Eduardo Dantas made a successful trip to Hungary, Budapest, defeating Leandro Higo in the main event at Bellator 177 on Friday.
Dantas, the Bellator bantamweight champion, remained largely in control of the non-title fight, and came away with a split decision and scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 28-29.
The quicker of the two 135-pound fighters was Dantas, who avoided danger for most of the three-round affair. Higo, who came into the fight as a late replacement to an injured Darrion Caldwell, had his moments, but came up short in taking advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves, even though they were few in number.
Higo came into the fight as the former LFC and RFA champion. He missed weight for the bout, which led to it being a non-title fight and one that Dantas said gave him little to gain.
“It was tough to stay motivated for this fight once he missed weight. There was nothing to gain whether I beat him fast or slow. It wasn’t for the belt, it wasn’t going to change my ranking in Bellator,” Dantas said. “When Caldwell got injured, I asked Scott Coker to bring in tough bantamweights and they brought in a tough fighter, but you have to make weight. I train hard for several months, I don’t go out, I train. It’s the very minimum you can do. You have to make weight. Be a professional. I don’t think Caldwell is injured. I think he just doesn’t want to fight out of America. I am looking forward to getting my hands on him.”
With the win, Dantas improves to 20-4, while Higo drops to 17-3.
Other winners on the Bellator 177 card included Daniel Weichel, Lena Ovchynnikova, Adam Borics, Brian Moore and Mate Kertesz.