BELLATOR 184 LIVE REPORT
OCTOBER 6, 2017
THACKERVILLE, OKLAHOMA AT THE WINSTAR WORLD CASINO AND RESORT
ON BELLATOR.COM AND SPIKE TV
Keep it locked here all evening for live updates of Bellator 184. My name is Michael Grocke and I’ll have live round by round coverage of the main card.
Be sure to check out the MMA Talk for Pro Wrestling Fans podcast where I host every Monday at 6PM CT at pwtorchlivecast.com. You can also read my columns right here at MMATorch and for you sports bettors check out my website thefightingchampion.com. Follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.
Bellator MMA makes its way back to the Winstar Casino in Thakkerville, Oklahoma for Bellator 184. The main event features bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas as he puts his title on the line against Darrion Caldwell in what should be an excellent fight.
The co-main event pits former Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus against fast rising Emmanuel Sanchez. This will be the first time Straus steps back in the Bellator cage since dropping his title in first defense to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
The main card rounds out with an intriguing match-up when John “Macapa” Teixeira takes on Pat Curran and in the bantamweight division Leandro Higo faces Joe Taimanglo.
(1) Leandro Higo (17-3) vs. Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Taimanglo comes out and shoots right in and Higo blocks the takedown attempt. They clinch against the cage and fight for position a minute into the fight. A few foot stomps for Taimanglo. They finally separate with 3:04 left on the clock and they stand at center cage. The action is slow until Higo lands a nice straight left with 2:35 to go. Taimanglo picks up the pace and gets inside and takes Higo to the canvas at the 2:23 mark. Higo gets back to his feet instantly and they clinch against the cage. They break with 1:52 left. A big short right hand lands flush for Higo and he follows it up with a take down. With a minute to go Higo works from top position. Taimanglo gets back to his feet without taking any serious damage and they stand with ten seconds left.
ROUND TWO: Taimanglo lands a short elbow on the feet to start the round. Higo stands at center cage and they clinch. Taimanglo pushes off but Higo is on him and just misses a running knee. They clinch again. With 3:41 to go they break. Taimanglo holds his hands low as both fighters look for an opening. A nice right hook lands for Joe with just over three minutes left in the round. Higo starts to up the pressure and is having success with strikes on the feet with 2:54 to go. Higo stuffs a take down attempt and they stand at center cage. Big right hand lands for Higo and they clinch with two minutes to go. They break with 1:48 left. Higo lands a heavy leg kick. Higo lands two counter right hands and follows up with a take down with a minute to go in the round. Joe works back to his feet with thirty seconds left and they stand at center cage with ten seconds left. Joe shoots but is stuffed as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: The third round starts with both fighters hesitant to engage. Both guys try to land strikes from the outside and keep missing. Taimanglo attempts to close distance and Higo clinches. Joe pushes off and they reset at center cage with 3:45 to go. Higo lands a stiff combination. Another big right hand lands for Higo with 3:15 left. Higois the much busier fighter in the final round. Higo goes low with a kick with two minutes left but Joe says he’s fine. They trade strikes as Joe tries to up the pressure and volume. Joe runs Higo to the fence and takes his back with just over a minute to go. Higo maintains wrist control and is able to break away with thirty seconds left. Taimanglo goes for a take down but Higo catches him in a guillotine. Taimanglo fights it for the final twenty seconds and survives until the horn sounds.
Result: Leandro Higo over Joe Taimanglo by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Grocke’s POV: Not a ton of action in the opener. I didn’t particularly think either guy looked all that good. Once Taimanglo realized he wasn’t going to be able to get the fight to the ground, he was in trouble. Higo was the much better striker and he almost got the finish. Had the fight lasted 5-10 seconds longer he would have got the sub.
(2) John Teixeira (21-2-2) vs. Pat Curran (22-7) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Macapa takes center cage and they trade punches and kick with neither gaining an advantage. Macapa is the aggressor early as he follows Curran around the cage. Curran misses with a head kick and eats an uppercut from Macapa. Curran isn’t throwing much here and is getting out-volumed big time by Macapa. Curran lands a big right hand over the top that drops Macapa to one knee but the Brazilian is back to two feet instantly. Macapa tries to cut the cage off and pressure Curran but he gets tagged with another big right hand that stuns him momentarily. They stand at center cage with two minutes to go in the round. Macapa lands two leg kicks. Curran blocks a head kick. Curran lands a nice jab and circles out. They trade right hands with Curran getting the better of the exchange. Curran begins to apply pressure and lands a nice combination as Macapa back peddles away with thirty seconds left. Macapa lands a heavy leg kick but takes a right hand. The round ends with both guys at center cage.
