Bellator MMA continues to bolster welterweight division with pair of signings

The best division within Bellator MMA just got a bit deeper on Thursday following a pair of signings.  

Bellator agreed to terms with former UFC welterweight Lorenz Larkin (18-5), who exits the promotion having won four of his last five, including 2016 victories over Jorge Masvidal and Neil Magny. It also signed newcomer Dillon Danis, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout who is best known as the grappling partner and close friend of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. 

Danis, 23, has yet to make his MMA debut, but the black belt under Marcelo Garcia at Alliance New York told Yahoo Sports that he has high goals for his career. 

“I want to fight the best, just like Conor does,” Danis said. “We’re different people, though we’re very like-minded. We set high goals and we aren’t afraid to try to achieve. I feel he’s the best ever, in my opinion, and so if people want to compare us, well, how could it be bad if you’re a basketball player to be compared to Michael Jordan? That’s essentially what people would be saying if they compare us.” 

Larkin, 30, hasn’t fought since his UFC contract ran out last August. He went public soon after with his disappointment with the UFC’s offer and how he felt he was being under promoted.  

“It has been a long process, I didn’t expect it to be that long,” Larkin, a native of Riverside, California, told the Press-Enterprise. “I wanted someone to get behind me and have some faith that I can deliver and I can be an asset to wherever I go and that’s what I felt like with Bellator. They pretty much checked off all the things that I was looking for.” 

The signing with Bellator reunites Larkin with CEO Scott Coker, who once promoted Larkin’s five-fight run in Strikeforce, including a 2012 win over Robbie Lawler.  

“We are so happy to bring Lorenz back home,” Coker said. “There are a bunch of great matchups for him over here and I look forward to seeing his exciting style inside the Bellator cage soon.” 

Douglas Lima, who knocked out Andrey Koreshkov in November, is the current Bellator welterweight champion. But the division’s depth only continues from there with former UFC stars Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley and Benson Henderson, along with Brennan Ward and Michael Page.

CBS Sports Insider

Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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