Raufeon Stots Edges Danny Sabatello Via Split Decision – Bellator 289 Results (Highlights)

Raufeon Stots won a closely contested battle with Danny Sabatello in the Bellator 289 main event

Raufeon Stots
Courtesy of @BellatorMMA on Twitter

Big stakes were on the line in the Bellator 289 main event as interim bantamweight champion Rafeon Stots defended his title against No. 6 ranked Danny Sabatello. The bout was also a semi-final match in Bellator’s Bantamweight World Grand Prix tournament. The winner would move on to the finals, facing the winner of Magomed Magomedov vs. Patchy Mix for a $1 million prize and a date with undisputed bantamweight champion, Sergio Pettis. 

Round 1

Raufeon Stots immediately went on the offensive, throwing kicks and chasing Sabatello around the cage. Sabatello shot for a takedown, but Stots was able to sprawl. Back on their feet, Sabatello pushed Stots to the fence, worked his way to the back, and scored a takedown. Stots worked his way back up as Sabatello clung to his back. Sabatello dragged Stots back to the mat still holding onto the interim champ’s back. Stots rolled through and scrambled back to his feet in an impressive grappling exchange. With both fighters back on their feet, Sabatello clinched against the fence until the first round came to a close. 

Round 2

After a wrestling-heavy opening round, both fighters opted to stand and trade in the second. Sabatello shot for a takedown, but Stots sprawled and defended easily. Sabatello shot again. Stots sprawls and landed a solid uppercut. Sabatello shot again, backing Stots up to the fence in the process, and wrestled him to the mat for the first time in the second round.  Stots got back to his feet but was wrestled back down. Stots threatened a late-round knee bar, but Sabatello was able to defend and hold Stots down until the round ended.

Round 3

Early in the third, Sabatello shot for a takedown. Stots sprawls and the two jockey for position until Sabatello throws an illegal knee that grazed the chin of Stots. The action was only briefly paused as no damage was taken. With the action resumed, Sabatello attempted a takedown, but Stots is defending them more effectively as the fight goes on. Stots landed his own takedown against the fence and secured side control. Stots moved in to mount and Sabatello used it as an opportunity to scramble back to his feet. Sabatello secured his own takedown, but Stots was able to get back to his feet as the fourth-round bell sounded.

Round 4

Going into the fourth round, Danny Sabatello was 4-14 on his takedown attempts. After trading shots for the opening minute, Sabatello attempted three consecutive takedowns, finally scoring one on the third try. Sabatello worked for an anaconda choke but quickly gave up opting to switch positions, taking Stots’ back. Stots was able to turn into Sabatello and used the opportunity to get back to his feet and separate. Stots landed a solid left followed by a couple of jabs as the round ends. 

 Round 5

Raufeon Stots came out for the final round landing some solid strikes that bloodied Sabatello’s nose. Sabatello shot for a couple of takedowns but finally gets one on the third try, clinging to Stots’ back. Sabatello clings to Stots but offered no offense whatsoever, a running theme throughout the bout. Sabatello held the position until Stots was able to get back to his feet with only seconds left in the round. Stots attempted to land strikes in a last-ditch effort to steal the round but was unable to cause any damage. 

Official Result: Raufeon Stots def. Danny Sabatello via split decision (45-50, 48-47, 48-47) 

Check Out Highlights From Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello at Bellator 289 Below:

 

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