Danny Sabatello came up short on two of the judges’ scorecards in his semifinals matchup of the Bellator bantamweight grand prix against interim champ Raufeon Stots at Bellator 289 in December, but “The Italian Gangster” still feels as if he won the fight.
Sabatello now looks to get back in the win column when he takes on Marcos Breno this Friday at Bellator 294 in Hawaii. For the outspoken Sabatello, the sting of his last result has been something he’s needed to push off to the side ahead of his upcoming bout.
“I f****** hate him even more now,” Sabatello told MMA Fighting of Stots. “I just feel like he absolutely stole my moment from me. It was a massive fight. I was the reason that fight was so big. I built it up pretty good. Every one of my fights just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and that’s a fight that I really had myself winning. I’m very honest with myself — if I thought I lost that fight and I thought that there were things that I needed to work on, I would absolutely say that, and I would say that I’m coming back even hungrier and give that whole spiel. But the fact of the matter is, I won that f****** fight.
“I hate that motherf*****. One thing that I always do after my wins is I always do show respect after the win. Once the result is the result, I’m on to my next opponent. I always show respect. And one thing that Raufeon did after he got his hand raised was continue to talk s*** to me, and that’s not cool in my book. However long my career is, the story isn’t over until I beat the shit out of Raufeon Stots and get my revenge.
“I would love to say that I’m completely over it, but in all honesty, I won’t be over it until I beat him. Obviously I’m a very motivated guy, so no matter what, win or lose, I will always be motivated for the next fight. One thing that I do need to do is stay focused on this Marcos Renault b****, April 21. But in the back of my mind, I do know that I have Raufeon Stots’ face that I do want to smash.”
The Stots result was Sabatello’s first loss in Bellator, and snapped an overall seven-fight win streak. Now he’ll face Breno, a 25-year-old up-and-comer who impressed in his Bellator debut when he earned a unanimous decision over Josh Hill at Bellator 284 this past August.
While he sees some dangerous weapons that Breno brings to the table, Sabatello feels he should get the job done in dominant fashion on his road to a 135-pound title shot.
“[I’m] just trying to rip this motherf*****’s face off,” Sabatello said. “I actually think it’s a step up in terms of the stand-up.
“I think his stand-up is actually better than Raufeon Stots’ stand-up. I saw his last fight against Josh Hill and he beat the s*** out of Josh Hill, but you can’t really gauge too good or how well this guy is because Josh Hill f****** sucks too. So I don’t really know exactly how good this guy is, but I can tell by the way he punches and he throws kicks, he’s very balanced with his strikes. He throws with a lot of power, he’s got a lot of power shots. If he does connect with you, he can put the lights out. So he is a very dangerous opponent.
“He’s not in the rankings, but he does have a good record. He’s gotten some wins, he’s gotten the win over Josh Hill, he’s kind of climbing the ranks. But yeah, this should be a guy that I should absolutely tune up. I should beat the f*** out of this guy.”