In one of the most memorable title fights in Bellator history, Eduardo Dantas reigned supreme as he became the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion. Daniel Straus earned his spot in the finals of the featherweight tournament with an impressive victory and Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira earned their spots in the semifinals of the Bellator Season Six Bantamweight Tournament Friday night at Bellator 65 from Caesars Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In the main event of the evening, the Bellator Bantamweight Championship was on the line as Philadelphia native and Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky made the first title defense of his career in front of family and friends against Season Five Bantamweight Tournament Champion, Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas.
In one of the most dominant performances of his career, Dantas showed why many considered him a Brazilian prodigy. Dantas landed strikes early to the body and head, and appeared to be controlling the action early until Makovsky was able to land a controlled takedown. However, off his back, Dantas was continually threatening with submissions throughout the round.
In the second, Dantas demonstrated just how well rounded he really is. With Makovsky attempting a takedown, “Dudu” hit a beautiful switch that had his opponent on his back. From the top position, Dantas was able to batter Makovsky with strikes, opening him up to a brilliant arm triangle.
Despite his best efforts to grip his own leg and avoid the submission, Dantas was able to apply enough pressure to force Makovsky unconscious at 3:26 of the second round.
“Eduardo Dantas put on a completely dominate performance against one of the best bantamweights in the world in Zach Makovsky, and was nothing short of amazing,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “As an organization, we’re incredibly lucky to have one of the best bantamweights in the world as our Champion. Daniel Straus delivered a compelling victory, and his finals fight against Marlon Sandro should be fantastic.”
With the submission win, Eduardo Dantas is the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion and maintains a perfect record inside the Bellator cage. Makovsky, who loses for just the third time in his MMA career, drops to 14-3
In Featherweight Tournament action, the Atlantic City faithful were treated an outstanding brawl as Daniel Straus faced Mike Corey for the right to meet Marlon Sandro later this season. After the recent untimely death of his friend and training partner, Chris Smith, Straus entered the Bellator cage with a heavy heart and the extra motivation to make his teammate proud. In the first round, Straus showed off his improving stand up game as he landed short punches, knees to the body and head kicks that had a bloody Mike Corey fighting off balance. The second round brought more success for Corey.
He was able to secure a takedown and also controlled the fight against the cage. In the third, it’s Straus that was again mixing it up with punches and knees. The round ended with both fighters swinging wildly as the final bell sounded. After three rounds of action, the judges awarded Daniel Straus the unanimous decision victory.
“It’s a blessing to be here,” said Daniel Straus. “Marlon Sandro, lets get it.”
With the emotional unanimous decision victory, Daniel Straus will now face Marlon Sandro in the finals of the Bellator Season Six Featherweight Tournament. His record improved to 19-4 while Mike Corey, who lost for the first time under the Bellator banner, fell to 12-3-1 in his professional career.
Coming off his first professional loss at the hands of Eduardo Dantas in the Bellator Season Five Bantamweight Tournament Championship, Alexis “The Exorcist” Vila looked to get back to his winning ways when he met Luis Nogueira on Friday night in the last semifinal fight of the Bellator Season Six Bantamweight Tournament. “Betao,” however, had other plans in mind as he looked to erase the memory of his tournament quarterfinal loss to Ed West last season. For three rounds, Vila and Nogueira tried to execute their strategies.
Vila, constantly looking to land his heavy right hand, had to settle for a few takedowns in the second round. Nogueira, always circling and staying out of Vila’s reach, was successful in connecting with counter strikes that appeared to have his opponent frustrated. After three tough rounds, the fight went to the judges for a decision. When the scores were read, it was Luis Nogueira who walked away with a unanimous decision victory.
With the win, Luis Nogueira moved to 13-2 and advanced to the semifinals of the Bellator Season Six Bantamweight Tournament. Vila, having dropped his last two fights, exits the tournament after reaching the finals in season five.
Bellator veterans Marcos “Loro” Galvao and Ed “Wild” West are all too familiar with the tournament format that is the road to the Bellator Bantamweight Championship. Having come up short in the Bellator Season Five Bantamweight Tournament, the two met in one of the most memorable bouts in recent memory.
Through three rounds, both fighters had moments where they appeared to be in control. However, Galvao seemed to be the one to impose his will as he secured takedowns, attempted submissions and connected with devastating power punches that had West moving backwards. West, known for his precision striking, never seemed to be able to enforce his game plan.
Through three rounds, both men aggressively fought until the sound of the bell signaled the end of the fight. When the judges’ scorecards were announced, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Marcos Galvao.
With the unanimous decision win, Marcos Galvao advances to the semifinal round of the Bellator Season Six Bantamweight Tournament and improves his record to 11-5. In a losing effort, Ed West falls to 17-7 in his professional career.