Several years ago in Brazil at the Nova Uniao main academy, Marcos Galvao and Eduardo Dantas were teammates. They became friends and trained together constantly, but in the back of each other’s heads, the two knew that someday their paths would inevitably cross in the throes of real combat, not just in the gym.
That belief became a reality on Valentine’s Day 2013 at Bellator 89. In that matchup, Dantas was the better man as he knocked out Galvao with a crushing right uppercut followed by a few hammerfists in the second round. Galvao was knocked completely out, and Dantas was able to retain his Bellator bantamweight title.
Galvao has not forgotten that night in Charlotte and has vowed to never again be toppled like that. So far the jiu-jitsu wizard has kept his vow, as he hasn’t lost since, going 4-0 and snatching the same title away from Joe Warren, who took it from Dantas.
“I’m at a much better place mentally when I train and fight compared to how I used to be,” Galvao told Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “I listen to my trainers more; I listen to my corner more. It comes from maturity. I’ve being doing this for a very long time and I had to kind of change the way I approach things now. I think I’m a much more complete fighter and I can promise you that I’m not going to lose like that again.”
Galvao is determined to exact revenge on Dantas at Bellator 150 and if it means submitting him or knocking him out, so be it. His primary job is to have his hand raised at the fight’s conclusion by all legal means necessary, even if it means tearing through an old friend.
But when the topic of their friendship and all the years they spent training together was mentioned, “Loro” dismissed their relationship being an issue heading into their rematch on Friday night.
“We haven’t spoken in years,” he revealed. “He still lives in Brazil and we don’t speak anymore.
“But,” he immediately clarified, “nothing bad happened between us or anything like that. A lot of people make a big deal about how we don’t talk anymore, but it’s nothing. There is no bad blood or hard feelings between us. We don’t speak mostly more because he lives in Brazil still and I don’t. We’ve just gone on separate paths.”
Considering how well he knows “Dudu” and how their first fight ended, Galvao knows he can’t expect to fight the same Dantas from three years ago. He said he is focusing more on his strengths and has become much more comfortable with how he fights and what his strengths are, something he admitted he struggled with early in his MMA career. One of the best jiu-jitsu players in the world, Galvao reflected on his early career where he said he tried be more of a fighter early on and subconsciously stayed away from his comfort zone. But when he altered his approach and overall mindset, he nearly ripped off Warren’s leg with a vicious kneebar when they fought.