Best male Bellator fighter: Eduardo Dantas
A talented striker and often considered one of the best bantamweight fighters outside of the UFC, Eduardo Dantas has often been in the mix of the upper echelon in Bellator’s 135-pound division since his arrival to the promotion.
Dantas made his professional MMA debut in 2007, making his name in the Shooto promotion in Brazil through its featherweight division, claiming gold there. He made his Bellator debut at Bellator 51 and went on to win the season five Bellator bantamweight tournament. Dantas scored a technical submission over Zach Makovsky at Bellator 65 to become Bellator bantamweight champion for the first time.
He successfully defended the belt against Marcos Galvao and Anthony Leone before dropping it to Joe Warren. He’d regain the belt with a win in a rematch with Galvao at Bellator 156 and retained it in a rematch with Warren at Bellator 166. Dantas also defeated Leandro Higo at Bellator 177 in what would have been a title bout had Higo not missed weight.
Dantas has gone under some tough times recently, losing the bantamweight championship to Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 184 and breaking his fibula at Bellator 202. He rebounded with a win in his return at Bellator 215 but was knocked out by Juan Archuleta at Bellator 222. Despite his troubles, however, Dantas won’t lose the fact his accomplishments are great of those fighters who never competed in the UFC.
- Thomas Albano