Coming off a flying knee finish in a “dream come true” fight in his native Hawaii, Toby Misech is ready for Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 215.
Toby Misech (11-6) has no small task ahead of him at Bellator 215. At the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, he’s stepping in the cage against former bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas. On Short notice. In his second fight with the promotion.
That’s a tough fight at the best of times. Misech spoke to Cageside Press ahead of Bellator 215 this Friday, giving his thoughts on his career with the promotion so far.
It all came together when Bellator matchmaker Rich Chou hit up Misech’s coach, asking “Hey, you think Toby could make 35?” As Mishech put it, “we’re willing to fight anybody, it’s just a weight issue.” Luckily, his weight was on point. It helped that he’d been in action recently. Plus, that fight (at Bellator 212) happened to end in a widely replayed flying knee finish.
“I fought in December for Bellator, I guess I performed well enough,” Misech said. Quite the understatement. And he admitted “I had a lot to prove that fight, because on the Contender’s fight, that wasn’t me. I didn’t show up at all.” Misech’s last fight before joining Bellator was on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. ‘2 Quick’ lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Palacios that night. Bellator 212, however, “that was my true self.”
Even better, that big debut win came in his native Hawaii. “It felt amazing. Finally a big organization coming to our home town. I got to be part of that, and put on a performance,” Misech told us. “It felt like a dream come true.”
His profile is a little higher now, but “nothing too crazy. Just more interviews, and people hitting me up now.” A win over Dantas, however, might just skyrocket him into the spotlight.
No worries about the short notice nature of the fight, either. “It’s a short notice fight, but after my fight [in December] I’d actually been in the gym, training,” he said. “After that fight, everybody told me, my manager, my coaches, ‘hey stay ready, something might come up.'”
So Misech was already working on his strength training, and keeping everything sharp. As for the weight cut, “so far, it’s been great. I’m not in that grouchy stage yet, I’m still happy,” he said. And ready to get the pounds off, working with Lockhart Nutrition to get things done right.
While Misech has fought at featherweight lately, this isn’t his first trip to 135lbs, so the cut isn’t exactly new to him. “With all those other bantamweight fights, I didn’t get a full camp either,” he added. “And I started heavier. This fight I’m actually starting a little bit lighter.”
Moving forward, ‘2 Quick’ is willing to fight in either division, though making a run in the bantamweight division might be his preference.
Dantas is coming off a broken leg injury, and Misech is curious to see how the ex-champ will move around — though given it’s his rear leg, it’s not really a factor in the plan of attack. What Misech is expecting is “a war. I know he’s hungry, he’s coming off two losses, he’s fighting a guy that’s coming up and looking to make a name. So I know he’s going to come in hungry, I’m expecting him to come in aggressive and looking to put on a show.”
A big win Friday could propel Misech right into the title picture in a wide open bantamweight division in Bellator. Champ Darrion Caldwell is coming off a loss in RIZIN to Kyoji Horiguchi, who is likely to appear in Bellator for a rematch later this year. Aside from that, Juan Archuleta stands out, but few other names are in the mix. “I think it will boost me up there, as a contender, I would hope,” Misech said of possibly beating Dantas. “Win this, maybe two more top fights, or one more fight,” he said. Then, hopefully, he’s right there at a title shot.
First up, Dantas. On the finish, Misech told us that “in a perfect world, I’m hoping a knockout. I’m honestly looking for a finish. I’ve seen he gets kind of rocked every time he gets touched on the chin, so I’m hoping to land something.” Then, onward and upward.
Bellator 215 takes place Friday, February 15 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The main card airs live on Paramount Network and DAZN.