ROUND TWO: Macapa comes out and tries for a head kick that is blocked. Curran comes back and lands a combo. Macapa fakes the hands and shoots in and gets a take down with just over four minutes to go. Curran gets back to hsi feet quickly and they clinch against the cage. They break with 3:35 to go. Macapa touches Curran with two left hooks. Macapa with a heavy leg kick and Curran is warned to close his fist. Macapa goes back to leg kicks and lands two. Heavy dose of kicks from Macapa and is out-voluming Curran here. Curran shoots in and lands a take down with forty seconds to go in the round. Macapa gets right back up and they stand at center cage and throw hands as the round ends.
ROUND THREE: Curran comes out and lands a big left hook. He shoots in and goes to take Macapa’s back and gets the take down. Macapa works back to his feet but is taken back down with 3:38 to go. Macapa scrambles and gets back to his feet but Curran stays on him. Finally with 2:43 left Macapa gets back to his feet and they reset at center cage. Both guys trade punches, neither doinf much damage. Macapa lands a heavy kick and Curran comes back with one of his own. Curran shoots but can’t finish the take down. With just over a minute to go they stand at center cage and trade punches. Nice kick to the body from Curran with twenty four seconds to go. The fight ends with Macapa landing another leg kick.
Result: Pat Curran over John “Macapa” Teixeira by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Grocke’s POV: Pat Curran got off to a slow start but he definitely got warmed up as the fight went on. He landed the bigger and heavier punches throughout the fight. He also had huge success in the later rounds by taking the fight to the ground. Macapa had success with leg kicks but he was no match for the wrestling of Curran. This was a good performance from Curran after being away from the cage for so long.
(3) Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3) vs. Daniel Straus (23-7) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
ROUND ONE: Both guys come out firing strikes and kicks. Straus gets an early take down and as he tries to better his position Sanchez grabs a leg and looks for a knee bar with 3:36 to go. Straus fights it and is able to get on top and has top control. Straus transitions to North-South and looks for D’Arce Choke with 2:15 left in the round. Straus gives up on it and goes to landing ground and pound. Heavy ground and pound from Straus here. Sanchez uses the cage and flips Straus over and now somehow takes Straus’ back with just over a minute to go. Sanchez has a body triangle locked on and he’s looking for a rear naked choke with a minute to go. Sanchez tries to soften Straus up while maintaining a body triangle. Sanchez rides Straus’ back and lands strikes to the side of Straus’ head as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Straus shoots in but Sanchez is able to block it and looks to take the back. Straus gets out and reverses position and is now working from top control with 3:45 to go. Sanchez is able to scramble out and he now has top position with three minutes left. Sanchez works his ground and pound and applies heavy top pressure. He transitions to full mount. He postures up and lands big punches and elbows. Straus is taking some punishment here. More ground and pound with a minute to go. Straus covers up as Sanchez is landing heavy elbows. Somehow the ref doesn’t stop it and Straus survives the round.
ROUND THREE: Both guys come out for the third round firing. Straus shoots in and gets a take down forty seconds into the round. Straus tries to get top control but gets caught in a triangle. Sanchez lands some elbows and has the triangle in with 3:20 left to go. Straus might be in trouble here. Straus taps but the ref is in a bad spot as Sanchez is saying he’s tapping. Sanchez lets go of the hold and Straus falls backwards as the ref waves the fight off.
Result: Emmanuel Sanchez over Daniel Straus by Submission – Triangle Choke (1:56 of Round 3)
Grocke’s POV: That was incredible. The performance of Sanchez’s career, give this man a title shot. He completely dominated the last two rounds. This is a tough loss for Straus and I don’t know where he goes from here.
(4) Darrion Caldwell (10-1) vs. Eduardo Dantas (20-4) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.
