Bellator 184 served as a changing of the guard as Darrion Caldwell took the bantamweight title from two-time champion Eduardo Dantas while Emmanuel Sanchez defeated two-time featherweight champion Daniel Straus. Bellator 184 took place October 6th at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK with an undercard webstreamed at Spike.com, main card broadcast on Spike TV.
Darrion Caldwell kept pushing the pace in his first five-round fight as he used unorthodox striking to close the distance and a variety of takedowns against Eduardo Dantas. Caldwell set up many of his takedowns by pinning the defending bantamweight champion against the cage with Dantas on multiple occasions warned for holding the fence to stay on his feet. Dantas came back in the second half of the fight taking Caldwell’s back in round 4 and 5 but was unable to put away the Alliance MMA standout before the final bell. In the end two judges saw the fight 48-47 while one judge surprisingly scored the fight 50-45 all for Caldwell. The new champion now holds a record of 11-1 with his sole loss being to Joe Taimanglo who he defeated in a rematch, the old champion fell to 20-5 with his four-win streak over.
Emmanuel Sanchez pushed the pace against Daniel Straus in the co-main event until submitting the two-time champion in the third round. Sanchez had an edge with moving through scrambles into submission attempts including a kneebar attempt in the first round while his mounted striking in the second almost ended the fight. Straus opened a cut on Sanchez’ face in the first round and took him down in the third but the takedown is what led to the triangle choke submission for Sanchez. With the win improved to 16-3 with three wins in a row, his only loss in two years or seven fights being to Daniel Weichel by split decision in July 2016. Straus took his second loss in a row with this bout being his first since losing the featherweight title to Patricio Freire in April.
Technically the next Bellator show is October 13th, another “race night” card with Omar Johnson vs. Jonathan Pearce headlining. The next “real” Bellator show is October 20th where UFC vet Gegard Mousasi makes his Bellator debut against former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko.
Bellator 184 results
- Kendall Carnahan def. Daniel Carey by unanimous decision
- Westin Wilson def. L.J. Hermeck 0:55 R2 by rear-naked choke
- Teagan Dooley def. DeMarcus Simmons 2:12 R2 by Americana
- Chance Rencountre def. Justin Patterson 2:58 R1 by D’Arce choke
- Carrington Banks def. Steve Kozola by unanimous decision
- Sean Holden def. Shakir McKillip 4:39 R2 by TKO
- Manny Muro def. Emmanuel Rivera by unanimous decision
- Leandro Higo def. Joe Taimanglo by unanimous decision
- Pat Curran def. John Teixeira by unanimous decision
- Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus 1:56 R3 by triangle choke
- BW title: Darrion Caldwell def. Eduardo Dantas by unanimous decision