Dantas stopped Makovsky in the second round to claim the Bellator Bantamweight Championship.
Bantamweight Championship Switches Hands at Bellator 65
Bellator Fighting Championships returned to the Garden State on Friday, April 13th, with Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City serving as the host venue. The night was full of some good fights, and the main event featured the Bellator Bantamweight Title when champion Zach Makovsky locked up with Season 5 Tournament winner Eduardo Dantas.
Zach Makovsky (14-3) vs. Eduardo Dantas (14-2)
Makovsky came into this fight as the defending Bellator Bantamweight Champion, but he was facing a slick BJJ artist in Dantas, who had won the Season 5 Tournament to earn a crack at the title. The native Brazilian was doing some damage in the opening frame with a series of kicks that stumbled Makovsky, and he achieved a takedown of his opponent about two minutes into the frame. However, Makovsky was able to reverse into top control, but Dantas appeared to be very comfortable on his back. He continued to show some good BJJ on the canvas, but the defending champion displayed some good countering defense of that discipline.
In the second round of this title fight, Dantas was able to work his opposition back to the floor and then kept it there. He was dictating how the action went down while on the canvas, maintaining control until he was able to lock in an arm triangle choke of Makovsky that quickly had the titleholder fading. Refusing to tap, Makovsky soon went unconscious and became limp, and that is when the referee in charge stepped in to end the bout, making Dantas the new Bellator Bantamweight Champion.
“Eduardo Dantas put on a completely dominate performance against one of the best bantamweights in the world in Zach Makovsky, and was nothing short of amazing,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said at the post-fight press conference. “As an organization, we’re incredibly lucky to have one of the best bantamweights in the world as our champion.”
Ed West (17-7) vs. Marcos Galvao (11-5-1)
In this Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinal, these two combatants put on a show mixed with some ground work and stand-up competition. Galvao looked to get the action to the floor as often as he could, but West appeared fairly comfortable when he was on the canvas and did a nice job of working himself back to his feet. Both fighters shared mutual respect for one another, and they made it entertaining when they exchanged from the stand-up position. However, Galvao appeared to maintain the majority of the control throughout the three rounds, and he punched his ticket into the semifinals after the judges rewarded him with flush 30-27s on the cards.
Alexis Vila (11-2) vs. Luiz Nogueira (13-2)
A former Olympic Wrestling Bronze Medalist for Cuba, Vila was never really able to apply his wrestling pedigree in this contest. The majority of this encounter occurred on the feet, and both fighters showed extreme caution while not taking many chances. The Atlantic City crowd was not feeling this approach, and they started to really let the two combatants hear it. The slow paced action persisted over the three frames, and Nogueira eventually advanced to the Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals when the three judges saw it 29-28 in his favor.
Mike Corey (12-3) vs. Daniel Straus (19-4)
With a trip to the Season 6 Featherweight Tournament Finals riding on the outcome of this match, both fighters put on an outstanding performance. From the onset of the opening bell, they were banging early and often, and they gave a striking demonstration throughout the entire three rounds of competition. Straus opened up the nose of Corey in the second frame, also placing some significant damage to his right eye, but still Corey came forward and engaged. With that eye starting to close, Straus began to find more openings, and he capitalized on those opportunities. When the third round of this entertaining scrap concluded, Straus emerged victorious with counts of 30-27 and 29-28 twice in his favor.
Bellator 65 Post-Presser (Video)
- EJ Brooks (6-0) defeated Mikhail Malyutin (11-10) | Unanimous Decision
- Lyman Good (12-2) defeated LeVon Maynard (12-9) | 1st Round Knockout
- Kris McCray (8-3) defeated Ailton Barbosa (10-4) | Split Decision
- Scott Heckman (10-3) defeated Lester Caslow (7-6) | 1st Round Submission via Rear Naked Choke
- Duane Bastress (5-1) defeated Plinio Cruz (5-5) | 2nd Round Knockout
- Will Martinez (4-2) defeated Terrell Hobbs (2-5) | 1st Round Submission via Rear Naked Choke
- Kenny Foster (10-6) defeated Jay Haas (10-9) | 1st Round Submission via Guillotine Choke