While some fighters might have struggled this summer due to the novel coronavirus, others flourished, including bantamweight Danny Sabatello.
Since returning to fighting this past May, Sabatello picked up back-to-back wins in Titan FC over Chris Johnson and Raymond Raymos, with finishes in both efforts.
“During the pandemic I was fortunate enough that Titan FC was still holding fight cards,” Sabatello told MMAWeekly.com. “Those were two fights that I really thrived on.
“When the pandemic first came about, I was mentally looking at this an opportunity. I knew a lot of people would take the easy way out, making excuses not to fight, not to train hard, so I figured during this to train hard and try to bang out a couple fights, and that’s exactly what happened.”
With his recent success comes an opportunity to punch his ticket to the UFC with a bout on Dana White’s Contender Series. While Sabatello would like to think of his Contender Series bout as just another fight, he acknowledges there’s more to it than a typical outing.
“I’d like to say I’d think about it as every other fight, and I know all these other fighters are going to be saying that, but the truth is there’s definitely extra pressure,” said Sabatello. “Not just because it’s a Contender Series show for a contract, but in this instance you can’t just win, you’ve got to be exciting. Dana has to like you. You have to win in an exciting and dominating fashion, and most likely get a finish.
“There’s definitely added pressure there, but I like to think of myself as a fighter that when I go through adversity and go through pressure like that it only pumps me up more.”
On November 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sabatello (8-1) will look to earn his way into the UFC when he faces Taylor Moore (10-4) in a main card 135-pound bout at Contender Series 2020: Week 9.
“It’s pretty much me do me because I feel like I’m a good amount better than this guy,” Sabatello said of facing Moore. “I do know he is a southpaw, some of his fights are on the feet, some are on the ground, and he’s kind of a brawler. His movement is not very fluid, he tenses up a lot. I feel like I’ll be able to see all his shots, because I think he’s not very fast.
“It’s mainly just do what I do and stick what I do because he doesn’t have that expertise in any area, and I’ll get the job done and smash him. Just go out there and be smart and be electric.”
Knowing that what comes next could very well be determined by the outcome of his bout versus Moore, Sabatello is putting as much of his mind towards November 10 as he can, but does admit it’s difficult to not to think of what could come with a decisive victory.
“It’s hard to not think of the future, especially with this being for a contract,” said Sabatello. “I envision myself being here, but you’re also going to start thinking about after this. I try my hardest to focus on this fight.
“This is the biggest fight of my life. It could be the best day of my life, so I try to only focus on Taylor Moore, but of course there are visions of when I’m in the UFC, what route should I go, who is my next opponent. I do think a little bit into the future, but I try not to too much of it in the future.”