Not only is tonight’s scrap between Juan Archuleta and Eduardo Dantas very promising from a technical and meritocratic standpoint, it looks like the fight has a sizeable beef attached to it too…

The two are going to throw down on the main card for Bellator 222, which is taking place in New York City. The fighters didn’t reportedly have any issues before, but due to some comments Dantas has apparently made, Archuleta recently said this (quote via MMA Junkie):

“I’m going to beat the hell out of him and make him swallow those words he was saying online,” Archuleta said. “All the (expletive)-talking he was doing, he’s going to come face on Friday night, and I’m going to face these words too coming in that night. I’m in here, I’m a professional athlete, I’m going to come perform to the best of my ability. I’m going to lead the action the whole way, and I hope it goes 15 minutes so everyone knows that he’s going to cower out.”

How about that? Now, since Archuleta is riding a 17 fight winning streak, and because he’s gone 4-0 with Bellator to date, chances are a win will deliver him a title shot (even though his fight tonight with Dantas is being contested at 145). Bellator’s 135 champ Darrion Caldwell is set to face RIZIN counterpart, Kyoji Horiguchi tonight as well. The latter fought Caldwell on New Year’s Eve, and scored a third round, submission win.

So who does Archuleta think he’ll be facing? If he beats Dantas and receives a title shot?

“I don’t give a (expletive) who wins, I just care about fighting for the title,” Archuleta said. “I just worry about getting my job done Friday then taking the winner of whoever is going to win that fight. … I think Horiguchi gets it done again, honestly. Weather’s the storm a little bit, lets him wear himself down, then takes advantage of him and submits him again.”

There you have it. It will be really interesting to see whether Horiguchi can record another win over the extremely well rounded, Caldwell. If he does, Horiguchi will extend his winning streak to 13 and he’ll almost certainly silence folks who still question whether he’s one of the game’s very best 135’ers.

Bellator 222 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden. In the main event, welterweight champ Rory MacDonald will take on Neiman Gracie in a grand prix, semifinal bout.

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