Eduardo Dantas hasn’t fought in Bellator since his first title defense against his teammate Marcos "Loro" Galvao last February, but Friday’s Bellator 102 will define the next in line for his title when Anthony Leone battles Rafael "Morcego" Silva in Bellator’s summer bantamweight tournament final in Visalia, Calif.
Leone enters the cage following wins over former bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky and Frank Baca. Silva made his Bellator debut in the tournament with a submission victory over Rodrigo Lima, earning his 12th consecutive win in MMA.
Dantas broke down the fight, and he picks his countrymen to win.
"I think it’s going to be a great fight but a close one because Leone is a wrestler and ‘Morcego’ is a grappler," Dantas told MMAFighting.com. "I think ‘Morcego’ wins this because he’s well-rounded. He’s a better striker and should get the advantage on the ground too. I believe ‘Morcego’ wins this tournament to become my next opponent."
Dantas expects to return to the cage in November to face the winner or Leone vs. Silva, and hopes to fight again early next year.
"I expect to do a great fight, no matter if I fight ‘Morcego’ or Leone," he said. "I’m hungry to fight. I’ve been training a lot since my last fight, so I hope to do a great fight for the fans."
Dantas has finished three of his five opponents under the Bellator banner, with two knockout wins and one submission, and promises "new tricks" when he returns to action.
"I have a lot of new tricks to show," he said. "My game has changed a little since my last fight against ‘Loro’. I’m better standing, so I have a lot of new moves to show. I don’t like to wait so long to fight. That’s the worst part, especially because it’s hard to get sponsors here in Brazil so I really need the money from my fights."