LFA Bantamweight champion Leandro Higo is set to make his Bellator debut in the Bellator 177 bantamweight title main event against champion Eduardo Dantas after original challenger Darrion Caldwell was forced to withdraw with an injury.
Bellator 177 is due to take place on April 14, 2017 at the Budapest Sports Arena in Budapest, Hungary. As well as the title fight, the event will feature top Brazilian featherweight John Teixeira taking on Germany’s Daniel Weichel in the co-main event.
Bellator officials would make the changes to the card yesterday with MMAFighting.com first to report.
The Brazilian may have been expecting a call-up from the UFC however Bellator have beaten them to the punch by offering a chance to fight for the title and the biggest test of his career when he takes on fellow countryman and bantamweight champion Dantas.
Higo, who trains under The Pitbull Brothers, is currently regarded as one of the best bantamweights outside of the UFC and has been awaiting another chance with the promotion since unsuccessfully taking part in TUF Brazil 4.
Since then, “Pitbull” Higo has went on to win the vacant RFA bantamweight title with a submission win over Joey Miolla before unifying the belt with the Legacy FC bantamweight title after a win over Steven Peterson at LFA 1 earlier this year. He has not lost a professional fight since 2012 and is currently riding an eight fight win streak discounting the loss in the TUF house.
Nova União product Dantas has lost only one of his ten fights in the Bellator promotion, losing his title to Joe Warren in 2014. However that was later avenged in the rematch between the two at Bellator 166 late last year after the Brazilian had won his title back from Marcos Galvão in June.
Other than the one blip, “Dudu” has been unstoppable in his Bellator tenure and holds wins over some of the big namesthat have passed through the division such as UFC Flyweight title contender Wilson Reis and recent ACB signing Zach Makovsky.