ROSEMONT, Ill. – Dillon Danis said he worked his striking plenty before his pro debut, but ultimately it was his bread and butter that got the job done.
Danis (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) forced Kyle Walker (2-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to tap to a toehold quickly into the first round for a win in his highly anticipated professional MMA debut. The stoppage came at the 1:38 mark of the first round for Danis, a training partner of Conor McGregor and one of the most highly decorated grapplers now in MMA.
The 175-pound catchweight bout opened up the main card of today’s Bellator 198 event at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., near Chicago. It aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Danis shot quickly, but Walker avoided the early takedown attempt. Walker’s first left hand pushed Danis’ head back, and a second left moments later clipped him. Danis tried a body kick 45 seconds in and continued to bounce in his southpaw stance. When he shot for a takedown a minute in, Walker used it to get on top in Danis’ guard. But with a jiu-jitsu ace, that was the last place he wanted to be.
Danis quickly latched on to his left leg. Walker tried to scramble away on hsi feet, but Danis brought him easily back down. Just a few seconds later, Walker had no choice by to tap from the heavy pressure on his knee, and Walker looked like the knee had torqued in a bad way.
“I feel great,” Danis said. “This is another level. … That’s just jiu-jitsu. I’m the one that created all this. I did all the media. All the bums on the card have to come after me.”
Danis won his highly anticipated pro MMA debut. Walker, fighting under the Bellator banner for the first time, dropped his third straight.
Up-to-the-minute Bellator 198 results include:
- Dillon Danis def. Kyle Walker via submission (toehold) – Round 1, 1:38
- Sultan Umar def. Tom Angeloff via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Robert Morrow def. Adam Maciejewski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Adil Benjilany def. Corey Jackson via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mark Stoddard def. Dan Stittgen via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:43
- Eric Wisely def. Morgan Sickinger via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:12
- Joey Diehl def. Nate Williams via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 0:54
- Asef Askar vs. Andrew Johnson ruled majority draw (27-28 Askar, 28-28, 28-28)
- R’Mandel Cameron def. P.J. Cajigas via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
For complete coverage of Bellator 198, check out the MMA Events section of the site.