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Eduardo Dantas calls for interim title, open to fight anyone at Bellator 150

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Gaspar Nobrega, Inovafoto

Eduardo Dantas won’t be facing Marcos Galvao at Friday’s Bellator 150, but he’s willing to enter the cage anyway.

Hours after the announcement that the bantamweight champion is ill and won’t be cleared to rematch "Dudu" in Kansas, the Nova Uniao fighter released a statement saying he’s willing to face anyone for an interim belt.

"I don’t know what happened with ‘Loro’, I don’t know how he’s feeling right now, and I won’t blame him for it. I just want to fight for the title," Dantas stated. "Therefore, I volunteer to fight Friday, on Feb. 26, for an interim belt, against any bantamweight in Bellator or other promotion, if the promotion signs them.

"Whoever feels the same will I’m feeling, to fight and put on a show for MMA fans, call Bellator. I will do my best to convince them to make this fight happen."

Former champion Joe Warren already offered to replace Galvao on Twitter, and Dantas is interested.

On his Instagram page, Galvao apologized.

"Unfortunately I'm not going to be defending my world title tomorrow night," Galvao wrote. "Long story short I got really sick last night and started to throw up. After meeting with Bellator we all decided that my health comes first and it was the right decision to get medical attention. Sorry first to Bellator, to my fans, my sponsors, my coaches, my team, my management and to Eduardo Dantas as a professional. I'm looking forward to this fight in the near future."

Read Dantas’ full statement below:

First of all, I don’t want to make this episode a controversial chapter involving Marcos ‘Loro’ Galvao, a professional fighter and someone I respect and care about a lot, and Bellator, a MMA promotion I proudly fight for. My intention with this statement is just to inform fans and the media where I stand about this.

I wish, dream, live, and hope for this fight since Oct. 11, 2014, the day after what happened inside the cage at Bellator 128 in Oklahoma, United States, where I fought Joe Warren. I lost by judges’ decision. Many people question that result, especially because I was hit with an illegal blow in the last round, but I never complained. When asked about it, I don’t say it was the responsible for the loss. I accepted the loss, and losing my belt. I’m not a man or a fighter that complains about everything, and what I did was train harder, hungrier, with one single goal: getting back in the cage and fight for the bantamweight belt again.

I defeated another tough opponent (Mike Richman) to earn this spot, get closer to my current goal. I got injured in the process, which is normal in MMA high-level training. I postponed my dream, dedicated more and more. I invested in my career, hired new coaches, changed my diet for the better, paid my coaches’ flight tickets and got them at the same hotel in Kansas so nothing would go wrong. I made weight for the fight and sacrificed hard in my diet, which isn’t easy for any fighter.

Everything I said makes me feel how I’m feeling now: frustrated. It’s horrible to get close to what you want the most, something you already had and want back, and not be able to recapture it. I don’t wish this to any colleague. I’ve been through this. I could have frustrated an opponent, a promotion and thousands of fans.

In March 2014, when I had Anthony Leone as a challenger for my belt, I felt sick after the weigh-ins, the night before the fight. I went to the hospital, was checked by the doctors, and decided to fight even with pain in my body and diarrhea. Doctors and Bellator gave me the option to choose, and I chose not the disappoint anyone despite the incident.

I don’t know what happened with ‘Loro’, I don’t know how he’s feeling right now, and I won’t blame him for it. I just want to fight for the title. Therefore, I volunteer to fight Friday, on Feb. 26, for an interim belt, against any bantamweight in Bellator or other promotion, if the promotion signs them.

Whoever feels the same will I’m feeling, to fight and put on a show for MMA fans, call Bellator. I will do my best to convince them to make this fight happen.