Dillon Danis will surely be getting some attention with his recent claim that he is now the highest paid fighter on the Bellator MMA roster.
Although the 23-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace has yet to make his professional mixed martial arts debut, one thing for sure is that he has learned a thing or two from UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
Danis was brought in for McGregor’s training camp for UFC 202, the rematch against Nate Diaz after McGregor was submitted by Diaz in their first meeting at UFC 196. From there, Danis was a part of McGregor’s training camp for his lightweight title shot against then-champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. Danis and McGregor have bonded and Danis has surely taken a page out of Conor’s book with marketing himself.
“I have a bigger following and a bigger name than anyone on the roster,” Danis told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (transcribed by Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting). “So at the end of the day I wasn’t surprised. It was the right move for them. You can put any of those bums against me, and they’ll get a rating.”
Danis’ words shine brightly with confidence like McGregor, and those paying attention will surely be eager to see if his MMA debut lives up to his words.
“We talked to the UFC, for them it’s just hard to sign anyone who doesn’t have any fights,” Danis said. “We were negotiating but Bellator came with money from the beginning. In the future, we’ll see what happens, but it was right this time with Bellator, the money was right, everything was right and they needed a star, you know?”
Danis didn’t disclose any numbers regarding his signing with Bellator but did make a bold claim that will surely get the attention of Bellator stars such as Rory MacDonald, Chael Sonnen, and Fedor Emelianenko.
“I’m the highest-paid guy in Bellator now, so that’s all I can say,” Danis said.
It will still be some time before we see Danis compete in the Bellator cage as he has an agreement with the promotion to compete in more grappling tournaments this year.
“My deal with them is I’m going to compete, to play for them after ADCC,” Danis said of the competition that takes place in September. “Right now, I’m still doing my goals and competing in gi and no-gi. I still have my goals and then after, I want to go to MMA. Then I’ll go into full MMA mode after that.”
How do you think Dillon Danis will do in mixed martial arts competition? Let’s hear it in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/28/2017.