LOS ANGELES – “Excuse machine,” huh? That one caught former Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta off guard.
Ahead of their grand prix interim title fight next week at Bellator 279, Archuleta and Raufeon Stots came face to face during a news conference Monday, and there was beef – seemingly from out of nowhere, because of those two words.
“I feel like he’s an excuse machine, so I get to punch the excuse machine in his mouth,” Stots said, prompting a look of bewilderment from Archuleta. “I’m super excited to do that, and I’m super excited to be here.”
Where exactly was this coming from?
According to Stots , he called out Archuleta after his most recent win over Magomed Magomedov last August, but Archuleta had these excuses:
- Stots (17-1 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) didn’t have enough fights.
- Archuleta spends a lot of money ($50,000) on his training camps and didn’t want to for a fighter like Stots.
- Stots fights too often.
“Look on my Instagram,” Stots said. “It’s like excuse after excuse.”
Prior to being paired with Archuleta (25-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) for interim gold, Stots originally was supposed to challenge champion and Roufusport teammate Sergio Pettis for the belt before he withdrew because of an injury. The way Stots sees it, the only reasons Archuleta is fighting him now is because of the interim title stakes attached to the tournament matchup.
“He has like an out: ‘I’m fighting for a championship,’” Stots said. “You know what I mean?”
As you can imagine, none of this sat well with Archuleta.
You can watch their back-and-forth in the video above and check out the complete Bellator 279 news conference below.