Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas just can’t seem to stay healthy. The latest, a head injury, has knocked Dantas out of Friday’s Bellator 118 card.
Instead of the belt being defended by Dantas against Joe Warren, Warren will now meet Rafael Silva for the interim title. The winner will than face Dantas when he is cleared.
Dantas stated that this is a “setback for me, but I am a fighter and have been a fighter since my childhood and I promise that I will be back stronger than ever.”
Warren, a former champion himself, will look to add the bantamweight belt to his collection that includes the Bellator featherweight title.
“It doesn’t matter which Brazilian they throw at me, I’m going to destroy who is ever across the cage from me,” Warren said. “It sucks Dantas got injured as I was focused on destroying him and taking his belt. But, now I’ll destroy Silva and Dantas can try to come and take my belt.”
Dantas is 21-3 and won a tournament to earn his shot at the belt. He is on a four-year, 13-fight win streak.
“I’m healthy, and I’m ready to fight,” Silva proclaimed. “I know Warren always likes to talk, but this fight isn’t going to be about talking, it’s going to be about who is the better fighter, and everyone is going to see who that is on May 2. I’ve always wanted to face Dantas, and now Joe Warren is in my way. I’ll take care of that shortly.”
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made a statement on the change, citing the promotions work to keep fighters healthy.
“We take head injuries very seriously, and when we were notified that Eduardo was dealing with a head injury, we immediately flew him from Brazil to California to be examined by some of the leading specialists in the field. We are hopeful Eduardo will be able to resume his career later this year, but in the interim we have two incredible tournament winners ready to challenge for the Bellator world title. Two of the best on the planet in Joe Warren and Rafael Silva will fight for the title and when Dantas is able to return, he will challenge the winner for the undisputed Bellator world title.”
Below is the current lineup:
MAIN CARD (Spike TV)
Bellator Interim Bantamweight Championship
Joe Warren vs. Rafael Silva
Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinal
Andrey Koreshkov vs. Sam Oropeza
Bantamweight: Marcos Galvao vs. Thomas Vasquez
Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round
Liam McGeary vs. Mike Mucitelli
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Welterweight: Gemiyale Adkins vs. Dante Rivera
Welterweight: Jesus Martinez vs. Ryan Contaldi
Middleweight: Tim Woods vs. Eugene Fadiora
Featherweight: Joe Pingitore vs. Darrion Caldwell
Featherweight: Jay Haas vs. Lester Caslow
Catch-weight: Julian Lane vs. Anthony Morrison
Lightweight: Mike Bannon vs. Sidney Outlaw
Featherweight: Amran Aliyev vs. Kevin Roddy