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Dillon Danis calls out Bellator 198 'bums,' then – Ben Askren?

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Of all the potential outcomes to Dillon Danis’ professional MMA debut, a first-round submission win was about the least of a stretch.

In Kyle Walker (2-4 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), Danis (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) took on a guy whose previous two bouts had ended with a first-round tap. The road map was right there, courtesy of Bellator matchmakers, and all Danis needed to do was follow it in the 175-pound catchweight bout. Sporting a sideways stance reminiscent of famous MMA pal Conor McGregor, “El Jefe” Danis closed in quick.

The biggest variable in the matchup was how and when Danis would take it to the mat. On that front, he got a taste of that #professional life when Walker took advantage of his aggressive pursuit and slapped him with a pair of hard left hands. But to his credit, Danis took them and kept moving forward. When you’ve eaten a few straight lefts from McGregor, the other lefts probably sting a little less.

It wasn’t long before Danis rushed into the clinch, and once he hit the mat, he was every bit the phenom he boasted, quickly attacking Walker’s legs and securing the rarely used toe hold.

With his first win under his belt, Danis turned over a new leaf, humbly thanking his training partners and asking the MMA world to forgive his pre-fight arrogance, explaining it was merely compensation for the pressure he felt as a highly touted prospect and representative of McGregor.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

“I said this before I came in – no one has ever experienced submissions like this in MMA,” Danis told Bellator commentator John McCarthy. “I’m too good. This is another level.”

On the dings he took getting to the mat, Danis declared, “At the end of the day, I’m a samurai. I came here to die. That motherf-cker had to kill me. I gave you guys a free seminar on how to defeat MMA with jiu-jitsu.”

As the audience basked in gratitude, Danis turned his attention to the rest of Bellator’s roster. Prior to the event, the 24-year-old jiu-jitsu phenom promised he would take an ownership stake in the Viacom-owned promotion. After his first win, he entirely took credit for the success of Bellator 198.

“I’m the one that created all this,” he said. “I did all the media. I built up this whole card. So all the bums on the rest of the card are going to call me out now.”

Not willing to bite too much on that one, McCarthy offered: “So what we’re seeing is ‘The Danis Effect.’”

That’s certainly one way of summing up what we saw. A lot of cockiness, a lot of boasting, some legitimate skill, and a lot of overreaching. Sounds familiar.

Even backstage, Danis was every bit the king adjusting to his new court, requesting fights that, at this moment, aren’t even possible. During a backstage interview with Jenn Brown, he called out former ONE Championship titleholder Ben Askren (18-0), a guy who’s aiming for a shot at current Bellator welterweight champ Rory MacDonald (20-4 MMA, 2-0 BMMA).

We can’t really hate on a wrestling vs. jiu-jitsu showdown, and Danis certainly seems like a better debut opponent for Askren than MacDonald. Only Askren isn’t yet feeling “The Danis Effect” (via Twitter):

But as long as Danis follows the footsteps of “Notorious” in the most important way – winning – that could eventually change.

For complete coverage of Bellator 198, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.



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