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Bellator MMA weekend results: Eduardo Dantas retains; Darrion Caldwell gets revenge

Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA took the unusual strategy of running two straight nights in Thackerville, OK, on Spike TV this weekend, a new experiment for the company that was focused mainly on their bantamweight division.

Night One --

Friday's Bellator 166 featured a main event of Eduardo Dantas defending his 135-pound title against perrenial contender and two-division champion Joe Warren in a rematch of their October 2014 clash that Warren won. The age difference (40 to Dantas' 27) clearly showed as Dantas has gotten much better in the last two years, while Warren has basically just gotten older.

This was reminiscent of the Frankie Edgar-Urijah Faber fight from last year in Manilla. Warren, like Faber, was able to hang in there for five rounds but was never close to victory with the ultimate result seeming inevitable by the middle of the second round.

There was some controversy as Dantas very clearly won the first three rounds, but the fourth round was fairly close. (I scored it for Dantas, but scoring it for Warren wouldn't have been that out of line.) In the fifth, Dantas hit Warren with a low blow that was clearly accidental, but because Dantas was warned earlier in the bout for a similar infraction, the champ was docked a point. 

Judges' scores were 49-45 (same as mine), 48-46, and 47-47. If the second judge had given either round four or five to Warren, the fight would've been ruled a draw, which clearly would have been the wrong result. 

There wasn't much else of note on Friday as all four bouts went the distance with the favorite winning. Below are some quick results with play-by-play available here.

- Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas (19-4) won by majority decision over Joe Warren (14-6)

- AJ McKee (6-0) won by unanimous decision over Ray Wood (7-2) on scores of 29-27, 30-25 and 30-27. I scored it 30-26.

- Marcos Galvao (18-7-1) won a split decision over LC Davis (23-8) on scores of 28-29 and 29-28 x 2. I scored it 29-28 Davis, but round 3 was very close and could have gone either way. 

- Chris Honeycutt (8-1) won a unanimous decision over Ben Reiter (17-2-1) on scores of 30-26 and 30-25 x 2. I had it 30-26.

Night Two --

Saturday's Bellator 167 had the lowest amount of star power of any Bellator show since they moved to Spike TV, but it was the more entertaining show to watch. 

This show had lost several matches since originally being scheduled including two different main events (Patricky Pitbull vs. Derek Campos; former featherweight champion Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira) due to injuries.

When Curran went down, Teixeira was moved to a fight with former UFC featherweight Justin Lawrence with a rematch of a July fight between bantamweights Darrion Caldwell and Joe Taimanglo as the new main event. 

Caldwell has been heavily pushed as a future champion and was dominating the July matchup before walking into a guillotine early in the third round to suffer his first career loss. The idea here was that if Caldwell could avenge that loss, he'd get a title fight with Dantas.

Caldwell won the bout handily, but looked vulnerable at times. While it feels like he's a few fights away from a title shot, they did a post-fight staredown between Dantas and Caldwell which indicates the direction they're going in 2017.

The show opened in spectacular fashion as regional veteran Chidi Njokuani picked up his third straight win in Bellator and second straight KO by stopping previously unbeaten Andre Fialho in 21 seconds with a jab followed by some vicious ground and pound. He then cut an expletive-laden promo and basically called out the whole division. They seemed to be angling for a bout between he and MVP, Michael Venom Page. 

Here are the full results of the show with play by play here:

- Darrion Caldwell (10-1) won a unanimous decision over Joe Taimanglo on scores of 30-27 x 3. I had the same score.

- John Teixeira (21-1-2) won a unanimous decision over Justin Lawrence (9-4) on scores of 29-28 and 30-27 x 2. I had it 30-27.

- Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (5-0) won a unanimous decision over Emily Ducote (4-2) on scores of 30-27 and 29-28 x 2. I had it 29-28. Throughout the fight and in the post-fight interview, they alluded to a women's flyweight ttitle added with Macfarlane as the top contender. 

- Chidi Njokuani (17-4) KO'd Andre Fialho (8-1) in 21 seconds


There's one other non-Bellator/non-UFC fight from this weekend worth checking out if you have time.

Titan FC 42 aired on UFC Fight Pass and was more entertaining than either of the two Bellator shows and probably featured more well-known names to MMA hardcores including JZ Cavalcante, Dhiego Lima, Yosdenis Cedeno, Kurt Holobaugh and former Bellator featherweight title contender Des Green.

The Green fight vs. Martin Brown is worth checking out as if this fight happened on a bigger stage, it might be a huge story. Green pretty handily won the first two rounds. In the third, Brown, knowing he needed a finish, came on very strong and hurt Green bad. With about 1:30 left, Green basically stopped fighting. He was kind of blocking shots and defending himself but was not at all trying to fight back and when Brown would back off, Green couldn't even get to his feet. 

At the end of the round, Green went back to his corner and sat down. He then fell off his stool, basically collapsing. He had to be given oxygen for five minutes before he could even stand for the decision. Even at that, he had to be propped up by his cornermen. I thought it was a clear 10-8 third and really should've been stopped with a TKO win awarded to Brown. 

Only one judge gave a 10-8 third and Green won the fight by majority decision and couldn't even raise his hands in victory.