Vinicius de Jesus has Bellator 207 business to handle first, but Dillon Danis challenge still stands

For someone with only one pro MMA bout to his name, Dillon Danis has certainly managed to turn himself into a popular target.

If there’s a line there, though, fellow Bellator fighter Vinicius De Jesus should get some type of priority. After all, he’s been quite public about his intentions of meeting Danis for some time now. Take this video, for instance, which dates back to April 2017 (via YouTube).

By the time De Jesus published the video, Danis had already proven his worth in the grappling world but had yet to make his professional MMA debut. That would only happen in April, at Bellator 198, when Danis scored a first-round submission win over Kyle Walker.

That’s far from the most high-profile battle Danis’ name has been attached too, though. The grappling expert, who’s also a training partner of former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor, was the one Khabib Nurmagomedov was going after when the UFC lightweight champ hopped over the octagon cage at UFC 229.

De Jesus, on his end, had six professional MMA bouts to his name and was coming off a victorious Bellator debut, also a submission, over James Boran when he recorded the video. He’d go on to follow it up with a split-decision loss to Joaquin Buckley.

“The Brazilian Bad Boy” is looking to recover from that tonight at Bellator 207, where he meets Tim Caron (9-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) in a middleweight bout. But, 18 months later, de Jesus (6-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), still wouldn’t mind a crack at Danis (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

“I didn’t watch the last UFC pay-per-view,” de Jesus told MMAjunkie. “I choose to concentrate on my training instead. But I saw the news on the following day. Even though I don’t enjoy trash talking, regarding Dillon Danis, he’s a coward. He wouldn’t accept a fight against me until he felt he had enough experience. Bellator will allow him to pick his own opponents.

“I know how the business works. He wouldn’t face me because he’s afraid to fight someone whose jiu-jitsu matches his, and who has knockout power. He’s not on my level. The challenge stands. If he has the balls to face me, I’ll agree – any time, any place.”

Before any of that happens, de Jesus has a more immediate concern. He meets Caron in a preliminary card bout at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. It’s not only a chance to recover, but also the return from a year-long layoff.

De Jesus had a good reason to be away, though: The arrival of his daughter and fourth child.

“It’s my second child here in the United States,” de Jesus, who recently opened his own gym in Connecticut, said. “I decided to concentrate on my small children. My son attended my fight last year at six months of age. My wife was already pregnant at the time with our new baby.”

It’s also a chance for him to concentrate on technical improvements, de Jesus said. Removing “the pressure of always having to get ready for a fight” meant a chance to focus on different aspects of his training, like isometrics and balance exercises.

The call to meet Caron was on short notice, and in a division above his usual welterweight, but de Jesus says he was already training at about 45 percent of his capacity, and just had to do a final push to get it up to 100 percent. Now, the Brazilian says he’s feeling good, comfortable and pressure-free.

Between that, and the hard sessions at Renzo Gracie’s and at Heavy Hitting Boxing and Fitness, de Jesus is confident he won’t need the judges to determine the outcome of tonight’s clash.

“Tim Caron is another opponent in my way,” de Jesus said. “This won’t’ be different from the other guys I’ve beat. He’s going to fall. I’m not impressed by his abilities. He does have some skills, so he can’t be overlooked. Any mistake on my part can cost me the fight. But I’m confident in my techniques, trainers, and training partners. Victory will be ours on Friday night, without a shadow of a doubt. It will be a submission or knockout.”

For more on Bellator 207, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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