Bellator 128 Play: Eduardo Dantas (-535) vs Joe Warren (+385)

Eduardo DantasBellator 128 Date: October 10, 2014 Arena: WinStar World Casino and Resort City: Thackerville, OK Bantamweight bout: Eduardo Dantas (-535) vs Joe Warren (+385) Fight Breakdown: Headlining the Bellator 128 main card will be a five round match-up that will unify the Bellator bantamweight titles, when champion Eduardo Dantas takes on interim champ Joe Warren. Dantas is the heavy favorite heading into this main event scrap at -535 ($535 to win $100), with the return on the underdog Warren being +385 ($100 to win $385) at Several Bookmakerss. Eduardo Dantas (16-3 MMA, 6-0 Bellator) is one of the best bantamweights outside of the UFC and is currently undefeated under the Bellator banner, though he did suffer a first round knockout at the hands of Tyson Nam on the Brazilian regional circuit back in 2012, while he was still the Bellator bantamweight champion. Since the loss, he has bounced back with two wins inside the Bellator cage, coming against Marcos Galvao and Anthony Leone, respectively. Dantas finished both opponents in impressive fashion. The 25-year old is a very talented mixed martial artist, all around. He excels in every aspect of the sport and is easily capable of putting opponents away both on the feet and on the mat, owning six career wins by submission and four by knockout. The Brazillian possesses excellent boxing and Muay Thai, and a phenomenal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game to compliment it. Training out of Nova Uniao in his native Brazil, I think he will be ready for a full five rounds against Warren, though it is a bit of a question mark, considering the fact that he has not even seen a third round in nearly three years. Joe Warren (11-3 MMA, 9-2 Bellator) is currently enjoying a four-fight winning streak with wins over Owen Evinger, Nick Kirk, Travis Marx and Rafael Silva, respectively. On Friday night, he will be taking on arguably his toughest test at 135 pounds in Eduardo Dantas. He’s sharpened up his striking and seems very re-energized, as if he’s has some newfound confidence in his game. The 11-time Bellator veteran is a very talented Greco-Roman wrestler who loves the double leg takedown, and has not tried to make that a secret. He has the ability to take opponents down whenever he pleases. His chin has been an issue in the past, but it has held up many other times, so it is a bit of a question mark heading into this bout against the accurate Brazilian striker. The NCAA Division I wrestler’s offensive striking is not great, but it has been improving. His favorite weapon is his overhand right, and he always looks for it. Warren has good conditioning and should be in shape for a 25 minute fight against Dantas, should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabe’s Thoughts: I see multiple potential outcomes to this match-up which I feel all have a realistic possibility of occurring. Warren getting his hand raised is certainly a realistic scenario here, and I could see it happening either by decision or knockout. If a counter hook by Tyson Nam put Dantas out cold, I can’t count out Warren’s heavy overhand right, which it’s no secret that he will be looking for it, as nothing would make him happier to secure a victory in that fashion. That said, I don’t expect him to stay on the feet for long. I think he will be using his hands to set up his takedowns, which I think he will have some success with. To conclude, I think Dantas is the superior mixed martial artist heading into this match-up, but at the current betting line of -535, I feel he is being overvalued, as I think Warren has a legitimate chance at taking home the unified Bellator bantamweight gold. At the current underdog price of +385, I have to side with the NCAA Division I wrestler for the value play. Gabe’s Call: Dantas by KO (flying knee, 0:11 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Joe Warren (+385) 1.3u to win 5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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Bellator 128 Fight Breakdown: Eduardo Dantas vs. Joe Warren