Newport Beach, Calif. (April 26, 2014) - Reigning Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a head injury in training. Originally scheduled to face Joe Warren on Friday, May 2nd, the Brazilian phenom will be replaced by 21-3 Bellator Bantamweight Tournament winner Rafael Silva, as he battles "The Baddest Man On The Planet" Joe Warren for the Bellator Interim Bantamweight World title live on Spike.
"We take head injuries very seriously, and when we were notified that Eduardo was dealing with a head injury, we immediately flew him from Brazil to California to be examined by some of the leading specialists in the field. We are hopeful Eduardo will be able to resume his career later this year, but in the interim we have two incredible tournament winners ready to challenge for the Bellator World Title. Two of the best on the planet in Joe Warren and Rafael Silva will fight for the title and when Dantas is able to return, he will challenge the winner for the undisputed Bellator World Title."
"This is setback for me," Dantas said. "I'm not feeling right at the moment, but I am a fighter and have been a fighter since my childhood and I promise that I will be back stronger than ever. I want to thank Bjorn and Bellator for taking care of me during this process, for flying me across the world to get top specialists to see me. And, when I am ready to fight, I will show everyone once again why the belt has been wrapped around my waist."
No stranger to championships fights, Warren looks to capture his second World Title as the former Featherweight Champion looks to dominate the 21-3 Silva. Warren punched his ticket to a title shot with his Season 9 Tournament run that included two dominate finishes, and will be looking to make quick work of Silva.
"It doesn't matter which Brazilian they throw at me, I'm going to destroy who is ever across the cage from me," Warren said. "It sucks Dantas got injured as I was focused on destroying him and taking his belt. But, now I'll destroy Silva and Dantas can try to come and take my belt."
Riding a dominant 13 fight win streak stretching over four years, Silva has his sights set on moving his record to 22-3 with the biggest victory of his career when he faces Warren. The Brazilian finisher recently suffered a setback after dealing with a knee injury that required surgery, but now healthy, Silva is looking to take the next step in his career with a World title win over Warren.
"I'm healthy, and I'm ready to fight," Silva proclaimed. "I know Warren always likes to talk, but this fight isn't going to be about talking, it's going to be about who is the better fighter, and everyone is going to see who that is on May 2nd. I've always wanted to face Dantas, and now Joe Warren is in my way. I'll take care of that shortly."
The full fight card for Bellator 118 is listed below:
Bellator Interim Bantamweight Title Fight: Rafael (21-3) vs. Joe Warren (10-3)
Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinals: Andrey Koreshkov (15-1) vs. Sam Oropeza (11-2)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Marcos Galvao (15-6-1) vs. Thomas Vasquez (7-0)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Opening Round: Liam McGeary (6-0) vs. Mike Mucitelli (6-0)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Gemiyale Adkins (8-6) vs. Dante Rivera (15-7)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Jesus Martinez (8-5) vs. Ryan Contaldi (7-7)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Tim Woods (6-4) vs. Eugene Fadiora (13-1)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Joe Pingitore (4-1-1) vs. Darrion Caldwell (4-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Jay Haas (11-13) vs. Lester Caslow (11-9)
Catchweight Feature Fight (151lbs): Julian Lane (6-3-1) vs. Anthony Morrison (18-10)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Mike Bannon (5-1) vs. Sidney Outlaw (2-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Amran Aliyev (3-2) vs. Kevin Roddy (13-15-1)
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA.