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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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.

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Source: MMA Junkie

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

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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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Bellator 184 results: Darrion Caldwell takes bantamweight title with domination of Eduardo Dantas

Darrion Caldwell had a gameplan and he stuck to it.

The result was an unanimous call for Caldwell (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) over champion Eduardo Dantas (20-5 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) – and a brand new belt to show for his efforts.

The bantamweight tile bout headlined Friday’s Bellator 184, which took place at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. It aired on Spike, along with the rest of the main card, following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Caldwell, who’d most recently avenged his sole career loss by beating Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 167, wrestled his way to his career’s biggest win yet. While Dantas did a good job at defending relentless takedown attempts – granted, with the occasional help from the fence – the time spent trying to escape the challenger’s grip meant lack of offense of his own.

The result was a five-round contest in which neither fighter gave up – but that could certainly have used more urgency by Dantas in the fifth.

It took 30 seconds of feeling out before Caldwell used a failed high kick by Dantas to pounce with a takedown attempt. Dantas was pushed against the cage and resisted for a bit, but soon had his legs flying in the air due to a beautiful suplex. Dantas got back up quickly, but Caldwell wouldn’t alleviate the pressure. With the bout seemingly deadlocked against the cage after a few minutes, the ref intervened. Back to the center of the cage, Caldwell landed some good left hooks before the round ended.

Dantas’ aggression to kick off the second round backfired when Caldwell was once more able to grab him. The fence work, however, didn’t last long this time. With the action back on the feet, Dantas kept on chasing Caldwell against the cage, while the challenger used his left hand and occasional kicks to keep the distance. While Dantas was the one pushing the action, he wasn’t landing anything significant. In the final minute-and-a-half, Caldwell rushed for a takedown, which Dantas stuffed. As they broke up, though, Caldwell landed a good elbow. The champ ate it and paid it back a few seconds later – this time, with a spinning backfist.

A spinning back kick to the body spelled a good moment for Dantas early in the third, but soon he saw himself fighting off Caldwell’s takedown attempts again. Pressed against the cage, Dantas, once more, refused to acquiesce. But, on-point takedown defense aside, the champ’s offense was continuously annulled. Eventually, though, the champ managed to get the action back where he wanted. As Caldwell’s exhaustion became apparent, Dantas capitalized: As the end of the third round approached, the champ was the one applying the pressure on the ground. But the round was over the second that Dantas got the mount.

After some tentative exchanges, Caldwell managed to land a takedown in the fourth – but Dantas, again, popped right back up. The two were once more against the cage. This time, though Dantas wasn’t merely defending takedowns, finding some ground offense of his own. Dantas managed to wrap Caldwell on body triangles twice, but, despite angling for it, he was never able to secure the challenger’s neck. Caldwell not only escaped, but was soon landing elbows from inside the champ’s guard. Dantas, now bloodied above his eye, fought his way back up and, once more, saw himself resisting Caldwell’s takedowns against the fence.

Two minutes into the fifth round, not much was happening. While one could see why Caldwell, probably aware it was his fight to lose, wasn’t too interested in engaging, Dantas’ lack of urgency was somewhat surprising. While the champ landed a few strikes and exerted some control over Caldwell in the ground, ending the bout wrapped around the challenger’s back, he ran out of time to find the title-saving finish.

Scorecards of 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45 declared 29-year-old Caldwell Bellator’s new bantamweight champion. Dantas, who was defending the belt for a second time since reclaiming it from Marcos Galvao at Bellator 156 in June 2016, suffered his first setback in three years.

Bellator 184 results:

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

  • Darrion Caldwell def. Eduardo Dantas via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45) – to win 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: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Darrion Caldwell's title-winning victory over Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184

Darrion Caldwell continued his takeover of the Bellator bantamweight division on Friday when he dethroned Eduardo Dantas of the championship belt in the Bellator 184 headliner.

Caldwell (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) further lived up to his claim as a fighter with great potential when he ended Dantas’ (20-5 MMMA, 10-2 BMMA) reign as 135-pound champion with a unanimous-decision win in the Spike-televised main event at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla.

Check out the top Twitter reactions Caldwell’s title-winning victory over Dantas at Bellator 184.

* * * *

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

Filed under: Bellator, 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 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 champ Eduardo Dantas says he's close to being best-ever bantamweight

In Eduardo Dantas’ mind, he’s unblemished in the Bellator cage.

So when he fights Darrion Caldwell (10-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) next month, he’s not just trying to extend his unbeaten streak, but cement his legacy.

“I’m nearing my goal – to be the best bantamweight in history,” Dantas (20-4 MMA 10-1 BMMA) told MMAjunkie in advance of his Spike-televised headliner against Caldwell at Bellator 184, which takes place Oct. 6 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. “I’ll chop down whoever is standing in front of me.”

“I only lost once in Bellator, and I got payback. So I’m not really 10-1. Since I returned the favor, I feel undefeated.”

Feeling and being are two different things, of course. There’s no getting around the fact that Dantas did lose in the Bellator cage to ex-champ Joe Warren in 2014, though he did avenge the setback this past December.

Then there was a highly publicized knockout loss to Tyson Nam at a 2012 Shooto Brazil event. Nam leveraged his fame into a deal with the WSOF, only to hit a four-fight slide.

Dantas’ most recent outing, which was reclassified as a non-title bout when LFA champ Leandro Higo missed weight, ended in a razor-thin split decision.

The champ, however, doesn’t count his setback to Warren as a true defeat, and he dismisses the other fights. Now in his second title reign, the 28-year-old Dantas, who’s No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, is looking at the next few years of his career as a victory tour.

“Whoever is on my way during my climb, I’ll beat them all,” he said. “I see myself as the best bantamweight in the world. I just need to beat all the top guys to prove it.

“I want for Bellator to hire them all, so everyone can see that I’m the best of the best.”

Dantas will need Bellator if he wants his accomplishment to be recognized in the eyes of the MMA world. The promotion’s 135-pound division isn’t as robust as the heavier divisions, though the recent acquisition of No. 13-ranked Michael McDonald is a step in the right direction.

As with most weight classes, the UFC holds the majority of top-ranked fighters, so it will be difficult for Dantas to face the kind of world-class competition he wants on a regular basis.

Still, No. 15-ranked Caldwell is a solid challenge. After slowly creeping into the rankings, he’s 11 months removed from avenging his only professional loss, to journeyman Joe Taimanglo. A title shot against Dantas at Bellator 177 was postponed when he suffered an undisclosed injury.

The re-booked fight is still risky for Dantas. Beat Caldwell, and he’s unlikely to move up the rankings. Lose, and his fall will be precipitous.

“Is he dangerous? Yes,” Dantas said. “But there’s nothing special about him. He has good wrestling, but I’m better than him in every way – on the feet, on the ground, or when defending takedowns.

“Wherever the fight goes, he’ll be scared. I’ll chew him up. I saw fear in his eyes. He’ll feel the champion’s axe. He awakens my most primitive instincts.”

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