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‘World’s best bantamweight’ Eduardo Dantas says ‘dominance is a matter of time’ ahead of Russia debut

Eduardo Dantas sparring with Petr Yan in 2016.
Dan Behr

Two-time Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas has big plans for his next steps in MMA.

A second-round head-kick knockout over Jose Alday on a “Lookin’ For a Fight” card wasn’t enough to convince UFC President Dana White to sign him to a deal. Now, Dantas is eager to travel around the world and “go where the big prizes are” to become the No. 1 bantamweight on the planet.

Dantas’ next stop is on Saturday, when he meets Denis Lavrentyev at RCC 15 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Lavrentyev is 12-3 as a MMA fighter and was on a six-fight winning streak against the likes of Victor Henry and Anthony Leone before losing to Rakhim Midaev in his most recent appearance this past February.

“I’m excited to go to Russia and do what I love,” Dantas told MMA Fighting. “My Russian friends will get to watch the world’s best bantamweight in action. I’ll be fighting Denis Lavrentyev, a former Olympic judoka and training partner of an old friend of mine, Petr Yan. I believe our paths will cross again, but this time inside the cage. Time will show.”

“I can’t wait to go to a historic city like Yekaterinburg, where the last Czar Nicholas II stayed with his family in the Ipatiev House,” he added. “I’m counting down the days to bring Denis’ neck to Brazil. And if he blinks, it’s first-round ippon.”

Dantas said he signed a one-fight deal with RCC, leaving his options open for the future. A former Bellator titleholder with wins over the likes of Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao, Wilson Reis and Zach Makovsky, “Dudu” won two in a row since parting ways with the company in 2019.

“Since 2019, when I fought for the last time outside of the bantamweight division, I promised myself I would end all my opponents by knockout or submission. And I’m doing it,” Dantas said. “I’m the most complete bantamweight on the planet. Age is on my side [34], I’m in peak condition, strong and explosive. I’m a specialist on the ground and a sniper on the feet, and I can defend and attack in wrestling. I have a black belt mindset, and I unstoppable cardio. I have all the tools, according to Sun Tzu, so dominance is a matter of time.”

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