Raufeon Stots has a big year ahead of him.
The Bellator veteran’s goals aren’t just reaching the rainbow, but the gold at the end of the rainbow. Stots will fight in the 8-man Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, in a chance to win a world title and $1M. The tournament looks to commence in March, with ‘Supa’ all set to go.
In a recent interview, Stots went into detail about potential fights inside the still undisclosed bracket in the Grand Prix.
Stots stated that from a financial perspective, fighting teammate Sergio Pettis in the beginning for the belt makes sense. However, he insisted that he does not want to fight Pettis until it was really significant, that is of course, in the finals of the grand prix. He stated that he wouldn’t turn down the fight if it was offered, however. He believes that fellow challenger James Gallagher would be an easy fight and a way to advance towards the finals faster.
However in the same breath, Stots stated that he is also very interested in Juan Archuleta. This would come after the former champ brushed off Stots as a next fight, back in our interview in October. Stots wants to make him pay inside the cage.
“I wanna fight Juan Archuleta,” Stots told MMA Island. But, it like makes no sense if I was thinking about a tournament-like, setting. Also, I feel like he just ducking and dodging….”
Until they meet in a fight, Stots would have some fun with Archuleta and Patchy Mix, another potential opponent. Stots spoke out on his viral elevator encounter with them, while attending Bellator 272.
“That was like second or third encounter with [Archuleta]. He was around in the hallway or whatever. I ran up to him once and I was like ‘hey bro, you for real didn’t want to fight, what’s up?’ Then, he was saying he knew about the tournament beforehand and that’s why he didn’t want to fight.”
“Then we were in the elevator, I was like man, this is crazy. You could cut the tension with a knife. Let me record these guys see what they do. My whole weekend was just fun. Fun times for me.
Archuleta has been confronted online by Stots in the past about his alleged unwillingness to fight. This time around, it would be nothing but close contact between the bantamweight contenders.
“I seen Patchy and I was like ‘yeah, y’all can’t run no more’. He’s like ‘ain’t nobody running’ or something.” Stots said with a laugh.
Mix apparently told Stots he was trying to fight Pettis before the tournament was announced.
Stots stated that those conversations and confrontations don’t matter anymore. This is of course, because all of them are in the Grand prix and slated to fight Stots at some point. He dubbed the trash talk as “background noise”, as much as he enjoyed it, anyway.
“I mean they’re all conversations. Just trying to see where their heads are at, but at the end of the day like I really don’t need to come at them no more. They’re like in the tournament, so like this is what I wanted, ultimately.”