Raufeon Stots is a mixed martial artist competing in the Bellator Bantamweight division who competed on Dana White’s Looking for a Fight. He is also the former Victory FC Bantamweight Champion.
Raufeon Stots: Well get started man Hauer. I was life in quarantine. How are you in the family? You know holding up yeah yeah yeah, there’s not I’m in I’m in Canada. We have sort of the same sort of thing, we’re all in lockdown not allowed to leave the house or anything. So the end of May pretty much now, huh yeah we’re uh we’re saying boat not allowed leaving the house. You can get fine for for being in public power if I decline yeah, it’s the thousand Canadian, which are things like six hundred us, so oh yeah, quite a bit can’t even go for like bike rides and stuff. It’S terrible! You can go for runs. It’S just you’re not allowed being close to people. So if you’re running within, like a group or you’re running close to people, you can get fined if you’re going through a public park like a playground, you get fined so driving. You can’t really drive or yep you’re allowed to drive, but they say you’re only allowed to drive if you’re going to like superstore or like any sort of grocery store. You can’t have more than one person per household in the store. It’S crazy yeah! That’S crazy! How how’s training going – I saw some videos of you: are you hitting the bag jab pretty much just running, hitting the bag, doing what I cannot load it a workout app on my phone. You know. I mix that in with shadow boxing and stuff I could do on my own, I’m trying to teach my wife how to hold pad yeah yeah. I don’t yeah yeah. I do some jujitsu and same sort of thing kind of missing that you can’t really roll with your pillow that doesn’t doesn’t have the same effect. They don’t fight back exactly man, it’s hard to do. I haven’t even really tried to do any. Oh dude, it’s ooh, or I don’t like shadow shadow wrestling and stuff, but it’s hard to do. Man yeah, so first things. First man, I’ve been a fan for awhile. I thought you deserved a shot in a big organization for quite some time. So thanks for taking the time to talk and congrats ona signing with Bellator, I feel like it’s long overdue thanks man. I appreciate that really appreciate it um. So you had your big win there back in Hawaii. What was it like in Hawaii man? It was so freaking great, so awesome it was like paradise out there. You know, coming from the Midwest of the US, is kind of cold injury during December, so that was like. It was super refreshing. You know to go out on the beach and you know be out in shorts and stuff it was. It was awesome. I had. I had tied word Iran, who I think fought the night before you did he’s like why and he was trying to tell me he got to come out man. It’S amazing. It’S on my bucket list, so yeah yeah you got to go exactly. I was like. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be. It was so laid back. You know every everything was you know it was so cool. What was the the fan? What were the fans like? The fans were like super, not man, the Hawaiians always intrigued me. I fought a couple of Hawaiians so far. I won so far, but yeah um, but I fought um. Actually, the guy that I was fighting. I fought his teammate on a bird on who is Rachel hasta vistas ex ex-husband. You know they were. It was like my birthday before the fight and um. We were fighting for a title, so you know the stakes were kind of high and right before the fight or no uh like before the weigh-ins and stuff like her. His whole team came up to me and was like hey my hallo brother. You know good luck and happy birthday. I hope you have a great birthday you know so like, but then, when he came to fight you know it’s kill, kill, kill with the Hawaiians and it’s it’s all. It’S like a natural transition for them. So you know they’re their culture is. Is you know? I love you, is it’s awesome and so, like I fought like before, I fought you know going around to some shops and stuff. You know telling him I was fighting. I was fighting there and I was fighting kind of a hometown guy. You know everybody was kind of like okay with it was no like hostility. It was more like yeah, we want our boy to win, but you know we. We appreciate the Warriors and and even afterwards, like afterwards, I met some people. That told me like he was his: they were, they were his cousins and I don’t know how many of them were like Hawaii, cousins, cuz everybody says that’s my cousin type of thing or like actual cousins, but you know I met it was the funniest one was. I met a little kid. It was like waist high and he looked at me. He was like hey hey, you fought my cousin. That was so a good fight. You beat him, you beat him, it was a good fight and I was like he knew what he was talking about. I was like hey man. I appreciate that he felt like an older person like a UH like an older gentleman, telling me hey good job young man that was awesome yeah, it was. It was great yeah, the UH, the you know, you think about Hawaiian fighters, guys like Brad, Taveras, Yancy, Medeiros, max Holloway and that fighting mentality has always been instilled in them and they they fight they fight to fight, which is why I’ve always liked watching Hawaiian fighters. Exactly me too, and that’s my same. You know attitude toward. I can’t help, but to love. You know the Hawaiian fighters, the Hawaiian, a sleet’s. You know they they come to go man, it’s awesome, um, so yeah. How did so you started off? You were an NCAA wrestler throughout college and I found like the only not necessarily hole in your game, but the one