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Bellator Bantamweight Champion Raufeon Stots Revels In His Abilities – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

HOUSTON – Interim Bellator bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots is loud and confident.

Currently riding a 10-game winning streak, his only loss coming in 2017, Stots feels mentally and physically on top. This spells trouble for opponents.

Danny Sabatello appears to have punched his ticket to face Stots – after Sabatello defeated Leandro Higo by unanimous decision at Bellator 282 on June 24th. A heated exchange between Stotts and Sabatello during the post-match interview set the stage for a showdown later this year.

Stotts talks strategies with Zenger about how he plans to defeat Sabatello.

Zenger: We know how great you are in the cage, but you’re also quite comfortable commentating on Friday night’s Bellator card.

Stots: The commentary was dope. It was a lot of fun. I had a blast.

Zenger: You were analyzing potential opponents in the cage. Are you called upon to scout or commentate from a fan perspective?

Stots: That was one of the reasons I wanted to do it. To come and see up close. I wanted to feel the pressure of the moment and see what they could create. This was huge. It’s definitely different than being at home watching. I was able to feel what was going on inside the cage – or lack thereof – regarding the Danny Sabatello fight. It was a pleasure.

Raufeon Stots is rolling around the Bellator cage after being crowned interim bantamweight champion following his knockout of Juan Archuleta in April. (Bellator MMA).

Zenger: In another interview, you said that since COVID, you removed your self-doubt. Was the self-doubt mental or something you changed in training?

Stots: We couldn’t really practice during COVID where I could rely on my coaches to teach me things. So I started learning things on my own. Then I started diving into the mental part of being an athlete – and a successful person. This was one of the affirmations I decided to create. This affirmation is that I am confident and fearless in everything I do. I dominate, excite and finish fights. I’m Raufeon Stots, Bellator World Champion. I know this is who I am now. I embody this and am not a suspicious person in anything I do.

Zenger: Since the elimination of Juan Archuleta, do you feel compelled to elevate or repeat that performance?

Stots: The key for me is to focus on the moment. I can’t worry about being better than last time, or what I should do in the future. Good things happen when I’m in the moment. I feel like once when I lost, I was too busy looking forward to things that would happen after I won, instead of focusing on what was happening right in front of my face. In combat, things can change in a second, so I definitely have to be present.

Zenger: Your only loss came in 2017. You’ve won 10 straight fights since then. What is the key to this winning streak?

Stots: That fight taught me something, something that was missing in my game. It was on the mental side. It wasn’t really in my training. I have the best trainers and training regime. I learned from the best in the game. It was a mental thing and now my mind is blocked. This, along with my growing confidence and skills, I feel invincible now. It’s a testament to what’s been going on in my life for the past five to seven years.

Zenger: You seem to understand the fun aspect of fighting. How important is this in today’s climate, where self-promotion is key?

Stots: The speaking part is really fun for me. The talking stuff is just extra. This is my personality. That’s how I grew up. It’s my pass. I love playing Fortnite and talking trash with my friends. I realize none of this works if you don’t back up what you’re saying. You have to go out there and perform well. I’m involved in MMA and sports, so no matter what I say or do, I’m getting better at my sport.

There are so many things you can get good at in MMA, so every day, I’m doing something to improve myself at my craft. I am very good at fighting; the conversation is just fun for me.

Zenger: How does a fight between you and Danny Sabatello go?

Stots: We’re both good wrestlers. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any past wrestling skills. I feel like if our fight gets cancelled, it’s going to be a long night for him. If he decides to commit me to something other than wrestling, the skill gap is too great. I said this before I fought him, I was rooting for him. But I didn’t know if he could make it because of his skills.

It’s so one-dimensional, but luckily, he’s been able to fight people who don’t have good wrestling. I’ve wrestled with a lot of opportunities, I’ve wrestled myself, so I have a lot of those skills. I feel like there is nowhere he poses a threat. Even if he knocks me down, he can’t keep me down. It will either be a long night or a really short night in my favor. I just don’t see where it’s better. Maybe if he had finishing skills I’d think he could catch me with something, but I don’t see that. I don’t see power in his hands, I don’t see the threat of a submission, it’s just wrestling. My last opponent thought this would be the way to beat me.

Hopefully he’ll come up with something in the next few months. I just don’t see a path to victory for him.

Raufeon Stots is one step closer to becoming a million dollar tournament winner for Bellator’s bantamweight division. (Bellator MMA).

Zenger: You have your sights set on that million dollar prize. To win it, you obviously have to win a few more fights, but the ultimate test would be against your friend, Sergio Pettis. Not to get too far ahead, but have you wrapped your head around the potential of putting personal stuff aside and handling business with Pettis?

Stots: I try not to think about it. To fight Sergio … I feel he would be my toughest opponent. People don’t understand the work he has done to be a strong fighter. Our styles are similar. Our striking ideologies are similar. We know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. A fight with him will be the ultimate chess match, the ultimate physics match, and it will be truly violent. It will be a grueling fight. The best man will win, but it will be a grueling fight.

Zenger: Any closing thoughts on Danny Sabatello?

Stots: Sabatello is evil! The hardest part of this fight will be ruining his visuals because I fall asleep every time I watch him fight.

Edited by Fern Siegel and Andre Johnson

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Bellator Bantamweight Champion Raufeon Stots Revels In His Abilities – Westside Story Newspaper – Online Source link Bellator Bantamweight Champion Raufeon Stots Revels In His Abilities – Westside Story Newspaper – Online

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