Today there are two Bellator champions at bantamweight — but tonight there will be one.
“I’m the champion,” Eduardo Dantas (pictured to the left at yesterday’s Bellator 128 weigh-in) said to Sherdog.com on Wednesday. “I will show everyone who is the champion on Friday.”
Dantas is indeed the Bellator Bantamweight Champion. He’s a respected fighter from a great camp in Nova Uniao in his native Rio De Jainero, Brazil.
But he will stand across the Bellator cage tonight facing another champion tonight: the man who calls himself “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” one of the most decorated wrestlers competing in MMA today, Joe Warren (pictured above, to the right).
They may disagree on the particulars — who’s the champ, who’s the baddest — but all parties say it’s time to settle the score.
It began back in May when Warren and Dantas were scheduled to meet at Bellator 118 in Atlantic City, NJ. Dantas pulled out of the bout, reporting a head injury, and Bellator had Warren fight Rafeal Silva to decide an interim titlist.
Warren taunted Dantas on social media:
You can run but you can't hide @DuduDantasMMA your a PUSSY! I would be passing out also if I knew I had to fight the BaddestMan!
— Joe Warren (@JoeWarrenMMA) April 26, 2014
The champion responded:
— Eduardo Dantas (@DuduDantasMMA) April 27, 2014
But more importantly, Joe Warren won that bout against Silva via unanimous decision, with his typically potent ground-and-pound attack — and was named Interim Bantamweight Champion.
Dantas has a few submission wins sprinkled throughout his 16-3 MMA record, but he’s better known for his Muay Thai acumen. Dantas is particularly noted for his striking power, and is big at the weight, standing 5’10” — a full five inches taller than Warren. Of course, none of that may matter if he can’t keep the fight standing against Warren, a gold medalist at the 2006 Greco-Roman World Championships.
“I think in the second or third round I will finish him,” Dantas told Sherdog.
Bellator 128 will air tonight on SPIKE TV at 9 pm ET and 8 pm CT. The event will be aired on delay at 9 pm PT in the West.