Bellator 184 post-event facts: Pat Curran flirts with Bellator's all-time wins record

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Filed under: Bellator, News

Bellator’s latest offering went down this past Friday with Bellator 184, which took place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., with a main card that aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

A new bantamweight champion was crowned in the main event. Darrion Caldwell (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) managed to live up to his early career label as a future champion when he outworked Eduardo Dantas (20-5 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) over the course of five rounds for a unanimous decision to claim the belt.

Caldwell’s victory closed out of a four-fight main card which saw three contests decided by the scorecards. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 184.

* * * *

General

Betting favorites went 3-1 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to 10-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the four-bout main card was 1:06:56.

* * * *

Main card

Caldwell became the fifth fighter to hold the Bellator bantamweight championship.

Caldwell improved to 5-1 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in May 2015.

Dantas lost the Bellator bantamweight championship for the second time.

Dantas has suffered both of his Bellator losses by decision.

Emmanuel Sanchez (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has earned six of his seven career stoppage victories by submission.

Daniel Straus (24-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) has suffered seven of his eight career losses by stoppage.

Straus has suffered all four of his Bellator stoppage losses by submission.

Pat Curran (23-7 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) improved to 10-3 since he dropped to the Bellator featherweight division in June 2011.

Curran’s 13 victories in Bellator competition are tied with Chandler and Joe Warren for second most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14).

Curran’s 10 victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied with Straus for second most in divisional history behind Freire (14).

John Teixeira (21-3-2 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) is on the first losing skid of his career.

Teixeira has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Joe Taimanglo (24-8-1 MMA, 6-4 BMMA) fell to 4-3 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in April 2014.

Taimanglo has suffered all four of his Bellator losses by decision.

For complete coverage of Bellator 184, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of Bellator 184

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a Bellator win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Friday’s Bellator 184 event in Thackerville, Okla., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Darrion Caldwell def. Eduardo Dantas via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45)

Darrion Caldwell: “Paranoia” by Dave East feat. Jeez

Eduardo Dantas: “Lado B Lado A” by O Rappa

Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:56

Emmanuel Sanchez: “Canción Del Mariachi (Morena De Mi Corazón)” by Los Lobos

Daniel Straus: “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar

Pat Curran def. John Teixeira via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Pat Curran: “Awake” by Godsmack

John Teixeira: “Last Breath” by Future

Leandro Higo def. Joe Taimanglo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Leandro Higo: “Campeao Vendor” by Jamily

Joe Taimanglo: “I Got The Feelin’” by James Brown

For complete coverage of Bellator 184, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 184 highlights: Dethroned! New champ Darrion Caldwell tops Eduardo Dantas

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Bellator has a new bantamweight champion. Here’s how Darrion Caldwell did it.

In Friday’s Bellator 184 headliner, Caldwell (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) picked up a unanimous-decision victory and delivered Eduardo Dantas (20-5 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) his first loss in three years.

Check out the highlights of the win, which came via frequent takedowns and unorthodox striking, above.

Bellator 184 took place Friday at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., and it aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Caldwell, a 2009 NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, got the victory via 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45 scores.

Elsewhere on the card, featherweightEmmanuel Sanchez (16-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) picked up arguably his biggest win yet with a third-round tap-out of former champ Daniel Straus (24-8 MMA, 11-5 BMMA). Additionally, former featherweight champion Pat Curran (23-7 MMA, 13-4 BMMA) returned from a lengthy layoff for a decision victory over 145-pounder John Teixeira (21-3-2 MMA, 4-2 BMMA).

Finally, in the main-card opener, Leandro Higo (18-2 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) nearly scored a late submission but instead settled for a clear-cut unanimous-decision win over durable bantamweight Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1 MMA, 6-3 BMMA).

Check out all of the highlights above.

And for more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 184 results: Emmanuel Sanchez taps former champ Daniel Straus in third

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It took overcoming some rough spots early, but grappling-savvy Emmanuel Sanchez looked nothing short of impressive in route to a third-round submission win over former champion Daniel Straus.

After an action-packed first round, which saw some crazy reversals and near-misses, Sanchez (16-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) took control of the featherweight co-headliner in the final two rounds, marking his best Bellator display yet with the tap of Straus (24-8 MMA, 11-5 BMMA).

Straus was off to a solid start, as Sanchez seemed in trouble for the bottom early. The roles, however, were quickly reversed, as a bloodied Sanchez got ahold of Straus’ kneecap in pursuit of a leg-lock. The ex-champ, however, stayed calm – and soon was the one applying the heat from the top. After a brief scramble, Straus seemingly dug first for a D’Arce, and then a North-South choke, but relented. Straus stayed in control from the top for a while before Sanchez was again able to reverse, taking Straus’ back on the ground. While Sanchez failed to find a fight-ending submission there, he was able to get the mount shortly before the bell rang.

