CHICAGO – Raufeon Stots is reasonably sure he’s not going to be in enemy territory Friday in Chicago.
Eleven months ago, Stots took a split decision from Sabatello at Bellator 289 and won the interim bantamweight title. The buildup to their fight was filled with all kinds of heat, and it hasn’t let up – to the point they’re rematching less than a year later, and the winner likely will move into the No. 1 contender spot for the winner of Friday’s co-main event between champ Sergio Pettis and interim champ Patchy Mix, who knocked out Stots in April.
But even though Sabatello hails from the North Side of Chicago and will be fighting at home for the first time in his career, Stots thinks he’s going to have a better response from the “Windy City” fans than his heated and hated rival, who will be looking to rebound from a submission loss to Magomed Magomedov in Japan.
“It’s pretty funny it’s his home town, but I think I’m going to get a bigger pop from the crowd than him,” Stots told Sabatello when he spoke to MMA Junkie and other media members at the pre-fight media day for Bellator 301. “I believe everyone in your home town hates you. It’s funny you mention Patchy and me because in your last fight, you tapped like a b*tch (to Magomedov) and ran out like when you fought me the last time. It’s going to be 2-0 Stots come Friday night.”
Stots (19-2 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) talked about that matchup, his rivalry with Sabatello (14-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) and more at the pre-fight media day for Bellator 301.
Check out Stots’ full interview in the video above ahead of the event, which takes place Friday at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 301.