Bellator 184: “Dantas vs. Caldwell” takes place TONIGHT (Fri. Oct. 6, 2017) at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., airing live on Spike TV. Bantamweight world champion Eduardo Dantas (20-4) puts his title and four-fight win streak on the line against long-time Bellator standout and elite level wrestler Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (10-1) in the main event.
Thackerville will also be home to some exciting action in the stacked Featherweight division. “El Matador” Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3) goes for a third straight win against former champion Daniel Straus (25-7) as he seeks to regain his crown. He vies with another former champion in Pat Curran (22-7) who would also like that shot if he gets a third straight win fighting John Teixeira (21-2-2).
Bellator 184 will start at 9 p.m. ET on Spike TV with “Prelims” action on Spike.com at 7 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card.
Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 184) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it's always a lot of fun!
BELLATOR 184 QUICK RESULTS:
Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell — Caldwell UD 48-47 X2, 50-45.
Daniel Straus vs. Emmanuel Sanchez — Sanchez via sub (triangle) 1:56 R3.
Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira — Curran UD 29-28, 30-26, 30-27.
Joe Taimanglo vs. Leandro Higo — Higo UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Steve Kozola vs. Carrington Banks — Banks UD 30-27, 30-25 X2.
Westin Wilson vs. L.J. Hermreck — Wilson via sub (RNC) 0:55 R2.
Justin Patterson vs. Chance Rencountre — Rencountre via sub (d’arce) 2:58 R1.
DeMarcus Simmons vs. Teagan Dooley — Dooley via sub (americana) 2:12 R2.
Shakir McKillup vs. Sean Holden — Holden TKO 4:39 R2.
Manny Muro vs. Emmanuel Rivera — Muro UD 30-27 X3.
Kendall Carnahan vs. Daniel Carey — Carnahan UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Ray Jones vs. Ernest James — James TKO 2:53 R1.
BELLATOR 184 PLAY-BY-PLAY:
Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell
Caldwell has on the blue gloves and black trunks for this match, coming in 10-1 as the challenger to the title. The champ Dantas has on red gloves and red trunks, sporting a career record of 20-4. Dantas fights out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Caldwell fights out of San Diego, California. 5’7” to 5’10” and 72” to 75” reach from Dantas to Caldwell. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Despite the animosity leading up to this bout both men touch gloves during fighter instructions and to start the fight. Caldwell goes for a takedown and Dantas ends up only down for a second or two, but Caldwell has his back against the fence and picks him up and throws him high through the air with a belly to back suplex. Dantas gets to his feet and Caldwell looks to take him for a ride again. Dantas is warned to let go of the cage. Caldwell keeps his hands locked around the waist and drives knees to the legs. Herzog knocks Dantas hand away at 3:21 as he caught him grabbing. He knocks it away again at 3:39. He finally resets them at 3:50 but it’s mildly surprising he didn’t warn Dantas when he did so. Caldwell and Dantas circle each other and exchange blows. 10-9 Caldwell.
Round 2: Caldwell goes for a single leg at 34 seconds and once again has Dantas’ back as he tries to scramble free. Dantas finally pushes his way free at 1:11. Caldwell is throwing head kicks whenever Dantas gives him the range. Both men trade leg kicks. Caldwell with another head kick at 2:07. Spinning backfist for Caldwell. Body kick from Dantas. Leg and head kick for Caldwell. Dantas charges in and gets taken down at 3:25. Caldwell hurts him with an elbow when he gets back up, tries to lock up a choke and can’t get it, Dantas shakes off the cobwebs quickly and charges forward. Dantas blocks a takedown and hits a spinning backfist of his own. 10-9 Caldwell.