area that was lacking – I guess, was your standup. How did you find switching to training with Duke Rufus and and the guys like, Showtime Pettis, Sergio Pettis, those guys we have great stand up? How did you find that that transition and how has it improved your overall game I feel like that was that was what I needed to be with those guys and get their feel those guys and get successes, past failures and figure out things with the top-level strikers And you know learn the systems of Duke Rufus. You know, I think, that’s been detrimental to my game. You know I wouldn’t be where I’m at, without that you know I wouldn’t even be close to where I’m at. Without that, I think I really needed that to be able to be comfortable on my feet and the transition was was uh. You know it was it was it wasn’t it wasn’t tougher than it should have been. If that makes sense, because when I started, I started as just a wrestler, but I also started under Jen’s Pulver at a um, so I’ve been like really blessed with the coaches that I’ve been able to start fighting with, because I started with just over when I Was an amateur like before fighting and then I after I jens’s Jim and Kearney Nebraska shut down. We me and gents went went out to Iowa Davenport Iowa, where I was able to learn under Pat Miletich and learn under some of those guys, Spencer Fisher, and you know some of those guys out there Iowa and then Pat Miletich. When, actually we were looking to trade, gyms or just kind of we felt like we were outgrowing the gym, because a lot of coaches were kind of traveling doing their own thing. Commentating doing went to warrior, so I was looking for somewhere else to train and dome and Pat Miletich, that Pat Miletich engines suggested the Roofus sport camp so and when out there one time I went out there one time and then you know I did a grappling. It was a grappling day and, and it was with the amateur team or whatever, and so I was like, I was kind of having my way you know, and now I was looking for somewhere what that was gon na push me or whatever. So I was like having my way and it was it was kind of like the same same deal, but it was also just grappling, but then my the professor, my professor Daniel Wanda Leigh. He was like hey how about me, you go. We go around or whatever, and he like tapped me like three four times in a like a three minute go and I was like man I’ve. Never. I can experience that, like I got ta be back here, if not just to like to get this guy man. Cuz he’s awesome, so yeah yeah, it’s funny cuz when I first went to jujitsu I rolled with a black belt and he was just taking it like. I’M a white belt so like it was a joke yeah, but he would go easy on me. So I was like oh this isn’t so bad like and then they gave me a blue belt. So I was like I was expecting to be able to hold my own, the blue belt didn’t care and his it was awful. I quit quit. I was like I’m done with this sport altogether and then I went back a year later and I’m glad I did because it’s a lot of fun and I find I like rolling with guys better than me, because I find you learn more and your life’s likely To get injured because they’re not spazzy exactly exactly, and that’s that’s how I feel you know I was able to progress so fast. You know just because the Roofus sport camp is not like a lot of camps, it doesn’t have like a ton of people, but everybody in there is specialized individual date. Everybody you know Duke Rufus is the way he runs his gym. He grooms everybody to be elite fighters and if, if you’re, if you don’t want to be an elite fighter, if you’re not trying to be a relief fighter, that’s not the place for you so yeah that it’s place full of talent. You’Ve got guys, like obviously the Pettis brothers, the barbers along muhammad’s there, it’s a it’s a roomful of elite warriors yeah, so you have no choice but to come and and compete at 100 %. Every time you walk in there yeah for sure so, you’ve Europe, you put together five, wins in a row now: you’re 13 and 1 you’re only loss. I know we don’t want, and it’s probably not fun to talk about. I love talking about it. It’S a it. Helped me become the person I am today, so I don’t I don’t mind talking about that loss because it was a it’s tremendous learning experience you know it probably could I was to happen on a smaller stage, but you know that’s the way the game yeah. Well, there was a lot of stakes right: Dana White was there and everything huh. It definitely wasn’t the performance that about that about that performance. Just like so like along my career, I was always like I’m ready for the next step, I’m ready for the next step. In my career, but like going through each of my fights, if I didn’t have the experience I wouldn’t I wouldn’t know it was possible, you know so so now going forward like going into that fight, you you couldn’t tell me, I mean you could have probably told Me yeah there’s a chance you could get knocked out or whatever it was in the back of my head. Just because I had had so many successes in a row that I had almost forgot about it. You know and um. It was a good reminder for me, and you know I just I just went in there almost feeling you know I prepare hard or whatever, and I felt like the fight was gon na, be I just had to go through the motions you know, and I got To be there mentally every step of the way, and that was that was what I learned in that uh. That fight is it. Is it a little bittersweet because obviously he’s since then he’s ranked in the top 15? Now it’s got to be a little bittersweet to see like him has to have so much success