Danny Sabatello doesn’t mind using strong words to promote his fights, but his upcoming opponent Marcos Breno isn’t fazed by them. In fact, Breno said “The Italian Gangster” is not all that brave when cameras are off.
The Brazilian bantamweight faces Sabatello on the main card portion of Friday’s Bellator 294 in Honolulu, where he looks to move to 2-0 under the company’s banner following his debut victory over Josh Hill. According to Breno, Sabatello had nothing to say to his face when they met earlier this week at the fighter hotel.
“I don’t care [about what he says], to be quite frank, because that’s a mask he uses to get attention,” Breno said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I met him at the elevator this week and I didn’t see any of that, you know? That’s only for social media. And I don’t care. I’m here to do my job and show who I am.
“He didn’t want to look at me [laughs]. He didn’t look me in the eyes. I said, ‘Hi,’ he gave me a quick look and kept his head down and minded his own business. He tucks his tail when we’re backstage and there are no cameras to show off.”
Breno said he originally expected to meet Sabatello in 2022 but plans were changed after the Chicago native was added to Bellator’s 135-pound grand prix. Aware of his talents since then but “not afraid of anything he has for me,” the 25-year-old Brazilian prospect feels comfortable anywhere.
“I did a whole camp to stop his takedowns,” said Breno, winner of 15 of 17 professional MMA bouts with 13 stoppages, including a 56-second knockout of jiu-jitsu phenom Ary Farias inside the LFA cage in 2021. “If I have to go to the ground with him, I’ll be the one taking him down.”
“I’ll put my hand on his face,” he continued. “Maybe I’ll knock him out early, but I’m ready for three rounds, no problem. I can submit him if the opportunity comes. If he makes a mistake on the feet, I’ll knock him out. I’m ready for whatever comes.”
Sabatello is gunning for a shot at the belt to avenge his sole Bellator loss to interim titleholder Raufeon Stots, who headlines Bellator 295 against Patchy Mix the night after. Meanwhile, Breno hopes to enter the conversation with the upset.
“We want to climb the ranking and fight guys at the top,” Breno said. “We’re already talking about what comes next. [The belt] is not too far away after this fight. There are some surprises coming [laughs]. Let’s wait for the result. I’m ready and confident for this fight. [The belt] is not a distant dream.”