Friday, December 2nd 2016
Bellator 166: Dantas vs. Warren
Joe Warren has been here before, successfully taking a belt from Eduardo Dantas once in 2014. Gearing up for the potential repeat, Warren is preparing to try to do it again at Bellator 166’s headlining spot.
Since that defeat, Dantas has parlayed himself into a champion rather quickly with only two wins between the loss, and Warren certainly sees that and his prior victory as a reason he will be victorious.
Warren (13-5) is an American Greco-Roman wrestler and mixed martial artist. As a Greco-Roman wrestler, he won the 2006 Pan American and World Championship and was a favorite for the 2008 Olympics. He later won the 2007 World Cup.
In 2008 Warren started transitioning to mixed martial arts, and on March 8, 2009, he made his professional debut. He has competed in the Dream in Japan before joining Bellator, where he is a former bantamweight and featherweight champion.
The first Warren-Dantas encounter took place at 2014’s Bellator 128, and it ended in a unanimous decision that made then-interim titleholder Warren the promotion’s first fighter to win undisputed titles in two weight classes.
Dantas went on to win his next two bouts – the most recent a unanimous decision over Marcos Galvao that had the 27-year-old Brazilian bantamweight reclaiming the 135-pound belt. To this day, Warren remains the only fighter to beat Dantas in the Bellator cage.
Warren has gone 2-2 since then, and it included a submission loss to Galvao that cost him the title. Now, fresh off the submission win over Sirwan Kakai that earned him the challenger spot, the 40-year-old ex-champ looks to add to his collection of championships.
Saturday, December 3rd 2016
The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale: Johnson vs. Elliott
Arguably, the pound-for-pound best fighter in the UFC and perhaps even the world, UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson hasn’t lost a fight since 2011. That was a decision loss to current UFC bantamweight champion Dominic Cruz and led to Johnson’s departure from the weight class and on to the inaugural flyweight division.
It was a match made in caged heaven as Johnson defeated Ian McCall twice and Joseph Benavidez to capture the UFC flyweight crown in 2012. Fast-forward four years and he still is on top of the mountaintop, boasting eight championship defenses with three of those wins coming by submission, and two by knockout.
When the UFC announced that it would use its Ultimate Fighter tournament platform to create a bigger challenge for Johnson, everyone’s hope soared when realizing that champions from various global promotions would be invited to battle for the top contender slot.
Out of the 16 competitors, Tim Elliott, Titan FC flyweight champion fought his way to the top of the pile. It is a sobering return for Elliott who had previously been in the UFC from 2012-2016, compiling a record of 2-4 that spoke nothing about his tenacity and intuitively great athletic recklessness.
Elliott is the guy that breaks technicians by giving them the unexpected and that is probably the only way anyone will ever beat the technical genius of Johnson. With Elliott on his way to permanent retirement before the TUF shot and having newfound motivation from the birth of his daughter, anything can happen when these two styles match up.
Catch all the flyweight championship action live from the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.