It was a mixed martial arts debut that was over a year in the making and in the end it took Dillon Danis a little over 90 seconds to register the first victory on his professional ledger.
The 24-year-old Danis defeated Kyle Walker by toe hold submission to open the main card of Bellator 198 in Rosemont, Illinois, on Saturday night in the first step of what looks increasingly likely to be a very productive career for the BJJ phenom.
After testing the waters on the feet in the bout’s opening moments, Danis soon shot for a takedown and ended up with Walker in his guard and from that point on it seemed as if the end was near. Walker defended gamely but as soon as he tried to his the reset button and extricate himself from guard, Danis latched onto a foot and locked in the fight-ending toe hold 98 seconds into the first round.
— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) April 29, 2018
While sterner tests will certainly arrive in Danis’ future it was a debut which showed exactly how dangerous the New Yorker can be on the mat and places Danis as one of the most bankable new stars on a Bellator roster loaded with young talent.
“I feel great,” Danis said after the fight. “I said this before I came in, no one would ever experience submissions like this in MMA.”
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 29, 2018
Elsewhere on the Bellator 198 card, Fedor Emelianenko rolled back the years with a first round TKO victory of fellow veteran heavyweight Frank Mir in the main event to progress to the next round of Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix.
There was also submission wins for two other well known names in BJJ. Rafael Lovato Jr. defeated former UFC fighter Gerald Harris by armbar submission just over a minute into the first round, while Neiman Gracie defeated Javier Torres by arm triangle in the second round.