Round 3: Caldwell and Dantas keep dancing around each other and keeping their opponent second guessing which way they’ll move. Caldwell finally baits Dantas into the right position to go for a single and pushes Dantas into the fence. Dantas stuffs a hard attempt, Caldwell swings and misses on a kick, goes for a takedown and Dantas blatantly grabs the fence but gets dragged to the ground anyway. He pops up and Caldwell goes for the double as Dantas widens his stance. Herzog has to once again warn Dantas to let go. When will he actually take a point for this? Dantas breaks away at 3:11 and Caldwell unloads a hard body kick. Dantas throws a right and Caldwell blocks it. Dantas charges in, Caldwell drops levels, but Dantas blocks it successfully and ends up on top with under a minute left. Dantas has side control briefly but can’t do anything with it. He gets a full mount right at the bell. Not enough to keep it from being a 10-9 for Caldwell but it could be a change in momentum.
Round 4: Dantas comes forward to start R4 until Caldwell gets the takedown at 57 seconds. Dantas gets about the one millionth warning for grabbing the cage without having a point taken away and then reverses a takedown attempt to take Caldwell’s back. He has a body triangle, loses it, gets it back and now is in position to go for a rear naked choke with half the round left. Unfortunately he can’t keep the position as Caldwell rolls on top in closed guard and cuts open the left eye of Dantas with an elbow. Dantas is grabbing the fence again. Dantas starts to get back up at 3:36 and Caldwell gets heavy on his back. Caldwell drops levels for a single, then takes the back of Dantas, then goes for another takedown as Dantas tries for a kimura standing. Both men break free with six seconds left, Dantas gets behind him and takes the back at the bell. Despite that one nasty elbow from Caldwell this could be a 10-9 for the champ. Even if he did get it that’s not enough to retain the title. He needs the third, the fourth and a BIG fifth.
Round 5: No advantage is gained for the first 60 seconds of this frame and the crowd in Thackerville is not thrilled. Caldwell wakes them up with a flying knee. Dantas keeps trying to close the distance but whenever he throws Caldwell is already out of range. That vaunted speed advantage Dantas had against other opponents just doesn’t seem to exist against “The Wolf.” Caldwell seems to have gotten poked in the eye but Herzog doesn’t call it. Dantas goes for a spinning backfist and Caldwell drops levels then takes the back - a familiar sight in this fight. 90 seconds remain. Caldwell goes for a leg lock but lets Dantas off the hook in the process and they both stand at 4:07. Caldwell shoots at 4:42, Dantas stuffs it and takes the back, he can’t find a submission with short time and we go to the judges for what will be a VERY interesting decision.
Final result: The judges score this one 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45 for the NEW champion Darrion Caldwell.
Daniel Straus vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
Sanchez has the black trunks and blue gloves for our co-main event. Straus has on black trunks and red gloves. Sanchez fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a 15-3 record while Straus fights out of Pompano Beach, Florida with a record of 25-7. 33 to 27 in age, 5'7" to 5'9" from Straus to Sanchez. Our referee in charge is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Both men tap gloves to open and Sanchez throws a high kick shortly after. Straus goes for a takedown 30 seconds in and after a wild scramble is on top in side control with Sanchez trying to push away using his feet. Straus opts to take the back but Sanchez rolls for a knee bar and he’s got it tight. Sanchez has a nasty cut over his eyes as they wind up in a 50/50 both going for an advantage. Straus gets out and is on top North-South. Straus goes d’arce then North-South choke and Sanchez slips it but gives up side control. Straus mauls him with elbows and right hands. Sanchez flips Straus over and suddenly has his back with a body triangle going for a rear naked choke. He doesn’t have it and lets it go with under a minute left. Sanchez has the back throwing lefts and rights at the bell. Wild first round!
Round 2: Sanchez throws a front kick and a high kick to the chin to start. Straus goes for a takedown but Sanchez ends up on his back in the process. Straus hasn’t let go of the left leg but Sanchez is doing damage from this position. He tries to jump to take the back but this enables Straus to get on top and complete the takedown. Straus has one leg caught in half guard but is smothering Sanchez on top. He tries to pass the half guard and Sanchez reverses to the top. Sanchez backs up at 2:43 and jumps back into the guard passing to side then full mount at 3:07. He postures up for ground and pound and Straus has to wrap his arms around Sanchez and try to hold on. The ground and pound with 60 seconds left is getting dangerously close to a stoppage. Straus is not fighting back - he’s just covering up and hoping to survive. Hatley is taking a very close look with 20 seconds to go. Straus makes it but that’s a 10-8 round for Sanchez.
