Bellator 166 will be held on December 2, 2016, at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The main card will air live on Spike TV following the preliminary card on MMA Mad.
The event will feature a bantamweight world title rematch pitting current division champion Eduardo Dantas (18-4) against a dangerous former two-division champion Joe Warren (14-5), which joins a featherweight showdown between A.J. McKee (5-0) and Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3).
Fresh off a win over Marcos Galvao that crowned him bantamweight champion, the 27-year-old Dantas will look to defend his belt for the first time this year. The elusive Brazilian enters the contest having won 11 of his past 13 bouts, including seven finishes, giving him a total of 10 stoppages over his 18 career victories. Since making his promotional debut in 2011, “Dudu” has cemented himself among the Bellator MMA elite, collecting wins in eight of his nine appearances, with the lone loss coming at the hands of his upcoming opponent, Joe Warren.
After successfully defending his title twice, Dantas lost the belt to Warren via unanimous decision at Bellator 128. Now that he has the gold around his waist again, Dantas will need to put forth his best effort to ensure history does not repeat itself against “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”
Warren will be looking to duplicate his success against the feisty Dantas, after defeating him in a five round, 25-minute bloodbath that took place in the same venue nearly two years ago. The win capped off a five-fight winning streak and allowed Warren to unify the 135-pound title. A native of Denver, Colorado, “The Baddest Man on the Planet” has now emerged victorious in seven of his last nine bouts, including his most recent finish over former UFC competitor Sirwan Kakai at Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson. At 39 years old, the former two-division Bellator MMA champion will now attempt to become the oldest fighter to win a championship in Bellator history.
A bantamweight feature fight pitting Marcos Galvao (17-7-1) against L.C. Davis (23-7) and a middleweight clash between Chris Honeycutt (8-1, 1 NC) and Ben Reiter (17-1-1) also feature on the main card of the event.
Brazilian superstar Marcos Galvao returns to action having won seven of his last nine and is ready for another push at the division’s belt. Hailing from Amazonas, Brazil, the elusive “Loro” has only been finished once in the past seven years, while conversely finishing his opponent in five of his 11 wins over that same period. Now Galvao returns to WinStar World Casino & Resort, the same venue where he fought and defeated Joe Warren for bantamweight gold at Bellator 135. Subsequently, Warren will also prepare to compete at “Bellator 166: Dantas vs. Warren 2,” as he and Eduardo Dantas will face off in the main event. Needless to say, the 34-year-old Galvao will have tremendous motivation to win, as the division he once championed dominates a stacked main card in Thackerville.
Davis enters the contest for the fifth time under the Bellator MMA banner, earning victories in three of his first four bouts with the promotion. The 35-year-old bantamweight has finished his opponent in 15 of his 23 career wins, including 11 in the opening round. A winner in seven of his last nine contests, the Kansas City, Missouri native consistently finds himself amid conversation with the division’s top contenders. Davis hopes to replicate the same success that he had in his most recent victory over Hideo Tokoro at “Bellator 135,” where his split decision win was llabelledYahoo! Sports’ “Best Fight of the Half-Year.” The former Pratt Community College wrestling coach now faces an opportunity to climb the ranks in a tasty matchup against one of the game’s best.
A six-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Honeycutt made a lasting impression in his first two appearances under the promotion, recording back-to-back knockouts. Fighting out of Fresno, Calif., the 28-year-old knockout artist began his professional career with an impressive streak of six consecutive victories, including five finishes and four knockouts. “The Cutt” made a successful transition to the welterweight division in his Bellator MMA debut in 2014, before returning to the middleweight class in his most recent win over Mikkel Parlo at “Bellator 156.”
After making his professional debut in 2011, Reiter collected sixteen wins before surrendering his first career loss. The 29-year-old New Yorker competed mainly in Peru early in his career, fighting under the direction of Inka Fighting Championship, before joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2014. Since making his promotional debut for the Scott Coker-led organization, “The Hunter” has added three more victories to his already impressive résumé, as he quickly finds himself among the division’s elite. With nine of his 17 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, Reiter hopes to add to that total with another finish in the first of a two-night special doubleheader in Thackerville, OK. Standing at six feet three inches, Reiter will look to expose his opponent Honeycutt with a significant advantage in both height and reach.
The full card can be found below along with a video preview of the event:
Main Card (Spike TV)
Eduardo Dantas vs. Joe Warren
AJ McKee Jr. vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
Marcos Galvão vs. L.C. Davis
Chris Honeycutt vs. Ben Reiter
Preliminary Card (MMA Mad)
Treston Thomison vs. Ray Wood
Chris Jones vs. Derrick Adkins
Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. John Lair
Chance Rencountre vs. Levi Queen
Gregory Babene vs. Emiliano Sordi