Raufeon Stots captured the interim bantamweight title following his highlight reel-worthy knockout of Juan Archuleta in the co-main event of Bellator 279 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In doing so, Stots became the first man to hand the former bantamweight champion his first loss by way of KO. 'Supa' also advanced to the semi-finals of the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, where he awaits the winner of the Leandro Higo vs. Danny Sabatello matchup.
The first two rounds didn't go in Stots' favor as Archuleta went to work with his grappling. The former bantamweight champ secured an early takedown, but Stots got one back towards the end of the round.
Archuleta continued to build momentum in round two as he hounded Stots with crisp headshots. 'The Spaniard' then went back to grappling before the round ended, tying his opponent up against the cage.
Just when it seemed like Archuleta was starting to build a significant lead on the scorecards, Stots took the judges out of the equation. The Texan landed a left head kick that sent his foe crashing down, followed by a few more ground strikes to seal the deal.
Check out Raufeon Stots' KO of Juan Archuleta:
Raufeon Stots explains why he'd rather win the belt from Juan Archuleta than Sergio Pettis
As it stands, Raufeon Stots is Bellator's interim bantamweight champion, with undisputed titleholder Sergio Pettis sidelined. Although the "I" word could be off-putting to some, Stots explained that beating Pettis for the title wouldn't have felt good.
During his post-fight interview, Stots said:
"The goal is to win this million dollars. That's my number one goal right now. So I've got another two fights to win this million dollars, and to be honest with you, the 'interim' sounds perfectly fine to me. Right now, I'mma hold on to Serge's belt till Serge gets back and then we can figure out something after that. But right now, I am happy. Serge is my boy, you know what I mean. So me winning [is like] taking his girlfriend or something. That don't feel good to me. [But] this feels good to me. Juan Archuleta, I don't really care for his bald-headed a**."
Check out Raufeon Stots comments below:
Stots and Pettis, of course, are teammates at the Roufusport MMA Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The two drew each other in the first round before Pettis was forced to withdraw due to injury.