Every time Eduardo Dantas has fought a title fight in Bellator, he has finished his opponent. And the Nova Uniao bantamweight wants to do the same to Joe Warren on Friday night’s Bellator 128.
Dantas, the current Bellator 135-pound champion, meets interim champion Warren in the main event of Friday’s card in Thackerville, Okla., and he sees "The Baddest Man on the Planet" as a great test for his skills.
"He’s a tough guy, a really good fighter," Dantas told MMAFighting.com. "He’s not a fool on the ground or standing, and he has good takedowns. It’s a fight that I always wanted to test myself, test my cardio and my hands. It’s going to be an amazing fight. I’m really anxious for this."
Forced out of a clash with Warren in May with a head injury, Dantas feels better than ever.
"I’m physically stronger and mentally better prepared for this fight. I promise you, this is going to be a great fight," he said. "I was stressed with the weight cut for my last fights, but this time I’m happy because I know I’ll be fighting him. He talked too much, so beating him will taste better. This fight won’t last five rounds."
Dantas’ beef with Warren started a while ago on Twitter, and he plans to end it with a finish.
"He tweeted to me saying that I fought a low-lever wrestler and that it would be different against him," he said. "He called me a kid, said he would kick my ass. I replied to him saying he was wrong, that I would beat him up when we got inside the cage.
"He will change his mind when he feels how heavy my hands are. If he tries to take me down, I will submit him. If he stands, I will knock him out. He has nowhere to run, unless he actually runs around the cage. Let’s see if he’s ready to run away from me for five rounds."
When Dantas found out that Warren had failed a couple drug tests for marijuana in the past, he thought about asking Bellator for an enhanced drug testing. He quickly changed his mind, though.
"I started reading about him and I found out he was caught in a drug test in 2007, and he was pissed off when I tweeted about it," he said. "I told him I would only fight him if he agreed to undergo a pre-fight blood testing, but I knew he would never make it to the fight with that because he would get caught. No problem, with doping or not he will get punched the same way."
Despite all the pre-fight animosity, Dantas won’t bring any of the heat to the cage.
"I’m not mad at him. He’s indifferent to me, actually. I kind of think he’s funny, but this pre-fight talk got me hungrier to fight," he said. "I won’t feel anything when I get inside the cage. I do what I love in there."
Warren, who won the interim title with a win over Rafael Silva after Dantas was forced to withdraw from Bellator 118, will try to win his second undisputed title in Bellator against the Brazilian. "Dudu," who sees the interim title as a marketing attraction, sends his rival a final message:
"I think (the interim title) was good for the promotion so they could promote an American champion, promote a title fight, but it makes no difference to me. I’m the champion and I will remain champion. That interim title shouldn’t exist, but they gave him anyway. I don’t care. I will go there and show him I’m the real champion.
"He got that interim title for a few months, took some pictures with it, but it’s time to give it back."