Bellator returned to Thackerville, Oklahoma for another card. The evening featured the bantamweight title fight between Eduardo Dantas and Darrion Caldwell. A fight that was long in the making. The card also featured former featherweight champions, Daniel Straus and Pat Curren in separate matches.
Eduardo Dantas vs Darrion Caldwell
Eduardo Dantas and Darrion Caldwell locked horns in the main event.
Caldwell displayed his NCAA Division 1 national championship wrestling skills in the first round. After catching Dantas off balanced, Caldwell was able to lock his hands around Dantas and back suplex him. The remainder of most of the round was Dantas attempting to break Caldwell’s grip around his waist in a slow round.
Caldwell was able to secure a quick snatch single to get another takedown to start the second round. Dantas was able to get to his feet and attempted to be the aggressor, but Caldwell hit him with a clean elbow.
Dantas finally started to show life in the fight. He was able to get get the mount position after a scramble, Caldwell got a takedown to start the fourth round, but Dantas was able to scramble and get back control on Caldwell. The wrestling champion had to fight off a rear-naked choke from the bantamweight champion. He was able to reverse the top control and lock his arms around Dantas hips again to squeak out the round.
In the final round, Dantas immediately took the center of the cage. It appeared that he did not know that he was likely losing on the scorecards. Dantas and Caldwell spent most of the round being extremely cautious. Once Dantas decided to pressure, Caldwell was able to secure a takedown off a missed spinning back fist from Dantas. The fight ended with both fighters stalling the clock.
The fight was a low output fight, which Caldwell won by decision. Darrion Caldwell beat Eduardo Dantas by unanimous decision. He wins the bantamweight title.
Daniel Straus and Emmanuel Sanchez
Former featherweight champion, Daniel Straus met Emmanuel Sanchez in the co-main event of the evening. The fight was a back and forth grappling exchange in the first round. After Straus landed a takedown, Sanchez locked in a painful to watch kneebar. After a struggle, Straus escaped and almost locked in a kimura.
After the first round, Sanchez began to dominate. He reversed a takedown from Straus and go to the mount position. He unloaded big elbows and hammerfists on Straus, who was saved by the bell. Straus was able to get another takedown in the third round, but Sanchez locked in a deep triangle choke. Straus was unable to escape this time and tapped out. Emmanuel Sanchez beats Daniel Straus by 3rd round submission.
Pat Curren and John Texeira
Veterans Pat Curran and John “Macapa” Texeira squared off in a featherweight clash. Texeira was the aggressor in the fight, but Curren was able to counter his attacks with perfect shots. He missed in a few takedowns to secure the victory. Pat Curren beats John Teixeira by unanimous decision.
Leandro Higo vs Joe Taimanglo
Leandro Higo and Joe Taimanglo kicked off the main card. Higo was looking to rebound from a loss against Eduardo Dantas in his Bellator debut. He outpointed Taimanglo in a high paced fight. He was able to display fast hands and some nice leg kicks. He also finished the third round by locking a tight guillotine choke on Taimanglo. Leandro Higo beats Joe Taimanglo by unanimous decision