While Sanchez was the only with the early success in the final round, Straus did have his moments on top position. As the ex-champ worked from the half-guard, though, Sanchez was able to once more reverse. Soon, it was Sanchez who saw himself working from Straus’ half guard. It took him a while, but Sanchez managed to pass the guard and mount, landing elbows as Straus defended his face. While Straus never stopped resisting, he was simply unable to escape the unfortunate position, as Sanchez kept landing elbow after elbow. By the end of the round, Straus didn’t have many options but to keep cover – which, though under the referee’s close watch, was enough to get him to fight another round.

Straus came out swinging in the third and final round, throwing some wild shots before landing a takedown against the cage. As Sanchez seemed to be slowly making his way up, Straus grabbed ahold of his leg and ended a scramble on top. Quickly, though, Sanchez had his legs around Straus’ neck and shoulder, setting up a triangle choke. Straus had no choice but to tap, granting Sanchez the submission win.

While Straus has seen better days, currently riding the first skid of his Bellator run after the title-costing loss to Patricio Freire at Bellator 178 in April, Sanchez certainly can’t complain. Given a 2017 that saw him taking straight wins over Georgi Karakhanyan, ex-champ Marcos Galvao and, now, Straus, no one can’t really blame him for being on a dancing mood.

Bellator 184 results:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell – for bantamweight title
  • Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:56
  • Pat Curran def. John Teixeira via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
  • Leandro Higo def. Joe Taimanglo via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMAjunkie, 7 p.m. ET)

  • Manuel Muro def. Emmanuel Rivera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Sean Holden def. Shakir McKillip via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:39 – 160-pound catchweight
  • Carrington Banks def. Steve Kozola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-25)
  • Chance Rencountre def. Justin Patterson via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 2:58
  • Teagan Dooley def DeMarcus Simmons via submission (Americana) – Round 2, 2:12
  • Westin Wilson def. L.J. Hermreck via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 0:55
  • Kendall Carnahan def. Daniel Carey via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Ernest James vs. Ray Jones

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

5 reasons to watch Bellator 184 with all its title implications at bantamweight, featherweight

Bellator returns to Oklahoma on Friday for Bellator 184, a card heavy on former champions, fighters with championship aspirations, and in the main event, one current champ defending his title.

In the headliner, Eduardo Dantas puts his bantamweight belt on the line against up-and-coming Darrion Caldwell. If Dantas proves victorious, he will leave the cage with six title-fight victories, the most in Bellator history.

In the co-main event, two-time featherweight champion Daniel Straus looks to get back into the title mix against Emmanuel Sanchez.

Before the headlining bouts, two-time featherweight champion Pat Curran ends a long break against John Teixeira, who was one scorecard away from possibly earning a title shot in his most recent fight.

Bellator 184 takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Here are five reasons to watch the event.

1. I see what you did there

Self-belief is wonderful. In a sport like MMA, it’s essential to have an overabundance of confidence. If doubt creeps into a fighter’s mind, for even a second, things can go bad. Dantas, the No. 7 ranked bantamweight in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, takes the concept of self-belief to another level. The two-time champion, despite a title-losing defeat to Joe Warren in 2014, sees himself as undefeated inside the Bellator cage.

“I only lost once in Bellator, and I got payback,” Dantas told MMAjunkie, referring to his 2016 rematch win over Warren. “So I’m not really 10-1. Since I returned the favor, I feel undefeated.”

As we all know, that’s not the way things work. A loss remains a loss no matter what happens after that result. But that kind of thinking gives you an idea as to the kind of fighter Dantas is.

Dantas (20-4 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) looks to make the second defense of his second run as champion against Caldwell. If you use Dantas’ “get one back” logic, Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) is also undefeated (he’s not), since he avenged his sole loss when he defeated Joe Taimanglo in his most recent bout.

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Dantas has more experience than the No. 15 ranked Caldwell, but the challenger is a fantastic wrestler with a smothering top game. He should give Dantas, whose goal is to be “the best bantamweight in history,” a tough test in this title fight.

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2. Not your stepping stone

Straus was on the shelf for more than 17 months after he broke his hand in the first round of his 2015 fight against Patricio Freire. Despite the injury, Straus won that five-round contest by unanimous decision. The victory earned him the featherweight title for the second time. When he returned from rehabbing his hand, Straus gave the title back to Freire when he submitted to a guillotine choke in the second round of their Bellator 178 matchup.

Straus, the No. 9 ranked featherweight, was never really able to get going in that fight, his fourth against Freire. When he shot for a takedown early in the second stanza, Freire clamped on the choke and Straus was forced to tap.

