This coming Thursday night, Bellator 89 goes down in Charlotte, NC featuring a bantamweight title defense for champion Eduardo Dantas as he faces challenger Marcos Galvao. The show also features the first round of this season’s Middleweight Tournament. Dantas won the Bellator title by choking out Zach Makovsky, but he is best known for losing in his last outing. Let’s take a look at that, and more of the particulars for the Bellator bantamweight title defense.
Dantas is 24 years old, and do not let his baby face fool you, he has an excellent MMA record of 14-3. In August, with Bellator unable to offer a match until the bantamweight tournament was complete, Dantas took a fight in a Brazilian SHOOTO event, and was KO’d in under 2 minutes by little known Tyson Nam.
It is a bad sign when an organization allows it’s champion, it’s standard bearer, to fight in an different organization and the guy gets knocked out. Not only does it bring in to question the ulity of the champion, but it brings questions about the company and the level of competition they have. So Dantas will be fighting with added pressure, as he can ill afford a second loss in a row, this one where he loses his belt.
Galvao won the three fights in the bantamweight tournament that Bellator held in their 6th season to earn the title shot. Prior to that, Galvao posted two losses in Bellator, to wrestling stud Joe Warren and to Alexis Vila.
Right now some of the books have Dantas a 2 to 1 favorite at -210, with the comeback on Galvao at +165. The big x-factor is that both men know each other, and are effectively from the same network of schools called Nova Uniao.
Both men are promising to fight hard, and both men know each other from training and preparation. Dantas will be the taller, longer fighter between the two, and he probably is skilled enough standing to exploit his teammates tendency to throw big, telegraphed looping punches.
This one is going to come down to hunger and desire, and if one of the two men will be able to put his friendship aside and get mean. If not, we are probably looking at a long 5 round decision that goes to the cards. This one is a hard one to pick, but Dantas does appear the more skilled of the two. We will see come Thursday.