Former Bellator champion Dudu Dantas is returning to the MMA cage soon. Eagle Fighting Championship’s new addition, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is expected to make his debut on October 16th in what is likely to be a fight that will shake up the fighting world – against Tibur Valiev, ex-UFC. The fight is scheduled to take place in Miami, United States, and the bantamweight’s confidence for his debut couldn’t be higher.
– What I can say is that the best bantam in the world is not in UFC, he is in Eagle and will fight on October 16 in Miami.
Dudu Dantas also reported that at the age of 33, he paid even more attention to the psychological aspect of his career. Known for his vitality, apart from his technical abilities, the athlete is now dedicated to finding the ideal balance in the mental part, which he believes can be the difference at this point in his professional life.
– I am coming from two victories, by knockout and submission. I believe that this moment in my life was very good professionally. I focused a lot on my mind. I’ve always had great fitness, I’ve never had a problem with weight or the technical part. So, I did a lot of thinking and that helped me take advantage of the opportunities that arose. You can be sure that I am the new Dudu. If you know me yesterday, you don’t know me today. I grow every day.
Read the full interview below with the Eagle FC bantamweight, who exudes confidence about his next steps in the fight world.
What are your plans for the coming months? You signed for Eagle FC, do you already have a date and an opponent for your debut?
The next fight should be on October 16th, we are still waiting for confirmation. It will be for Eagle FC in Miami. My next plans are to take down every opponent they put in front of me. My next opponent, which is not 100% confirmed yet, is great for me. This is Tibur Valiev, who had five wins and only one loss in the UFC. This fight makes perfect sense to me and I am very excited if he is indeed my next opponent.
You are coming off two good wins, in Shooto and FAC, how do you see your technical and physical moment?
I am coming from two victories, by knockout and submission. I believe that this moment in my life was very good professionally. I focused a lot on my mind. I’ve always had great fitness, I’ve never had a problem with weight or the technical part. So, I did a lot of thinking and that helped me take advantage of the opportunities that arose. You can be sure that I am the new Dudu. If you know me yesterday, you don’t know me today. I grow every day.
You recently said you were close to a deal with the UFC, what should you have done?
We almost made it with the UFC, but it didn’t happen. To this day, I still don’t know why I didn’t get it right. Once the contract for me to fight FAC was through Zuffa, and they paid the tickets, scholarship and everything. They asked for this fight. And the result was incredible, a knockout kick to the head. I crashed, dominated the fight, did everything possible. But we didn’t reach an agreement and soon after that I signed for Eagle FC. And my job as an athlete is to dominate every fight that comes my way. So what I can say is that the best bantamweight in the world is not in the UFC, he is in Eagle and he will fight on October 16th in Miami.
Do you think Brazil lacks more investment in MMA and combat sports in general? Could the country have even more champions if this comes true?
I think it is too free to say that there is a lack of investment in MMA in Brazil. We have to score. Are we missing more people working in the federal government to give more money to sports? Especially in a community that needs to make sports an area of social transformation, bring more young people into sports, because they are the future. Sport educates. I came from a project in a poor community in Rio de Janeiro and was able to visit several countries and change my life. All this thanks to sports, jiu-jitsu and MMA. Sport required me to sleep well, eat well, be disciplined. And if I hadn’t, I would have lost. And nobody likes to lose. We are competitive and sports ignites that fire in us even more. Thanks to sports, I completely changed my life. Another look at this area is needed because with more support dozens of champions could emerge.
Of course, today, thanks to sport, the results I achieved, I can have great sponsors with me. In this case, I have a partnership with Genial Investimentos, which provides financial support and also helps with banking investments. It is a platform that shows you what the global market is like. I also have the support of Campobet, a sportsbook, which is super active in supporting athletes. I am one of them here in Rio de Janeiro and I carry their name with me.