This Friday, April 14th, Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas was prepared to put his bantamweight title on the line against newcomer Leandro Higo. Right up until Higo came in 4lbs overweight.
Very little in Eduardo Dantas’ time as Bellator champion has come easy. The fighter who made his debut for the promotion back in 2011, and ran through a bantamweight tournament to dethrone then champ Zach Makovsky, hit an immediate roadblock with a trip to Shooto Brazil and a bout outside the promotion against Tyson Nam.
Nam sparked Dantas out with a counter hook. And while the Brazilian would go on to defend his Bellator title twice more, the loss took a lot of the steam off his status as the promotion’s undisputed champion. Dantas lost the belt to Joe Warren in 2014, and while he would regain the title in 2016, his fights have been marred by continuous cancellations.
Dantas has fought only 3 times since 2014, with four planned bouts getting scrapped due to injury and illness. His latest, a planned title defense against Darrion Caldwell, was taken off the table when Caldwell withdrew due to injury back in March of 2017. Fortunately for Dantas, the Spike TV promotion had just signed an exciting new fighter, former Legacy Fighting Alliance Champion Leandro Higo. Higo stepped right up to fill in for Caldwell and get an immediate shot at the title. Only it turns out that plan has hit a snag as well.
Jason Floyd, host of the MMA Report and MMA Insiders Podcast reports on Twitter that Higo missed weight for his planned title fight with Dantas this Friday, April 14th.
Leandro Higo has been fined 20% of his purse for missing weight today for his fight tomorrow against Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 177
— Jason Floyd (@Jason_Floyd) April 13, 2017
MMA Fighting has confirmed that Higo weighed in at 139lbs for the contracted 135 lb bantamweight title fight. As such the bout has been changed, from a 5-round championship contest, to a 3-round non-title affair. Higo has also been fined 20% of his fight purse.
Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo will air on tape-delay on Spike TV at 9 pm this Friday. The card, which takes place in Budapest, Hungary, is expected to be headlined by Eduardo Dantas vs. Leandro Higo, as well as a featherweight bout between John Teixeira and Daniel Weichel. It will be followed by a Bellator Kickboxing card.