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Eduardo Dantas returns to Shooto Brasil for first post-Bellator fight

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Eduardo Dantas (Gaspar Nobrega, Inovafoto)
Eduardo Dantas last fought undefeated the Shoot Brasil banner in August 2012.
Gaspar Nobrega, Inovafoto

Former two-time Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas is returning home.

After being away from MMA for two years since parting ways with the Bellator, “Dudu” has agreed to facing bantamweight Paulo Roberto Aquiles on two weeks’ notice at Shooto Brasil 107, which goes down on July 24 in Rio de Janeiro, he told MMA Fighting.

“I’m feeling like a 17-year-old kid with high testosterone, crazy to lose my virginity,” Dantas told MMA Fighting with a laugh. “After a two-year hiatus, what matters the most to me is Saturday’s fight. I can’t wait to be back and put into practice everything I’ve worked all this time.”

Dantas had originally signed with Germany-based promotion Elite MMA Championship earlier this year and was expected to fight at EMC 7 on July 3, but said it was eventually cancelled due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dantas (21-7), who holds wins over the likes of Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao, Leandro Higo and Wilson Reis, returns to the bantamweight division 30 months after his most recent 135-pound bout, a decision victory over Toby Misech at Bellator 215. “Dudu” left Bellator after a featherweight loss to Juan Archuleta in June 2019.

According to Dantas, “Jiboia” stepped in as a replacement after his original opponent withdrew. Aquiles (7-19) is far from the level of competition Dantas has faced over the past decade, and enters the biggest fight of his career on an eight-fight losing skid.

“I’m very excited,” Dantas said of his return. “I’m happy I got a fight booked. I’ll walk forward the entire time and put on a show.”