ROUND ONE: They both go for kicks and Caldwell catches Dantas’ and runs him to the fence and gets a take down. Dantas is up quickly and they clinch against the cage. With just under four minutes to go Caldwell lifts Dantas and slams him down all while still maintaining control. Back to the clinch against the fence. They continnue to work for position at the three minute mark. Herzog finally separates the two with 1:13 left to go in the round. They reset at center. Dantas takes center cage. Caldwell lands a left hook followed by a kick. He lands with a combo. Dantas trying to establish leg kicks unsuccessfully as the round ends.
ROUND TWO: Dantas takes center cage for the second round. He looks to be more aggressive to start this round. Forty seconds in Caldwell gets a single leg and takes Dantas down. Dantas is up quickly but Caldwell has his back against the fence. Dantas breaks free with 3:46 to go. Caldwell lands a glancing head kick. Dantas begins working leg kicks. Caldwell goes back to the head kick. Nice duck under by Caldwell. The fight continues on the feet with 2:30 left in the round. Nice kick to the body from Danntas. Caldwell is mixing things up nicely and gets another take down. Dantas pops right back up and as they break Caldwell lands a big left elbow that hurts Dantas. Dantas goes down with 1:25 to go and Caldwell looks to capitalize but Dantas recovers with 1:15 left. Dantas gets inside and lands a nice uppercut with forty five seconds to go in the round. Dantas tags Caldwell with a spinning back fist as Calldwell no sells it. Caldwell follows up with a combo and a kick to the body.
ROUND THREE: Dantas comes out looking to apply pressure. A straight left lands for Caldwell. They clinch against the fence. Caldwell goes for a single against the cage but Dantas circles off the fence and they separate with 3:18 to go. Caldwell goes for a head kick and slips but as Dantas is coming in Caldwell is able to slip underneath him take the back. Caldwell runs Dantas to the fence where they clinch at the 3:10 mark. Caldwell continues to apply pressure against the fence. Caldwell goes for a single as the ref slaps Dantas’ hand from grabbing the cage. They continue to clinch against the fence with 2:15 left in the round. Dantas is finally able to get off the cage with 1:47 to go. Heavy kick to the ribs from Caldwell. Dantas pushes the pace. Caldwell goes for a take down but Dantas spins away and is able to get top control. Caldwell looks to be fading as Dantas transitions to side control. The round ends with Dantas laying on Caldwell.
10-9 Caldwell, but could go either way
ROUND FOUR: Caldwell shoots in and lands a take down a minute into the round. Dantas is to his feet quickly and they clinch against the cage. They both reverse each other and Dantas ends up taking Caldwell’s back. He locks on a body triangle and goes for a rear naked choke with 2:44 left in the round. Caldwell turns into Dantas and ends up in top control. Caldwell lands big elbows from on top. Dantas goes for a Kimura but Caldwell takes the back. Dantas is cut from a Caldwell elbow. They clinch against the cage with under a minute left. Dantas goes for another Kimura but Caldwell slips out. They separate with under ten seconds to go and Dantas tries to take Caldwell’s back while standing as the round ends.
ROUND FIVE: Caldwell opens with a heavy leg kick. Another leg kick from Caldwell. The action slows here. Finally Caldwell lands a big knee with 3:38 left to go. Caldwell with another leg kick and he follows with a left hand. Surprisingly Dantas isn’t fighting with much urgency. Caldwell looks good here stamina wise. Caldwell doing the smart thing not engaging. Dantas lands a spinning back fist and Caldwell goes for a take down with 1:53 to go. Caldwell has Dantas pinned against the fence. Caldwell tries to pull Dantas down but he can’t finish and Dantas ends up on top. Caldwell gets back to his feet and they separate with fifty three seconds to go in the fight. Nice head kick from Dantas. Caldwell circles away as the seconds tick away. Dantas lands a right hand and Caldwell sshoots in but Dantas sprawls and spins to take the back with fifteen seconds. He looks for a rear naked as the fight ends.
Result: Darrion Caldwell over Eduardo Dantas by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 50-45)
Grocke’s POV: I didn’t have the fight as close as two of the judges, but they all got it right. Caldwell fought an excellent fight and deserves the belt. Dantas will be back though and I can see these two playing it back sooner rather than later.
Thanks for joining me tonight. I’ll be right back here tomorrow night for UFC 216 so please make plans to keep here all night long. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FightChampBlog.