If Straus (24-7 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) wants to earn a shot at becoming a three-time featherweight champion he has to get past Sanchez (15-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA). Sanchez enters this fight on the strength of a unanimous decision win over former bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao. The one mark against Sanchez is he came in more than three pounds overweight for that contest.

After his win, Sanchez apologized to the promotion for missing weight and asked for a title shot. If he can defeat Straus he’ll have a solid argument that he deserves that fight. As for the former champ, don’t expect him to look as tentative in this bout as he did against Freire. There’s no way he wants to lose two fights in a row for the first time in his eight-year career.

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3. A former champ returns

If the fight between Straus and Sanchez isn’t intriguing enough for you, there is another important 145-pound fight on the card. In that contest, former two-time champion Pat Curran squares off against John Teixeira.

Teixeira lost a heartbreaker in his most recent scrap. The Brazilian saw his 10-fight unbeaten streak come to an end when he dropped a split decision to Daniel Weichel. The victory earned Weichel a November matchup against champion Patricio Freire.

As for Curran, the former champ has put a rough 1-3 patch behind him with victories in his two most recent outings.

Curran (22-7 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) has not been very active as of late. This is just his third fight in more than 27 months. Knowing that, don’t be surprised if the aggressive Teixeira (21-2-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) steps on the gas even more in this contest in the hopes of exploiting any ring rust Curran has amassed since he last fought in May 2016.

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4. Look up

If Joe Taimanglo and Leandro Higo need inspiration for their bantamweight matchup they just need to look at the top of this fight card. The two fighters competing for the 135-pound division title are the last two fighters they lost to.

At Bellator 159, Taimanglo (23-7-1 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) submitted Caldwell early in the third round. When the two ran things back at Bellator 167, Caldwell won a unanimous decision. That victory earned Caldwell his shot at Dantas’ belt. Higo (17-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), the former LFA bantamweight champion, lost to Dantas in his most recent bout, where he dropped a split decision to the champion. Unfortunately for Higo, what was supposed to be a title fight, turned into a non-title contest when he came in four pounds overweight.

A win here will put the victor in the mix for a shot at the winner of this card’s headlining bout.

5. Clash of styles

If you need a reason to catch the Bellator 184 prelims, look no further than the clash of styles in the bout between unbeaten lightweights Steve Kozola and Carrington Banks.

Kozola is a finisher. Since he turned pro in 2013, he hasn’t left the second round. Over that time, he’s racked up seven victories via knockout and one by submission. His most recent bout ended in 28 seconds. In that contest Kozola used a barrage of strikes to hand Jake Roberts his first career knockout loss.

Unlike Kozola (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), Banks (6-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) has gone the distance in four of his six career fights. Banks has some striking skills, but he relies heavily on his wrestling, even when it looks like he can finish a fight with his hands. Banks has good takedowns and a grinding top game that could test a fighter like Kozola, who has never been deep into a fight.

The winner of this bout could take a big step up in competition in his next outing.

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For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 184's Daniel Straus 'so (expletive) happy' to not fight 'Pitbull,' says 5th fight coming

When Daniel Straus returns to competition on Friday at Bellator 184, he will stand across the cage from someone other than Patricio Freire for the first time in more than two years.

He couldn’t be more thrilled about that fact.

Straus (24-7 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) and Freire (26-4 MMA, 14-4 BMMA) share arguably the most storied rivalry in Bellator history. They’ve fought four times since 2011, with “Pitbull” currently holding a 3-1 advantage. The most recent bout, at Bellator 178 in April, saw Straus lose the featherweight title to the Brazilian by second-round submission. It still frustrates him.

Despite the loss, Straus said he’s ready for a change in scenery when it comes to opponents. He meets Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) in Friday’s Bellator 184 co-headliner, which takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., with a Spike-televised main card following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Ideally Straus would have moved on to fresh competition with the 145-pound belt in his possession, but he’s accepted that’s not currently his reality.

“I’m so (expletive) happy to fight someone different,” Straus told MMAjunkie. “When you have to fight the same guy over and over and over, whether you won or lost, it does get to you.

“Bellator, they’ve done a great job with the matchups. I have nothing against it. But when you fight a guy four times, it kind of gets old. We had great fights. What can you say? Who didn’t want to see us fight again? That’s just how it goes in this business.”

For Straus one of the difficulties in getting past his most recent loss to Freire is the circumstances that surrounded the fight. After earning a unanimous-decision win over Freire in the third meeting, which took place at Bellator 145 in November 2015, Straus was forced into a 17-month layoff due to injuries. Returning from such a long break to defend his title was a great enough challenge on its own, but then he had to fight an opponent who knew him well.