in the UFC. He’S won three straight fights. You know. I think that you are the better fighter. I think I think, for I think, for a long time. I I thought you were the best fighter that wasn’t in a major organization. Thank You Man. I appreciate it so yeah it’s bitter is bitter for me. I want him to be successful. I want him to be super successful. You know because he beat me he took advantage of something that I wasn’t I wasn’t aware of, or I wasn’t paying attention to so um. You know I wanted to be successful. He seems like everybody I fight, I mean I don’t want. I don’t wish harm on him, I’m never unless they like. You know down talk to me or my family or do something to me personally. You know we fighting this all in the business, but you it’s bitter because I do feel like I am the better fighter and I feel like nine times out of ten or given another opportunity, there’s no way that’s gon na happen. There’S no way he’s gon na, you know dominate me and any other aspects of the sport, but you know it is what it is and that’s why that’s why we play this game? If everybody else supposed to win will win, you know who wouldn’t be as excited as it is, but um yeah to see him in the top 15. Well, I say it’s bittersweet because I know hey. I should beat him if I made my best he’s at his best. I should beat him so I’m I’m among that a leak and in a regard, because I didn’t beat him but um, I can compete with the the top in the division. I can be a great fighter um, so you know it’s bittersweet but or it’s it’s bitter. In the point that I mean I didn’t beat him I didn’t get to uh. I didn’t get to prove that I’m better than him when we we actually got to fight. So you know it’s this, that’s something that’s probably gon na, be something uh like annoying to me for a long time. You know I got a. I got to move forward. I had to address it and I had I got to move forward and just keep continuing it. What’S the name, I’ve got to face one other person that beat me. So I’m hoping I’m crossing my fingers that somewhere down the line I’ll meet him again. You know maybe a cross-promotion uh deal or maybe on this fight, Island yeah. You lost you Demetrios wilson as an amateur and beat him as a pro. So hopefully the same again. Well, you think about it. Guys, George st. Pierre has losses very Daniel Cormier has lost and they still went down as some of the best ever, if not the best ever so yeah. What’S what’s next for you, obviously your fight, you were supposed to fight in May and that it’s not happening. Uh Bellator got pushed what uh. What’S next, you have any idea, or do you have any goals? I guess when a so and that’s why I’m trying to stay in saving doing doing as much as I can do. I’M allowed to do because I want to get back in there as soon as soon as things open back up. You know, but I want to be. I want to be smart about it and I’m. I appreciate the Bellator higher ups for being smart about the situation, but I’m also a fighter, and I would like to get in their fight. You know tired of sitting here twiddling my thumbs playing for tonight. It gets old after a week, so yeah. I would like to get in there and fight again um, hopefully with that same matchup or if I have a new matchup, it’s all the same but yeah soon as and I don’t know how it’s gon na work. I don’t know if they’re gon na keep like saying fight cars, they were going on and just pretend they were Pope postponed to a later date or they’re. Gon na make whole new fight cards and try to add those old fighters to the I was gon na work, but but I’m sure time will tell and um the only thing I can control is being ready. So I’m gon na try to be as ready as I can when when the world opens back up yeah what uh you you’ve mainly fought. I’M pretty sure your entire career was fought in the US. Are you open to competing abroad or yeah I’m competing bro yeah? I haven’t fought: I’ve never fought yeah um, I competed wrestling. I wrestled overseas and Turkey and Bulgaria, but uh yeah. I’Ve. Never I’ve never fought overseas. That’D, be awesome. Yeah, I’d love to fight overseas somewhere. So if you got a calling alligator was supposed to be in Japan, I think it was. It was either. I think it might have been December 29th or something there like a New Year’s show. It was the on the rising the horizon versus the cross over one cross over one yeah yeah, but that uh that fell through or yeah it didn’t go through it, whatever in the game of the Hawaii one Hawaii card, I was like oh yeah, okay, yes, sir, Do you have a if that you got a call and said hey like you’re, going to going to Dublin James Gallagher? You know and I feel, like you know, these are probably long shots for me now as a forest. As far as me in the in the Bellator organization um, I should probably fight my way through the ranks, but before I was in, I uh I called out the dollar guy called out the Apache mix. Guy just cuz, I felt like their beef they’d, be good. Fighting the Gallagher guy actually he’s getting better. I believe he’s getting better, so yeah, big, good, yeah it’ll be a good name. The Gallagher guy is more of a more of a name, just a name on a mantle. You know, but everybody you know, wants that fight, but the patsy mix, I feel like he’s a solid competitor, uh who’s that he go guy, there’s a lot of good guys name. I was thinking. Oh the one actually letter key. You know yeah I’d love to fight any of those guys if I give it a chance how how many fights away from a title, do you think you are to mats something I think I can, depending on my performance, I feel like I’m probably like two or