Eduardo Dantas: Bellator interim champ 'will get beat up bad by me'

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Eduardo Dantas is off the Bellator 118 card, but he’s not bothered by Bellator’s decision to create an interim title.

Dantas, who was scheduled to put his bantamweight title on the line against tournament winner Joe Warren on Friday night, was forced out of the bout after suffering a head injury during the final weeks of his training camp. Rafael Silva will replace the champion for the interim title on Friday night in Atlantic City, N.J.

"I won’t be able to train for a month," Dantas told MMAFighting.com, "but they told me I will probably fight again in the first weeks of September.

"I was training wrestling (on April 18) and my training partner went for a takedown. When I put my hand on the ground, I slipped and hit my head on the ground and went out. I couldn’t remember where I was and what I was doing. Andre (Pederneiras) took me to the doctor to do some exams and it showed nothing."

Bellator president Bjorn Rebney asked Dantas to try training again, but he wasn’t performing like he wanted.

"I came back home and rest all the weekend, and returned to normal training on Monday," he said. "I was doing some sparring and got punched in the head and everything went black. I thought I was going to pass out. I realize there was no way I could continue training.

"My neurologist told me to take a time off from training and Bellator asked me to go to the United States to do some exams, but again it showed nothing. Bjorn gave me all the support I needed and asked me to try training again, but I was dizzy as soon as I started training, so I decided not to fight."

Dantas last competed in March, tapping out Anthony Leone to defend the bantamweight title, and if he returns to the cage in September, he would be out of action for only six months. He thinks that it was the right call to create the interim title, though.

"I think they should create an interim title, that’s good for me," he said. "(Warren vs. Silva) is going to be a great fight and I don’t know who will win. It’s good for me that they’re crowning an interim champion. Whoever wins will get beat up bad by me. I’m hungry to fight. This is my year. Whoever gets in front of me, I will have to destroy."

The Nova Uniao fighter says he will gladly fight whoever wins at Bellator 118, but hopes for a clash with former champion Warren.

"Joe Warren talks too much, so I would prefer to fight him," he said. "‘Morcego’ (Silva) is a Brazilian, and I fought a lot of Brazilians already, so I would be more than happy to beat up Joe Warren. I will fight any of them, though."

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