Dillon Danis seemed calm and relaxed enough to smile as he looked up toward the big screen on one end of Madison Square Garden to check how much time was left in the round.
He didn’t actually smile, though, at least not until the fight ended a couple minutes later.
Danis, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion from New York City, submitted Max Humphrey at Bellator 222 at MSG on Friday. Danis (2-0) got the submission with 32 seconds left in the first round.
Danis shot in for the low single-leg takedown in the opening seconds of the 175-pound catchweight bout, but Humphrey (3-3) got out of the way in time. No such luck a few seconds later. Danis got the takedown and had four minutes or so to work. He landed a series of strikes to the grounded Humphrey’s head, but he stayed in the bout.
“I liked the experience in there a little bit. It was kind of fun to hit someone 100 percent, just to go all out," Danis said. "Then I heard my coach say 'Jiu-Jitsu' and I switched back to myself."
At one point, Danis sat up, relaxed himself and waited patiently for the right opening. It eventually showed itself, and Danis went in for the armbar. Humphrey defended for a bit, but eventually Danis was able to isolate the arm and sink in the armbar, forcing Humphrey to tap almost immediately.
“I think that he’s got a great career ahead of him,” Bellator president Scott Coker said. “It’s frequency of repetition that’ll take him to the next level.”