Round 3: Straus goes for a takedown 20 seconds into R3 and gets it but he’s in a big hole right now. He looks to transition to take the back but Sanchez puts him into a triangle in the process. Straus is in trouble here as Sanchez slowly cinches it up, Straus taps once, and Hatley stops the fight at 1:56.
Final result: “El Matador” Emmanuel Sanchez wins via submission (triangle choke) 1:56 R3.
Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira
Teixeira sports the blue gloves and black trunks for this fight, pro record of 21-2-2, coming off a loss to Teixeira in his last fight. Curran has red gloves and navy trunks for this fight, pro record of 22-7, coming off wins in two straight fights. Teixeira fights out of Macapa, Brazil and Curran fights out of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Curran holds a 5’10” to 5’7” height and 73” to 68” reach advantage. Our referee in charge of this fight is Jerin Valel.
Round 1: Teixeira is the aggressor early as Curran shifts back and forth on the outside right next to the fence. Teixeira winds up with an uppercut and a combo. Curran is keeping his hands high to intercept the shots, so Teixeira goes lower and kicks the legs. Teixeira sneaks a right hook in at the two minute mark. Curran momentarily drops Teixeira with a hard right but he pops back up and keeps coming forward. Curran buckles his knees with another at 2:50. You can see blood streaming down over Curran’s right eye from one of the exchanges. Teixeira fires a high kick but he’s keeping a more respectful range now. They circle and Teixeira fires leg kicks. Curran hurts Teixeira again at 4:12. Teixeira tries a flying knee but eats a big right. 10-9 for Curran.
Round 2: Teixeira leg kick, Curran body kick. Teixeira shoots at 47 seconds, can’t quite get Curran down, Teixeira tries to get on his back and can’t quite get there either. They break at 1:26. Curran misses with the uppercut but lands a knee. Teixeira has yet to give up on pushing forward into Curran’s range. Valel momentarily stops the bout to remind both men to use closed fists. Leg kicks by Teixeira. The aggression and the kicks are edging the round toward Teixeira since Curran has not tagged, wobbled or dropped Teixeira at any point this frame. Curran shoots for a takedown at 4:17 and gets it but Teixeira is up 13 seconds later. 10-9 Teixeira.
Round 3: Curran is shooting early in R4 and gets Teixeira to the ground 49 seconds in with his back on the fence. He tries to stand back up and Curran takes him down again at 1:15. Teixeira fishes for a submission and Curran has to let him back up and try to get on his back against the cage. Teixeira and Curran reset to the center at 2:15. Curran throws out a left and snaps off a very loud leg kick. Teixeira closes the range to fire rights. Curran goes for a high crotch single but Teixeira escapes. Body kick by Curran. Left hand by Curran. Teixeira’s face is a bit bloody at this late point in the bout. He tries to chase down Curran then throws one last kick before the bell. Curran takes the third round on my card but this is up to the judges now.
Final result: The judges score this contest 29-28, 30-27 and 30-26 all for Pat Curran.
Joe Taimanglo vs. Leandro Higo
23-7-1 to 17-3, 33 to 28, 5’4” to 5’8”, 65.5” to 71” reach from Taimanglo to Higo. Higo has on the blue gloves and black trunks, fighting out of Natal, Brazil. Taimanglo has on the red gloves and trunks, fighting out of Chula Vista, California. Our referee in charge is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Taimanglo goes for a clinch right away and puts Higo on the fence. He goes for foot stomps as Higo looks to muscle his foe and turn him around. They dance back and forth as the first minute goes by with Taimanglo stomping away. Higo draws a warning for shots to the back of the head. Hinds calls for improvement at 1:30. Higo turns him around again. Taimanglo turns him right back. They finally break apart at 1:53. They trade hands at 2:25 and Taimanglo clinches up for a takedown 10 seconds later. Higo gets up immediately. Taimanglo is on the receiving end of foot stomps in clinch before they break again. Taimanglo is taken down at 3:38 after eating a hard shot. Hinds warns Higo not to headbutt his opponent. Higo seems uncertain whether he wants to pass the guard or punish Taimanglo from there. He lets Taimanglo back up at 4:40. A close round edges Higo’s way in the latter minutes.
