Mixed martial arts historians might someday look back at April 13,
2012 as the night Eduardo
Dantas’ star was born.
Dantas rendered Zach
Makovsky unconscious with a second-round arm-triangle choke, as
he captured the Bellator Fighting Championships bantamweight crown
Bellator 65 main event on Friday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic
City, N.J. Makovsky (14-3, 6-1 Bellator) went limp 3:26 into round
two, his eight-fight winning streak broken in a blink.
“This is what I do. I do it full-time,” Dantas said through a
translator. “I came prepared. I trained really hard for this. I
gave it my all.”
The taller and longer of the two men, the 23-year-old Nova Uniao
standout went to work on Makovsky with kicks throughout the first
round. Makovsky struck for a takedown in response, only to be met
with an omaplata attempt from the challenger’s spidery guard. Round
two was far more one-sided. Dantas (14-2, 4-0 Bellator) answered a
takedown with a beautiful outside switch. He later mounted Makovsky
twice before cinching the fight-ending choke. The newly crowned
champion has won seven consecutive fights.
Left Hand Carries Straus in Semis
On the strength of a stout straight left hand,
Straus took a unanimous decision from Team Curran’s Mike Corey in
the Bellator Season 6 featherweight tournament semifinals. All
three judges scored it for Straus (19-4, 5-1 Bellator): 30-27,
29-28 and 29-28.
Straus landed the cleaner
harder shots standing.
Straus established an immediate foothold in the match, as he
floored Corey (12-3-1, 1-1-1 Bellator) during their initial
exchange. By the end of the first five minutes, Corey’s face was
mangled, with visible damage to his nose and right eye. Still, he
engaged Straus on the feet fearlessly and attacked the Team Vision
representative in the clinch, peppering him with punches to the
head and knees to the legs.
However, Straus’ left hand proved the great equalizer. He landed it
at will on Corey and rode it into the featherweight tournament
final, where he will meet former Sengoku champion Marlon
Nogueira Ousts Vila in Quarters
Fight Team export Luis
Alberto Nogueira outworked 1996 Olympic bronze medalist
Vila en route to a unanimous decision in the Bellator Season 6
bantamweight tournament quarterfinals. The 27-year-old Brazilian
swept the scorecards by matching 29-28 counts.
Nogueira asserted himself standing.
In a fight marred by vast stretches of inactivity and posturing,
Nogueira (13-2, 3-1 Bellator) surprised the decorated freestyle
wrestler with a pair of late first-round takedowns. Vila bounced
back in the second, but the 41-year-old Cuban appeared to fade down
the stretch. In round three, Nogueira found a home for his
combinations, alternating between punches to Vila’s head and kicks
to his leg and body.
Vila (11-2, 2-2 Bellator), who opened his professional MMA career
with 11 consecutive victories, has lost back-to-back bouts.
Galvao Outpoints West in Quarterfinals
Two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion
Galvao leaned on takedowns and clean, technical topside
grappling in capturing a unanimous decision from Ed West in the
Bellator Season 6 bantamweight tournament quarterfinals. All three
judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Galvao (11-5-1, 2-2
Galvao was aggressive and
dominant on the ground.
Nova Uniao representative, Galvao worked takedowns in all three
rounds and fought through a number of submission attempts from West
(17-7, 3-3 Bellator), moving to dominant positions against the
Arizonan when the opportunities presented themselves. The Brazilian
set the tone with a strong first round, at one point knocking a
leaping West out of the air with a right hand.
Rounds two and three followed a similar narrative, as the two
bantamweights wound up on the ground, where Galvao was the superior
fighter. West remained competitive throughout the 15-minute bout,
landing a clean head kick in the third round and leaving Galvao’s
lead leg badly bruised with kicks.
Heckman Choke Submits Caslow
Heckman won for the fifth time in six appearances, as he
Caslow with a first-round rear-naked choke in an undercard duel
at 145 pounds. Caslow (7-7, 1-2 Bellator) met his end 3:40 into
Heckman choked Caslow out.
After catching a kick from Caslow early in the round, Heckman
(10-3, 2-1 Bellator) smothered his foe on the mat and against the
cage. He passed to half guard, fished for an arm-in guillotine and
then moved to Caslow’s back during a scramble. The rear-naked choke
came next, followed soon after by the tapout.
McCray Earns Split Verdict, Edges Barbosa
Takedowns and sporadic ground-and-pound carried
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 finalist Kris McCray
to a split decision over
American Top Team’s Ailton
Barbosa in a preliminary welterweight matchup. Two of the three
cageside judges, Sue Senidad and John Bilyk, scored it for McCray
(8-3, 1-0 Bellator) by identical 29-28 counts; a third, Eric Colon,
cast a dissenting 29-28 ruling for Barbosa (10-4, 1-2
McCray battled back from
adversity against Barbosa.
McCray struck for three total takedowns in the first two rounds and
attacked Barbosa with short elbows and punches. The Brazilian had
his moments, as he threatened with a rear-naked choke in the second
round and a triangle choke and armbar in the third. None of the
attempts were successful, however, and the decision ultimately went
The 30-year-old McCray has rattled off three straight wins since
being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship following
losses to Court McGee,
Eduardo Rocha and John
Good Routs Maynard in 13 Seconds
Former Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good
barely broke a sweat, as he wiped out LeVon
Maynard with punches 13 seconds into their undercard bout.
Good clocked Maynard (12-9, 1-3 Bellator) with an immediate right
hand and followed him to the ground, landing in half guard. From
there, the 26-year-old Team Tiger Schulmann standout unleashed a
series of five unanswered blows that left referee Kevin Mulhall no
choice but to step in on Maynard’s behalf. Good (12-2, 5-2
Bellator) has recorded two wins in three appearances since
surrendering his Bellator title to Ben Askren in
Brooks Controls Malyutin, Stays Unbeaten
Missouri-based lightweight prospect E.J. Brooks
kept his perfect professional record intact, as he captured a
unanimous decision from M-1 Global veteran Mikhail
Malyutin in a preliminary matchup at 155 pounds. All three
cageside judges scored it for Brooks (6-0, 3-0 Bellator): 30-27,
30-27 and 30-26.
Brooks got to show off his
strength against Malyutin.
Brooks, 26, peppered his Russian foe with kicks to the leg and
body, struck for takedowns in all three rounds and mounted Malyutin
(21-10, 0-0 Bellator) in the third.