as one of the most loquacious and outspoken fighters for the company, he is one more win away from tasting MMA gold for the second time.
“I’m getting f—king chills just thinking about it. It’s an absolutely dream come true. You know, all I want to be is just the best fighter on f—king Earth, and I can obviously have that fortune to display my skill set in just two days and get it.”
To walk out the victory will be a tough task for Sabatello to say the least because Stots has won 10 in a row and hasn’t tasted defeat in five years. Pettis, meanwhile, is going on a year removed from his last fight, a knockout win over Kyoji Horiguchi in Dec. 2021 to win the 135-pound belt.
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