Round 2: Taimanglo tries to close distance early with an elbow to the head. Higo dances back and forth, swings and misses, comes flying at Taimanglo after it and gets momentarily stuck in a clinch. Taimanglo works from the outside as we pass the 90 second mark, occasionally stepping forward to throw a shot but largely conceding aggression and cage control to his opponent. Higo blocks a takedown attempt at 2:10. Higo connects with a hard right at 2:45 and goes for a body lock. They dance the dance again against the cage until 3:12. Hinds checks if Higo kicked too low but Taimanglo says he’s fine. Both fighters bite down on their mouthpiece at 3:47 and swing until Higo shoots for and gets a takedown. Taimanglo stands up with a half minute left and Higo can’t trip him back down. Higo stuffs a late takedown attempt. Once again a narrow edge to Higo.
Round 3: Both fighters draw a warning to watch their fingers 1:20 into the round. Taimanglo backs away from a hard overhand right. The next one connects at the two minute mark. Higo is landing the better shots so far this round. Taimanglo shoots at 2:29 and Higo blocks it. Taimanglo tries again but Higo sprawls and gets back up. Hinds calls time for a kick to the cup but the action quickly resumes. Taimanglo does at least look good from some vantage points due to the fact that he’s coming forward and trying for takedowns. Taimanglo jumps on Higo’s back with 1:17 left. They separate with 33 seconds to go and Higo pulls guard looking for a guillotine choke. Taimanglo is wincing in pain but he survives until the bell — just barely.
Final result: Leandro Higo wins by unanimous decision of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
Steve Kozola vs. Carrington Banks
6-0 for Banks in the blue gloves and gray trunks out of Boca Raton, Florida. 8-0 for Kozola in the red gloves and black trunks out of Huntington Beach, California. Our referee in charge is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Both men cautiously tap gloves two second into the first round. Kozola stays at range on the outside as Banks dances back and forth from the center. Banks finally shoots at the one minute mark and gets a leg trip to complete it but Kozola has his back to the fence looking to stand right up. Banks fires off left hands looking to use his legs to dig under Kozola's legs and keep him grounded. Banks succeeds but Kozola sits up again and stands at 2:40 with Herzog looking at him to not grab the fence. Banks' corner complains about it as he hoists him in the air and takes him back down. Kozola looks to stand at 3:10 but realizes he could have been kneed in the head so stays grounded for a bit. Banks takes him back down again at 3:32. Kozola tries to flip his feet over his head to either push off the cage or get around Banks' neck. Neither works. Banks lets him up at 4:35 and tries to grab a guillotine but doesn't have it. 10-9 Banks.
Round 2: Another glove tap opens R2. Banks gets tagged with an overhand right 37 seconds into the round. Banks follows up by shooting 19 seconds later and dumps Kozola on his back right into side control at 1:05. Banks pushes Kozola away from the fence and looks to lock up an arm. He abandons the attempt and goes to half guard then full mount at 2:27. Kozola tries to push off the fence again but all he does is momentarily put Banks back in half guard. Banks stands up briefly as Kozola shrinks up toward the fence. Banks gets back down in full guard. He's done enough damage overall to open a cut around Kozola's left eye. 10-9 Banks.
