Outspoken Brazilian jiu-jitsu Dillon Danis finally has his mixed martial arts debut set when Bellator MMA returns to Chicagoland.
A black belt under BJJ legend Marcelo Garcia, Danis has made a name for himself as one of the grappling world’s outspoken and controversial competitors, the 24-year-old New Jersey native will make his pro MMA debut at Bellator 198 against 2-4 Illinois native Kyle Walker at a 175-pound catchweight.
Bellator 198 is scheduled for April 28 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., just outside of Chicago. The card is headlined by a quarterfinal showdown in the promotion’s ongoing heavyweight grand prix, pitting legendary former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko against past UFC champ Frank Mir.
Danis rose to a greater MMA recognition after becoming a training partner for UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor ahead of “The Notorious” one’s rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, signed with Bellator just under a year ago and immediately pronounced, “I have a bigger following and a bigger name than anyone on the roster,” Danis told to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani last March.. “So at the end of the day I wasn’t surprised. It was the right move for them. You can put any of those bums against me, and they’ll get a rating.”
“I’m the highest-paid guy in Bellator now, so that’s all I can say,” he continued.
Walker, 31, after beginning his pro MMA career at 2-1 in 2013, returned to pro action in 2016, and has been finished in his last three contests, competing as a welterweight and middleweight.