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Now calling himself ‘The Untouchable,’ Eduardo Dantas vows he’s the ‘best bantamweight in the world’

Dan Behr

Eduardo Dantas will leave Bellator 177 as the bantamweight champion regardless of the result of the fight, after Leandro Higo badly missed weight for the main event in Budapest, Hungary. Yet, "Dudu" has a point to make that goes beyond the belt.

Dantas was originally set to defend his 135-pound title against Darrion Caldwell, but the rising prospect was pulled from the fight after sustaining an injury. Higo, a former RFA and LFA bantamweight champion, stepped in to face Dantas in his promotional debut, but “Dudu" doesn’t feel he deserves to share the cage with him right now.

"I don’t think Higo has earned it, but he’s the only option,” Dantas told MMA Fighting. "The others are either injured or I already defeated, so it wouldn’t make sense to fight again. To make sure I fight, they gave Higo a title shot."

According to Dantas, the promotion considered going with Joe Warren or Marcos Galvao at Bellator 177, but ultimately opted to give Higo the shot at the title.

"They offered it to Joe Warren, but someone in the promotion didn’t want it, and the second option was ‘Loro’, but he moved up in weight,” Dantas explained. "No one else deserved it. Higo is coming off two title wins, and RFA was a big promotion. But the important thing now is to stay active and show that I’m the best bantamweight in the world. Higo stepped in, and I’ll be able to show I’m the true bantamweight champion. I see myself knocking Higo out in the first round.”

Dantas enters the Bellator 177 main event coming off back-to-back dominant victories over Warren and Galvao, and says that he was aiming to beat both fighters in five-round decisions.

"I wanted to defeat ‘Loro' in five rounds. That was my goal. I didn’t want to finish him,” Dantas said. "The same thing with Joe Warren. I wanted to prove to myself that I could beat Joe Warren in every round, to dominate him. I was really happy wth my performance in that fight.

"Now, I’ll be able to let my game flow more in this fight. I’m getting better every time in my boxing, my kickboxing, my wrestling. I’m becoming a better ‘Dudu,’ stronger, more intelligent. I’m untouchable. That’s the goal, to touch and not get touched."

In his second run as Bellator champion, Dantas, who now calls himself “The Untouchable,” has revealed his ultimate goal in the sport: become the best bantamweight in the world.

Asked where he ranks himself right now, regardless of the promotion, “Dudu" would put himself above the likes of Cody Garbrandt and Bibiano Fernandes, bantamweight champions in UFC and ONE FC.

"I’d put myself in the first place,” Dantas said. "To me, I’m the best bantamweight in the world. I just think I need time and fights to prove I’m the best in the world. I only need time, and a chance against them to prove I’m the best. I won’t be happy until I get to prove that."

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