Round 3: One last glove tap opens our third and final round. Kozola's corner outright told him he needed a finish to win this fight. Kozola stuffs the first takedown but at 46 seconds Banks gets the second. Banks keeps looking for better positions on his grounded opponent, while all Kozola can do at this point is play defense. He gets the full mount at 2:25 and starts to transition to the back. Meanwhile he's hammering Kozola in the head with right hands. He has both hooks in at 3:13 and goes for an arm triangle as Kozola gets flipped back over. He gives the ref a thumbs up and survives but Banks is still on top of him with a minute left working from guard. Kozola gets up and is thrown back down hard at 4:44 to put an exclamation point on Banks' performance.
Final result: Carrington Banks takes a unanimous decision from the judges of 30-27 and 30-25 X2.
Westin Wilson vs. L.J. Hermreck
Hermreck is 3-2. Wilson is 4-2. Hermreck fights out of Wichita, Kansas in the black trunks and blue gloves and Wilson fights out of Orem, Utah in the red gloves and trunks. Our referee is Jason Herzog.
Round 1: Wilson takes the center and Hermreck paws at him with a left. Wilson keeps walking with his hands down low around his waist and his chin straight up. Hermreck tags him with increasing frequency as a result. As we pass the two minute mark he's mixing in leg kicks with his left hand as he circles while Wilson keeps trying to close the distance. Wilson comes forward and eats another left. You can see his nose turning red as he gets caught again and again. Wilson tends to throw combos that miss, while Hermreck tends to land hard counters that land. 10-9 Hermreck.
Round 2: Wilson ties up with Hermreck immediately to open R2 and takes him down right to his back with a body triangle looking for a rear naked choke. Hermreck taps out at 55 seconds.
Final result: Westin Wilson wins via rear naked choke at 0:55 of the second round.
Justin Patterson vs. Chance Rencountre
Rencountre is 10-2 in the blue gloves and black trunks, fighting out of Barrow Logan, California. Patterson is 9-3 in the red gloves and red trunks, fighting out of Haltom City, Texas. Our referee in charge of this bout is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Rencountre opens energetically firing off strikes at Patterson. He mixes up his combo with a snapping kick that pops the crowd by the sound. Rencountre has fired off some big left hands early. Patterson keeps his stance low, firing to the body and occasionally the chin. Rencountre tries a kick to the body and eats a left from his opponent, which may have inspired him to hit the single leg takedown at 2:15. Rencountre is looking for a d'arce choke and Patterson submits to it just moments after Goldberg said he had never submitted anybody before. Nice timing.
Final result: Chance Rencountre wins via submission (d’arce choke) at 2:58 in the first round.
DeMarcus Simmons vs. Teagan Dooley
5-2 for Dooley in the blue gloves and trunks, fighting out of Spanaway, Washington. 1-0 for Simmons in the red gloves and gray trunks, fighting out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Our referee in charge is Rob Hinds.
Round 1: Dooley shoots immediately and has Simmons on the mat with side control 35 seconds into the fight. Simmons tries to push off the cage with his feet. Hinds calls for more action at the 90 second mark as not much has happened since the takedown. Dooley finally fires off a knee to the body. He gets the full mount at 2:29 but Simmons explodes back to his feet when Dooley tries to get a back mount. Dooley takes him back down quickly and is in side control all over again. Another call for work from Hinds at 3:37. Simmons blocks an attempt to pass and puts him in guard, then tries to go for a triangle with the legs, but Dooley wriggles free to side control again. 10-9 Dooley as both fighters stand at the bell.
Round 2: Round two stays standing for the first 30 seconds as Simmons hunches down on his shoulders and tries to throw power, but Dooley times it and doubles him at 0:55. It's side control all over again for the more experienced fighter. Hinds wants to see more from Dooley. He obliges by locking up an americana for the tap at 2:12.
Final result: Teagan Dooley wins by submission (americana) at 2:12 of the second round.
Shakir McKillup vs. Sean Holden
Holden is 5-2 in the blue gloves and green trunks fighting out of Dallas, Texas. McKillup is 7-5 in the red gloves and trunks fighting out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our ref is Kerry Hatley.
