With Bellator’s Bantamweight Grand Prix in full swing, one competitor has been taking the MMA community by storm: Danny “The Italian Gangster” Sabatello. A Chicago native and standout wrestler from Purdue University, Sabatello moved to South Florida on a whim to pursue his goal of becoming an MMA world champion.
Training at American Top Team, “The Italian Gangster” has amassed a record of 12-1 in only four years of partaking in the sport. Not only is Sabatello a talent in the cage but his gift for gab has alerted many of his brash and arrogant swagger that he carries in interviews and on his social media. Let’s take a dive into the mind of Sabatello before he competes this weekend against Leandro Higo in a quarterfinal bout of the Grand Prix.
“Straight up YOU SUCK!”
“The Italian Dream” does not mince words when providing his thoughts on his opponents or peers. In a recent interview with Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas, Sabatello was quite honest about his thoughts on his opponent this weekend, saying, “Immediately what jumps off the page for me is that he effing sucks! I don’t see this as being a competitive fight… I don’t think the skillset is that high.”
He would continue to go on about how he wants to punish Higo for missing weight on numerous occasions and has “disrespected” the sport because of it, “I feel like it is my duty to go in there to torture him, slice him up, and give him stitches for the rest of his life.”
For Danny Sabatello, no fight is not personal to him. Leading up to each contest, he mentally, emotionally and physically hates each and every one of his opponents and takes that mentality with him until the final bell has rung. Calling back to the old school days of a hungry Conor McGregor or Chael Sonnen, two fighters Sabatello looks up to very much, what he says and how he feels is real. He takes his wrestling background to heart and will out-will and out-dog anyone that steps across the cage from him.
Is Danny Sabatello The Future Face of Bellator?
Once a competitor on Dana White’s Contender Series, Sabatello was the victor in a dominant performance but was still passed up by the UFC president. No grudges have been held, but Sabatello claims he is a Bellator lifer and “will retire under the Bellator banner.” Looking to not only win this Grand Prix, but Sabatello also plans to become the best bantamweight fighter in the world and build up the brand of Bellator, becoming the face of the company. In the manner in which he has addressed his peers, it is not surprising to see the 29-year-old have such high hopes for himself and the potential he possesses.
It is nice to have all these goals and aspirations but, first and foremost is this weekend’s bout with Higo. In what will be his toughest test in competition so far in his MMA career. Sabatello needs to win this weekend to advance and by doing so he will face the current interim bantamweight champ Raufeon Stots. Admitting that he will not look past Higo, in natural “Italian Gangster” fashion Sabatello was quite blunt about his thoughts regarding his possible future opponent.
“Yeah I’ll be honest he might be the most over-hyped fighter in all of fighting.” Being that this is a matchup of two quality wrestlers who both have outspoken personalities the build to this could be something that Bellator really has not had in a while: a true rivalry.
Once again, Sabatello’s quest for greatness and the gold takes its next step this weekend as he takes on Leandro Higo on Friday, June 24th in a quarterfinal bout of Bellator’s Bantamweight Grand Prix. With an impressive victory, keep your eyes out for “The Italian Gangster” as he attempts to talk and fight his way to greatness.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images