Three is that is that the ultimate goal there, the Bellator title yeah for sure, yeah organization, you know my goal is to be a great. You know so I have to. I have to get a bill. You know I have to be get a bill to do that. I have to get a bill to not only change my family’s lives just to solidify that this was the right career choice for me and um. You know I have set very high standards. You know. I feel like if you reach for the UH was that if you reach for the stars landing on the moon, first are something like that, but you know ever since I started sports, you know I’ve, always if you, if you’re, not gon na, do it to be The best – and you know you might as well sit down. Let somebody else you know do it. So that’s my mindset, alright, there’s a not much to talk about. I guess in terms of fights going on right now, but there is one rumored event yeah potentially, who knows where don’t know if it’s actually happening, don’t know who’s fighting yeah? They can’t talk about it’s like Fight Club talk about it, but but there is one fight that is sounds like it’s happening: Justin and Tony yeah your thoughts and predictions. If that were to go through right, it was originally Tony khabib and then now it’s Tony gage, which I actually like that play more personal. Oh man, I don’t like this fight more, but I like that fight a lot. Tony is a madman but uh gate C is a freakin terminator. You know Getti. Everybody says he does stuff wrong, but he does a lot of stuff right and you know he’s he’s determined in you know putting people’s lights out and uh man. That’S a tough fight too. You know I feel like uh. Tony is more dangerous on the ground like if it goes to the ground top or bottom, but I can’t say that I’ve seen much of uh keiichi’s wrestling gain season on the ground. Just because I mean he’s hard to keep down. I’Ve seen that and he’s he’s very good at defending takedown, so he’s he’s a high-level wrestler he’s a call American, I believe yeah. He just chooses not to use it. He and he also sacrifices. I feel he sacrificed his body a lot, but you know it gets the job done. You know and he’s he’s all out on what he’s doing so he’s only lost two fights. So no shame in that exactly no he’s, awesome, yeah and then, oh for sure, yeah easily and now we’ll drop down to to your weight class Henry cejudo domina cruise, which looks like that’s happening. What what are your thoughts on that? And what are your thoughts on Henry? I guess overall cringe freaking machine, you know, but you know he brings a lot of attention to the divisions and you know he’s he seems to be getting crazy and crazier, but it also seems to be working for him. So I cannot. You can’t knock nobody if they’re winning they’re going out and doing what they say. They’Re gon na do you know, even if they’re crazy, I mean most pioneers, were considered crazy before they were to use for a long time. You just got ta, be a little. I mean everybody’s a little crazy. You just got to be crazy to get results. I would I think about that fight. I think I don’t think Dominick Cruz is uh. If I mean if he could be healthy, his uh his cardio would be the only thing I’ll be worried about for for uh, for a Henry Henry cejudo. Only thing I’ll be worried about is how his cardio stacks up to Dominick Cruz, because that’s what Dominick Cruz is he’s a cardio machine he’s a numbers machine and, but I feel like so who’d always much dangerous, but more dangerous, so I’ll give it to saludo. Okay and then now we’ll end on some non MMA content. What what are you doing in quarantine? What you, what shows are you watching? What what games are you playing? You said you mentioned fortnight: what’s that I’ve been actually very, very productive during this quarantine, I’ve been getting a lot of stuff done. So I got. I read this book, the Money Makeover. I read this book okay, so then my manager, I see my manager post something about stocks, so I got it to stocks if you didn’t wan na wan na, if being around with a free stock holler at your boy, I got you. I got this little series on YouTube rock the Builder you I build stuff, so I was able to build a gardening table during this quarantine. You know I hooked up a basement with a bag. What else I’ve been watching, of course, Tiger King and I gon na watch that new episode? Oh man, it’s good! It’S good! I watch the show. I didn’t watch the last episode, the new episode yeah I didn’t watch. I yeah it’s a good episode, you’ll like it. It’S good what else I’ve been doing, I’m thinking about redoing, my closet, the Builder on that you know you know I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. Actually, this is probably the most I’ve read in my life, even through college. You know cuz college. I just read the spark notes, or I read enough information that I could get the test done. You know I scroll through the bullet, but actually like read a book. You know and yeah. I might order another boot, so yeah I got ta. I got ta. Do that too I have a book, I bought a book and then just haven’t opened it yet. So I’m not much of a reader, but I feel like I went a hat. I have no choice but to yeah I have to fix my dryer. So yeah doesn’t work at all. I plug it in it works for two seconds and then stops working. So all right, man appreciate you taking the time and best of luck, hopefully you’re in there sooner rather than later. Thank You Man. I appreciate that. Thank you for the interview man. It was a good waste of time. It’S fine! All right. Man stay safe out. There, keep washing your hands and don’t get infected. Man have a good one.