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29th Apr 2018

Dillon Danis’ pro debut started shakily but ended magnificently

Very ambitious call-out following the fight

Ben Kiely

So far, so good for Dillon Danis

Dillon Danis made a victorious professional MMA debut at Bellator 198 in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu star made light work of Kyle Walker, getting the finish in the very first round of their catchweight 175 lb contest.

It was easy to tell from the opening few seconds that Danis trains with Conor McGregor. His wide, side-on stance is very similar to that of ‘the Notorious’. While McGregor’s alacritous movement allows him to keep his head high and slide in and out of danger, Danis had some issues with distance management in the opening exchanges.

Walker marched forward and swang from the opening buzzer. As Danis moved in for a hook, he was beaten to the punch and knocked backwards by a vicious left hand. It was a big shot, but Danis took it well, stepping backwards out of the line of fire to regain his balance.

Dillon Danis

He ate another forceful punch before opting to go to his bread and butter – the ground.

Danis pulled guard and immediately began threatening with submissions. He was on the hunt for limbs and it didn’t take him long to find one. 1:38 into the first stanza, he locked in a toehold. Walker, whose previous two bouts had ended with a first-round tap, hollered and frantically tapped before the referee stepped in to put him out of his misery.

The result saw Walker fall to 2-4 in MMA, while Danis becomes a 1-0 fighter.

Hype train

Danis talked himself up quite a bit in the build-up to this fight, but he backed up the hype with his victorious debut. He continues to run his mouth and cut promos in his post-fight interview with ‘Big’ John McCarthy.

“I feel great. I said this before I came in, no one has ever experienced submissions like this in MMA. I’m too good. I said it, this is another level. Man, at the end of the day, I’m a samurai. I came here to die, so that motherfucker had to kill me. The leglock? That’s just jiu-jitsu. I gave you guys a free seminar on how to defeat MMA with jiu-jitsu.”

“At the end of the day, I’m the one who created all this, I did all the media, I built up this card. All the bums on the rest of the card are going to call me out now. We’ll see where we go after this.”


Rather than call out one of the ‘bums’ on Bellator 198, Danis took aim at former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (18-0-1NC). The undefeated grappling phenom, who has retired from the sport (for now), didn’t buy the call-out. However, Danis was adamant in the post-fight media scrum that ‘Funky’ wouldn’t be on his level.

“I believe I am the one to derail his undefeated streak. He would not be able to handle me on the ground and he has no striking, so it would end up on the ground. I feel I would go submit him easy.”

“That’s fine, but where is he at? He’s just looking for an excuse. He knows that he has no leglock defence, he knows that he’s scared of the ground game, he knows what the real shit is. There’s a reason that he responded.”

Ambitious call-out from Danis. Very ambitious.