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Jonas Bilharinho Thrilled for Bellator Paris Debut After ‘Painful’ Dana White Snub

Jonas Bilharinho excited for Bellator debut
Yves Landu vs, Jonas Bilharinho

Jonas Bilharinho is set to make a significant mark in the Bellator cage this Friday, facing Yves Landu in Paris. This moment represents the pinnacle of a tumultuous journey for the Brazilian fighter.

Bilharinho caught the MMA world's attention with a spectacular spinning wheel kick TKO against Canaan Kawaihae at Dana White’s Contender Series in November 2021. This victory improved his professional record to 9-1-1, with almost all his wins coming by stoppage. Despite White praising the finish, Bilharinho was not signed to the UFC roster.

Reflecting on that night, Bilharinho shared, 

“It was a surprise for me, right? Everybody thought it was a done deal [after the KO], that he would sign me. When he said he would not sign me, the entire arena reacted the same way, ‘Ohhhh’. I think the only person that knew he wouldn’t sign me was [White] and whoever else he mentioned it before the announcement.”

White expressed mixed feelings about the decision, acknowledging Bilharinho’s talent and potential but ultimately deciding to let him explore other opportunities.

“You saw the kid has speed, he has hands, he’s a talented guy,” White said in 2021. “The spinning kick was a spectacular finish... The kid’s stock went up tonight. He’s 9-1, maybe one of these other organizations pick him up... He’ll pick up a couple of fights in LFA...and we’ll take a look at him again.”

Bilharinho faced setbacks post-DWCS, including a decision loss to an overweight Jose Delano in Rio de Janeiro. However, he bounced back with a decision win over Pedro Lopes and a second-round body kick knockout against Caio Machado, eventually securing a contract with Bellator.

Now 33 and a decade after becoming a two-division champion in Jungle Fight, Bilharinho credits his managers for a “great” three-fight deal with Bellator. He is open to future opportunities with PFL but is thrilled to be part of Bellator.

Facing Yves Landu, a seasoned French featherweight with a 20-9 record, Bilharinho anticipates a challenging fight. Landu, known for his striking power, has won his last four fights in Bellator.

“My teammates even joked that it’s like when you choose the same characters to fight each other on Mortal Kombat... He has dangerous knockouts, high kicks, and flying knees... I want to show I’m here to stay. I fight smart, but I’m always looking for the knockout. I want my fight to end in a highlight.”


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