Bantamweight Danny Sabatello made his promotional debut for Bellator MMA past year, pulling disconnected an awesome upset implicit Brett Johns connected abbreviated notice.
Yet somehow, Sabatello (11-1) was excluded from the promotion’s 135lb rankings pursuing the win. That’s thing that caught the fighter, and galore others, by surprise.
“It is conscionable a small spot funny, due to the fact that Brett Johns is simply a feline that I deliberation was apical 10 successful the UFC. His lone losses were to Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz, truthful that’s conscionable a precise elite fighter,” Sabatello told Cageside Press successful a caller exclusive interview. “And connected apical of that, you’ve got maine getting the telephone from my manager 5 days earlier the combat to combat him. This wasn’t similar I had a afloat grooming camp. This was 5 days notice, positive successful a summation to that, I consecutive dominated him. This wasn’t a adjacent fight. This was a combat where, from doorbell to bell, each azygous round, I was connected apical of him, mauling him, consecutive dominating him, leaving nary uncertainty that I was the amended combatant successful that fight.”
Given each the circumstances, Sabatello said, “I don’t cognize however I’m not ranked. And particularly erstwhile you look astatine the rankings and you’ve got guys successful the rankings named Cass Bell and Jornel Lugo and James Gallagher who perfectly f*cking suck, I’m not truly excessively definite however you tin look astatine them and accidental they’re ranked up of me.”
Ranking oregon nary ranking, however, doesn’t alteration things for Danny Sabatello. “It doesn’t truly substance to me. I don’t combat due to the fact that of rankings. I don’t truly springiness 2 sh*ts astir the rankings. My extremity successful this athletics is to go the satellite champion, truthful the satellite champion is the satellite champion. There’s nary fertile for the satellite champion, it’s conscionable champion.”
While Sabatello isn’t warring for rankings, they did interaction his placement successful the bantamweight expansive prix — with the extremity effect being helium was initially overlooked for the tournament. When a mates of fighters pulled retired owed to injury, however, Sabatello landed successful a chaotic paper combat with Jornel Lugo astatine Bellator 278 aboriginal this week.
“I truly bash similar these expansive prix tournaments. I deliberation they’re truly exciting, and I deliberation they’re large for the fans arsenic well,” said Sabatello, likening the expansive prix format to playoffs successful hockey, football, oregon basketball. “This is beauteous overmuch our playoffs. You instrumentality the champion guys, and you enactment them successful a playoff, you enactment them successful a bracket. And that’s what’s going on. Even the chaotic paper spot, adjacent successful different sports, you person wildcards. I deliberation it’s conscionable truly amusive for everyone, and it’s the astir just arsenic well.”
Sabatello besides appreciates that it removes immoderate excuses for coming up abbreviated successful the quest for a title. “If you win, you determination on, if you lose, you don’t. There’s nary country for ‘oh, blah blah blah, I should person got it, I bushed this guy, helium mislaid to him,’ there’s nary of that sh*t. It’s conscionable strictly, you triumph and you determination on.”
“I cognize successful these dumbass MMA fans’ minds, they mightiness deliberation that I’m a acheronian horse, but I deliberation the fans that really recognize warring and recognize and person been pursuing mixed martial arts recognize that my accomplishment acceptable is excessively large to beryllium considered a acheronian horse.”
His placement successful a wildcard combat brings up memories of Daniel Cormier, who won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix implicit a decennary agone arsenic a tourney alternate. Sabatello, however, has the mindset that helium deserved to beryllium successful the expansive prix each along.
“I cognize I americium successful a wildcard spot, truthful it’s akin to [Cormier], but I don’t truly look astatine myself arsenic the acheronian horse. I look astatine myself arsenic the favorite. I cognize successful these dumbass MMA fans’ minds, they mightiness deliberation that I’m a acheronian horse, but I deliberation the fans that really recognize warring and recognize and person been pursuing mixed martial arts recognize that my accomplishment acceptable is excessively large to beryllium considered a acheronian horse.”
“I person excessively galore ascendant wins nether brainsick circumstances to beryllium considered a acheronian horse. I conjecture it is going to beryllium brainsick and awesome and chill to beryllium looked as, you cognize what, possibly I shouldn’t person been successful the tournament, but successful the backmost of my mind, I’ve ever been successful this tournament,” Sabatello continued. “I’ve earned my close to beryllium successful this tournament. And present I’ve got to conscionable spell retired determination and amusement I americium the champion successful the world.”
Sabatello has made a constituent of underscoring his sentiment that Jornel Lugo “sucks” up of their fight. On wherever that estimation comes from, the American Top Team Fighter explained that “I conscionable deliberation he’s precise sloppy with everything.”
“I don’t deliberation helium has immoderate grappling, I deliberation that’s my beardown suit, I’m going to instrumentality vantage of that.” Sabatello believes Lugo is sloppy connected the feet arsenic well, adjacent though that’s wherever Lugo likes to beryllium and is astir comfy at. “I deliberation I’m going to exposure that. I cognize that helium is simply a small spot tricky due to the fact that he’s southpaw and helium likes to power stances, but that’s beauteous overmuch his lone game, is to conscionable support you connected your toes and beryllium elusive, and popular a bully jab out. I cognize helium likes the jab a lot, but you can’t truly physique a crippled program disconnected that, you can’t truly go a satellite champion of conscionable being that.”
Styles marque match-ups, Sabatello added, “and I’m precise excited astir this match-up. Specifically due to the fact that you look astatine his style, and helium sucks; you look astatine my style, and I’m precise good. So it’s conscionable cleanable connected my end.”
Bellator 278 takes spot this Friday, April 22, 2022 astatine the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena successful Honolulu, Hawaii. Danny Sabatello faces Jornel Lugo successful a bantamweight expansive prix chaotic paper combat connected the main card.