Bellator announces bantamweight semifinals

Daniel Cunningham
Bellator Scott Coker
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: President of Bellator Scott Coker speaks onstage during the Bellator-DAZN announcement press conference on June 26, 2018 at Viacom in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Bellator MMA)

Yesterday we learned when the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix semifinals will take place. The promotion announced that the bouts would headline Bellator 289 on December 9th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The co-main event of that evening will be the semifinal matchup between Patchy Mix (16-1) and Magomed Magomedov (19-2). Up until last year, the only man to have defeated Magomedov was former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan.

However, to close his 2021, he fell to Raufeon Stots. That led to the Grand Prix. In the opening round, Magomedov was able to secure a fourth round submission against Enrique Barzola which earned him this spot in the semifinals against Patchy Mix.

After starting his career a perfect 13-0, Mix got a shot at Juan Archuleta for the bantamweight title back in 2020. He lost that fight by split decision. However, he’s won three straight since that night including his opening round matchup in the Bellator Grand Prix.

In that fight, he took on former champion Kyoji Horiguchi. Mix was able to use his superior grappling to secure a decision win over the former champion.

Bellator 289 Headliner

While fans should be excited about Magomedov – Mix, the fight that everyone will be talking about is the main event. The interim bantamweight title is on the line as the champion Raufeon Stots (18-1) takes on “The Italian Gangster” Danny Sabatello (13-1).

Sabatello has gained a lot of steam and popularity with his ability to cut promos on the mic. However, it’s his relentless and grueling wrestling style that does his talking inside the cage. Since making his Bellator debut, he’s gone 3-0 with none of those fights being that close.

That being said, Stots is his toughest test by a wide margin. The interim champion is a perfect 6-0 in Bellator. His last two wins have come against Magomedov and former champion Juan Archuleta. The Archuleta performance was his best to date as he scored a third round head kick knockout.

These two are already talking a ton of trash in the lead up to the event. Yesterday, they appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour and had to be separated. This should be a good one whenever they finally get the chance to meet inside the cage.