Round 1: Both men come out fast with no glove tap. McKillup is quickly winging out left hooks. Holden is keeping his hands up and touches McKillup with a right as he closes the distance looking for a leg trip. McKillup avoids it momentarily but Holden takes him down at 1:03. Holden could pull his right leg through and get a full mount. Instead he lets McKillup back up looking for a potential guillotine and it's not there. McKillup throws a knee before they break apart at 2:30. Holden comes toward him swinging wide and now it's McKillup looking for a takedown. He's got it at 3:06. Holden gets back up at 3:24. Holden goes for a takedown but McKillup has an armbar and Holden is able to survive even though it looked like he was close to being tapped. He winds up on top looking to ground and pound but McKillup rolls back to the fence and stands before time expires. 10-9 Holden.
Round 2: McKillup lands a hard leg kick early in R2 that makes Holden wince. Neither man seems to be holding back on anything which makes you wonder who will get tired first. Holden shoots but McKillup is over the top of his back and briefly turns him around. Holden finishes his takedown at 1:55 and takes the back with one hook in times ticks away. He's got both hooks at 2:49 and he's starting to flatten McKillup out. McKillup rolls to his back and gets Holden back to half guard. Holden regains the full mount at 4:01 and postures up to rain down lefts and rights. McKillup gives up his back and gets flattened out again and Hatley finally waves it off due to strikes.
Final result: Sean Holden wins via technical knockout at 4:39 of the second round.
Manny Muro vs. Emmanuel Rivera
Muro is 8-3 in the blue gloves and white trunks fighting out of Anadarko, Oklahoma. Rivera is 6-1 in the red gloves and white trunks fighting out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our referee in charge is Jerin Valel.
Round 1: Rivera backs to the outer circle to start the fight then comes ahead with a right hand. He comes forward again with a left to the body. Muro throws kicks as Rivera continues to paw at the chin. Hard overhand right for Rivera at 1:05. Muro tries to close the distance but gets popped in the chin. Muro shoots for the double. Rivera widens his stance in response. Muro finally has to let go and they reset to the center. Muro tags him with a big right. Rivera makes him stumble or slip with one of his own. Valel warns them to keep the fists closes. Muro tags Rivera harder and gets the takedown at 3:14. Rivera escapes and we have 90 seconds left in the round. Muro comes forward swinging and gets another takedown at 3:54 as Rivera was frantically trying to elbow his opponent. 10-9 Muro.
Round 2: Muro wastes no time chasing Rivera hoping he's still hurt from the first frame. Rivera keeps backing up, Muro throws kicks and hooks, and a big right connects at 2:07. The look in Rivera's eyes is shell shocked, like he's just fighting on instinct. He gets clobbered at 2:45 and Muro backs him up toward the fence. Rivera recovers and Muro throws a head kick. River lands an uppercut as Muro throws a hook. Muro continues to attack Rivera's left leg with hard kicks. Chael Sonnen compares Muro to Chuck Liddell. I think he's inspired by the mohawk Muro sports. 10-9 Muro.
Round 3: A glove tap starts our third and final round. Muro throws a high kick. Rivera misses with a jab. Rivera to the body. Muro with a leg kick and a left hook. Rivera with a left hook. Muro spins his way through a combo that connects. Rivera with a jumping left. Muro with a high kick and multiple leg kicks. Jabs are exchanged. Rivera is tagged with a right and Muro follows with a hard knee to the body. Rivera narrowly avoids an uppercut from Muro. Muro tries a spinning heel kick to the head. Muro lands a combo and a leg kick. Rivera with a left hook but the second misses. Muro blasts him and Rivera responds. Muro lands one last shot to the head at the bell. We go to the judges.
Final result: The judges score this contest 30-27 X3 for Manny Muro.
Kendall Carnahan vs. Daniel Carey
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: Kendall Carnahan wins via unanimous decision of 29-28, 30-27 X2.
Ray Jones vs. Ernest James
Round 1: Unaired on Spike.com.
Final result: Ernest James wins via technical knockout at 2:53 of round one.