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Eduardo Dantas won’t respect former teammate Marcos Galvao in rematch

Bellator

Eduardo Dantas knocked out Marcos Galvao to defend his Bellator bantamweight title for the first time in February 2013, but that night was a rollercoaster of emotions for the champion. Galvao was a teammate at Nova Uniao, and putting him unconscious was different than winning any other fight. Dantas cried inside the cage moments after securing the victory, but everything has changed now.

Two years have passed, and Dantas is no longer the champion. Galvao, who submitted the last man to defeat Dantas, is the No. 1 contender now, but he’s not a Nova Uniao fighter anymore. The scenario has changed ahead of Friday’s Bellator 156, when "Dudu" and "Loro" will finally rematch for the bantamweight gold, and everything that happened in 2013 taught the challenger a lesson.

"We respected each other a lot in the first round of the first fight," Dantas said. "We basically didn’t fight. He landed a right hand in the end that cut me, and that’s when the fight started. I was like ‘f--k, this is for real now’. After he landed that punch, I knew it was a real fight. It’s impossible not to see your friend in front of you, but when your blood is running down your face, you know it’s for real. It’s different this time. It’s a fight like any other, and I’m going there to finish it.

"The first time was complicated," he continued. "He had just left Nova Uniao to train and work in the United States. We were kind of thinking ‘let’s do our job, but friendship is still here’. The fight started and things got heated, and we started to let it go. This time, it’s completely different. We fought once, so it’s okay now. I won’t get in there respecting him this time. No respect. I will go there to finish the fight, to win quickly. I want to show who the real champion is."

Dantas won’t respect Galvao, but that doesn’t mean he’s underestimating the champion.

"Every fight is different," he said. "When you enter the cage, you know the other guy has trained for months to fight you. You have to pay attention. When you underestimate your opponent, one punch or one submission can end everything, and you’re back in the end of the line. I can’t underestimate anyone. He has two arms and two legs and he trained hard to beat me. ‘Loro’ trained as hard as I did, and he’s hungry. I would never underestimate him."

Dantas and Galvao were originally scheduled to rematch at Bellator 144, but the challenger had to pull out due to a rib injury. Four months later, the champion was the one to pull out days before Bellator 150.

"I’ve been training for a long time for this fight," Dantas said. "I just finished my third training camp, and I’ve gained more experience and added more technique to my game. I just got better. I was anxious because the fight was rescheduled twice, but I look at the bright side. I had more time to learn and evolve.

"That was a tough fight, but it’s completely different now. I believe he has evolved a lot, but my head has changed for the better and I am more experienced and technical now. It’s going to be a great fight for both of us, and fans will definitely watch an exciting fight."

"Dudu", who had four fights canceled and is 2-1 since his first clash with Galvao in 2013, promises to recapture the gold with a finish at Fresno’s Save Mart Center.

"I see myself with my hands raised in the end, and the belt around my waist on June 17," "Dudu" said. "I see myself winning in many different ways, but I guarantee you one thing: it won’t go five rounds."