Danny Sabatello has some decisions to make following the successful defense of his Titan FC bantamweight belt at Titan FC 67 on Feb. 12.
Sabatello took a unanimous decision over Da’Mon Blackshear and improved his professional MMA record to 10-1. Sabatello feels the win was the biggest of his budding career yet.
“[Blackshear’s] last fight before me was against [Mike Kimbel] in Bellator who they were trying to hype up,” Sabatello told MMASucka. “That win over Taylor Moore in Dana White’s Contender Series was also a pretty big one because obviously, it’s on a big stage. But opponent-wise, I think the win over Da’Mon was the biggest I’ve had.”
Sabatello captured the Titan FC bantamweight strap in June 2020 with a rear-naked choke over Raymond Ramos. “The Italian Gangster” then competed against Moore on the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series in November. Sabatello took a unanimous decision over Moore. However, the UFC did not call his name for a contract.
He hopes the win over Blackshear is enough to get him a UFC signing or short-notice opportunity.
“I think I’ve shown that I’m not just winning these fights; I’m dominating these guys,” Sabatello said. “I think the question isn’t if I can compete with these guys; I for sure can. I know Dana White is looking for a certain type of fighter. He doesn’t really like grapplers, traditionally. I think with this title defense and the win on Dana White’s Contender Series, you’d think how could they not sign me or at least give me a short-notice call? But you never know. It’s all up to Dana and the UFC.”
Danny Sabatello’s Next Step
That’s where the decision-making comes in for Sabatello. His title defense could get him his UFC opportunity, but if not, he said he doesn’t want to continue waiting.
“I’m going to sit down with my team and we’re going to map out where we go from here,” he said. “It’s a tough position to be in. Obviously, my sights are on the UFC. Ideally, in a perfect world, that’s what I get. But I’m not willing to wait a boatload of time to get there. At the end of the day, I love fighting. I want to fight again ASAP.”
Sabatello said he’d consider fighting for Bellator or defend his Titan FC strap a second time. He’s open to anything, including fighting for ONE Championship or RIZIN, he said.
“I have to listen to everybody’s offer and then talk with my team,” he said. “But my sights are on the UFC. Growing up, I always wanted to be in the UFC. I feel like that’s the pinnacle. But if they don’t want me, I’m not going to bag it and sit around forever. I’m open to Bellator, RIZIN, ONE. Really anything.”
Sabatello said he’s willing to accept less money to fight in the UFC, but added that if a promotion made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, he would take it.
Sabatello made the decision roughly three years ago to move from Chicago to Florida, where he trains at American Top Team. ATT is the “best team in the world,” Sabatello said. The move might have been the best decision of his life, he said.
“I look around the room, and I get to choose between going with Marlon Moraes, Pedro Munhoz, Charles Rosa. Now we got Petr Yan doing his camp, and it’s incredible to have not just those guys get me better. Mentally, if I can hang with these guys who are top-5 in the UFC, then I know where I’m at. It just brings more confidence on the mental side. There’s also obviously the physical side, picking up these things these veterans have.”
Sabatello praised his coaches: Mike Brown as his head MMA coach; Steve Mocco as his wrestling coach and Steve Bruno for boxing.
“I really can’t beat it,” Sabatello said.