Right when we thought that Bellator 222 was as stacked as it possibly could be, a wild featherweight fight gets thrown into the mix.
The LA Times confirmed today that the July 14 event taking place in Madison Square Garden has gained its 17th fight as former two-time bantamweight champion, Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (21-6) will take on the seemingly unstoppable “Spaniard,” Juan Archuleta (22-1). The bout will go down at 145-pounds thus making it Dantas’ debut in the division.
For the 30-year Brazilian, he’s now two fights removed from his most recent title reign that saw him be dethroned by the current champion, Darrion Caldwell in October 2017. Immediately following the loss, he suffered another defeat to Michael McDonald via a brutal knockout that saw him break his ankle when falling. To rebound about eight months later, Dantas would pick up a unanimous decision win over Toby Misech at Bellator 215 in February.
Archuleta, generally a featherweight, took his talents to the bantamweight division for his last time out when he defeated top prospect, Ricky Bandejas by unanimous decision at Bellator 214 in January. The win extended his current winning streak to a wild 17.
Of course, Archuleta has proven to be capable of finding success in any division as he held three divisional titles across bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight during his time in King of the Cage from 2016 to 2017.
Bellator 222 on paper is one of the biggest cards of the year. See its entire line-up below.
Main Card (DAZN, 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST)
- Light Heavyweight – 205lbs: Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
- Welterweight – 170lbs: (C)Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie
- Bantamweight – 135lbs: (C)Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
- Catchweight – 175lbs: Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
- Featherweight – 145lbs: Aaron Pico vs. Adam Borics
Preliminary Card (Bellator.com, 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST)
- Flyweight – 125lbs: Heather Hardy vs. Taylor Turner
- Featherweight: Eduardo Dantas vs Juan Archuleta
- Catchweight – 112lbs: Rena Kubota vs Lindsey VanZandt
- Middleweight – 185lbs: Phil Hawes vs. Michael Wilcox
- Middleweight: Rafael Carvalho vs Chidi Njoukuani
- Welterweight: Robson Gracie vs. Oscar Vera
- Bantamweight: Ricky Bandejas vs. Patrick Mix
- Welterweight: Haim Gozali vs Gustavo Wurlitzer
- Bantamweight: Mike Kimbel vs. Sebastian Ruiz
- Flyweight: Brandon Polcare vs. Brandon Medina
- Featherweight: John Beneduce vs. Kenny Rivera
- Catchweight – 165lbs: Kastriot Xhema vs. Whitney Francois
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided MMA, The Body Lock, Cageside Press, Sherdog, and MMA Today. He is also a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.