Raufeon Stots simply plans to be better than Bellator 258 opponent

After having to sit on the sidelines throughout the first half of 2020, bantamweight Raufeon Stots was able to close out his year in strong fashion with back-to-back wins for Bellator in July and November.

With the layoff included, Stots feels like the year was ultimately successful in many ways.

“I feel very proud of how I capped off my 2020,” Stots told MMAWeekly.com. “Even though we had the quarantine and things like that I was able to do a lot of stuff and progression.

“I picked up some new skills, picked up a couple of wins, and the future is looking bright. I feel like I’ve got some really good building blocks to being very successful the rest of my MMA career.”

While his two wins in 2020 came by different means, Stots is pretty pleased with how he was able to perform in them.

“The Keith Lee fight (in November) was my latest fight and I was able to dominate in a different fashion that people aren’t quite used to seeing from me,” said Stots. “The only thing is I didn’t get the finish, but I feel like I put on a very exciting fight, and we fought from start to finish, so I feel it broadened my fan base and made fans continued to be very excited to see me fight.

“The (July) Cass Bell fight I feel like I went out there and dominated that fight, finished that fight, and it was very exciting too. I was very happy with my performances.”

Joanna Jedrzejczyk shares photo of nasty cut

This Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Stots (15-1) will look to pick up his eighth win in a row when he faces Josh Hill (20-3) in a 135-pound preliminary bout at Bellator 258.

“I think Josh Hill is a very tough opponent,” Stots said. “I feel like we are both good at the same things, but I feel like I’m better at those things and better at putting them together.

“I have to just come out and do war and be better than him. I feel like he’s a good opponent. I feel like we’re both dark horses in the featherweight division and one of us is going to take that next step up to the top.”

With a forced hiatus over, Stots is looking forward to being as active as possible as he works his way through his 2021.

“I’m focused on this fight, but I would like to fight at least three times this year,” said Stots. “I’m a fighter that likes to stay active, so if I can fight again against tough guys and keep climbing that would be amazing.”