Danny Sabatello loves the pressure heading into Bellator 289 main event
published on December 9, 2022
curated and posted by BRWLRZ Team

Having gone undefeated in the previous two years, bantamweight Danny Sabatello was looking to recreate his success in 2022 and has done so to nearly the same degree.

In two fights this year, Sabatello has won both via unanimous decision over Jornel Lugo in April then Leandro Higo in June both for Bellator.

“Sometimes I just kind of sit back and see how the year’s gone and try to re-evaluate everything, and I’m very satisfied with it,” Sabatello told MMAWeekly.com. “I had great wins against Lugo and Higo, and I also think I’m getting bigger as a name in MMA and people are starting to recognize who I am.

“I’ve worked for this. This isn’t random. I talk the trash and that’s just me being me, but when I walk the walk in the cage that’s hours and hours working at the best gym in South Florida. It’s been a great year and it’s only going to get better when I cap off my year with a win over Scott.”

Sabatello’s success has extended beyond the cage, as he feels he’s made strides in improving his game over the course of the year during training.

“When you’re at a gym like American Top Team and you have the best coaches and best teammates, you have no choice to get better if you show up, and that’s what I do is show up every single day,” said Sabatello.

“I’ve gotten so much better. I’ve only been doing this sport for about four years now, and I’ve just made such big gains.”

This Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Sabatello (13-1) squares off against Raufeon Stots (18-1) in a 135-pound interim championship main event at Bellator 289.

“Stots is 33 or 34 years old, and I think he’s kind of at his peak,” Sabatello said. “We know what he’s about. We know where his ceiling is at. We know where his skillset is at. I’m still young in this, so we don’t really know how good I am or how good I can be, but I’m excited to display that in this big fight coming up.

“I love the pressure (of headlining an event) because I think that’s when my best self shows up. I want to make this the biggest fight that there is. I want the spotlight to be very bright and I want everybody to be watching this because I perform best this way.”

While he’s looking forward to what could come his way in 2023, for now Sabatello is focused on Friday and getting past Stots first if he wants to lay the foundation for what could come in the future.

“I really try to focus on the present and on December 9 at the Mohegan Sun, but your mind starts to wander, and I get excited about what the (upcoming) year could possibly hold. 2023 is going to somehow be bigger (than this year),” said Sabatello.

“I know I have the finals of the Grand Prix when I win this fight, which is obviously a huge fight, but I like to stay grounded and focus on only one opponent at a time. I have to take this very seriously and I have to go forward with caution and win this fight, then everything else will fall in itself.”

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