Straus, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, said he blames only himself for the situation. He said he doesn’t want to take credit away from No. 8-ranked Freire – even though he still considers himself superior.

“In that fight I just wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was,” Straus said. “Going into that fight when I was training, the week before the fight I had an incident that took away a lot of my confidence. I had a lot of things that played the part. Mostly coming into there, I didn’t even have a game plan. I was just ready to fight.

“I really do think I am better than Patricio. Hats off to him. He’s always done what he needed to do to become champ and stay champ. You can’t take that away from him. He was everything I wasn’t that night. He won. I can’t say (expletive) about that. I can only go back to the drawing board.”

Regardless of his feelings, Straus knows the scoreboard shows him down to Freire. The ultimate goal is to correct that with a fifth fight (and possibly more), but standing in the way is a tough up-and-comer in Sanchez. Straus praised his upcoming opponent but admitted “he’s not one of the best opponents I’ve fought.” He intends to prove his superiority at Bellator 184, and in his mind, that’s the first step toward regaining the belt.

“If I have to have 10 fights to get back to the belt, that’s fine with me,” Straus said. “I want to get back to that belt, I want to hold that belt, and I want to defend that belt. How many fights? I don’t know. That’s not my call. The only thing I can assure is the people they put in front of me, I’m going to put their ass out. I’m going to knock them down. That’s what my job is. A fifth fight with Patricio will happen.”

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 184 pre-event facts: Eduardo Dantas can take lead in championship-fight wins

Bellator returns to one of its familiar locations on Friday with Bellator 184, which takes place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., with a Spike-televised main card.

A bantamweight title fight headlines the four-bout card. Reigning champion Eduardo Dantas (20-4 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) attempts to defend his title for a second straight time when he meets challenger Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA), who competes in his first Bellator title bout.

For more on the numbers behind the 135-pound title fight, as well as the other bouts scheduled for the main card, check out 20 pre-event facts about Bellator 184.

* * * *

Main event

Dantas competes in his 12th Bellator bantamweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Joe Warren (13).

Dantas’ 10 victories in Bellator bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dantas’ four-fight Bellator winning streak in bantamweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Dantas competes in his seventh Bellator title fight, tied with Pat Curran for the second most in company history behind fellow ex-champ Michael Chandler (nine).

Dantas’ five championship-fight victories in Bellator competition are tied with Chandler and former longtime titleholder Ben Askren for most in company history.

Dantas is one of six fighters in Bellator history to become a two-time champion in a single weight class.

Dantas has earned his past four victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a stoppage.

Darrion Caldwell

Caldwell returns to competition for the first time since Dec. 3, 2016. The 307-day layoff is the longest of his more than five-year career.

Caldwell is 4-1 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in May 2015.

Caldwell has earned all four of his Bellator stoppage victories by submission.

Co-main event

Daniel Straus (24-7 MMA, 11-4 BMMA) is one of six fighters in Bellator history to become a two-time champion in a single weight class.

Straus competes in his 15th Bellator featherweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Patricio Freire (17).

Straus’ 10 victories in Bellator featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Freire (14).

Straus has suffered six of his seven career losses by stoppage.

Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3 MMA, 7-2 BMMA) has earned nine of his 15 career victories by decision. That includes six of his seven Bellator wins.

Remaining main card

Pat Curran (22-7 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) returns to competition for the first time since May 20, 2016. The 504-day layoff is the longest of his more than nine-year career.

Curran is 11-3 since he dropped to the Bellator featherweight division in June 2011.

Curran’s nine victories in Bellator featherweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Freire (14) and Straus (10).

Curran has suffered six of his seven career losses by decisions. That includes all four of his Bellator defeats.

John Teixeira

John Teixeira (21-2-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) has earned all four of his Bellator victories by decision. Three of those wins came by split decision.

Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) is 4-2 since he dropped to the Bellator bantamweight division in April 2014.

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 184 set for Oct. 6 with champ Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell, Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Straus

Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas (20-4 MMA, 10-1 BMMA) will look for the third consecutive defense of his title later this year when he meets Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA).

Bellator officials today announced the bout will headline an Oct. 6 event, expected to serve as Bellator 184, at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.

Dantas currently sits at No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, while Caldwell checks in at No. 15.

Additionally, featherweight Emmanuel Sanchez meets former champ Daniel Straus in a featherweight affair.

Dantas enters the fight on a four-fight win streak that includes decision wins over Leandro Higo, Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao and Mike Richman. He now meets Caldwell, who in July suffered the lone loss to date of his professional career to Joe Taimanglo but in December avenged that result.

For more on Bellator 184, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie