Raufeon Stots defends interim title to cap off Bellator 289

Bellator Raufeon Stots
Lucas Noonan | BELLATOR MMA

Bellator 289 is in the books and the bantamweight Grand Prix finals are set. In the headliner of the event, Raufeon Stots (19-1) took on Danny Sabatello (13-2) for the interim bantamweight championship. There was a lot of trash talk leading up to this fight.

The fight ended up being very competitive and close. It was clear that both men had a very specific game plan. For Sabatello, he was working his takedowns all night and did a really good job of landing a few to the tune of over ten minutes of ground control time.

Meanwhile Stots outstruck Sabatello 2-1 on the feet. The fight came down to how you judge fights. If you really value control, Sabatello wins 3-2 or perhaps even 4-1. If you value damage, I think it’s 3-2 Stots because Sabatello never did any damage whenever he did have control.

The scores were wild in this one. One judge had it 50-45 for Danny Sabatello. Meanwhile the other two judges scored the fight 48-47 for Raufeon Stots giving him the win at Bellator 289.

Bellator 289

In the co-main event, Liz Carmouche (18-7) defended her Bellator flyweight title against former flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez (12-2). Carmouche was visibly frustrated that she had to defend her title against Velasquez immediately after the first fight due to the controversial ending.

However, there was no controversy in this one. Carmouche was suffocating with her grappling attack and secured mount in the second round. After getting mount, she was able to lock in an arm bar and successfully retain her championship.

Prior to that, we saw the first bantamweight Grand Prix semifinal matchup between Patchy Mix (17-1) and Magomed Magomedov (19-3). I figured this fight was going to be competitive and it turned out to be anything but.

Anytime the fight touched the mat, Mix would end up in the dominant positions while always attacking submissions. You could tell that Magomedov was getting frustrated. In the second round, Magomedov got caught in a guillotine choke and Mix put him to sleep.

With the result in the main event, Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix will now battle for one million dollars and the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix championship.

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