Bantamweight Qualifiers on Target for Bellator 51

By Mike Whitman Sep 23, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Bellator

All eight Bellator Fighting Championships Season 5 bantamweight tournament competitors hit their contracted weights at Friday’s Bellator 51 weigh-in.

Going down Saturday from the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio, Bellator 51 will feature all four bantamweight tournament quarterfinals, as Joe Warren (135) meets Alexis Vila (134.5), Wilson Reis (135.5) squares off with Eduardo Dantas (134.5), Chase Beebe (135) locks horns with Marcos Galvao (135) and Ed West (134) toes the line against Luis Alberto Nogueira (134).

The main draw will air in standard definition on MTV2 and hi-definition on EPIX. Additionally, the preliminary card will be streamed live on prior to the televised bouts.

Bellator’s reigning featherweight champion, Warren is hunting for another belt to strap around his waist. As the self-proclaimed “baddest man on the planet,” the Greco-Roman specialist has won five straight bouts and has not lost since 2009.

Six years the elder of his opponent, Vila, 40, has yet to taste defeat as a professional. The 1996 Olympic bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling has knocked out six of his nine career victims, doing most of his damage in local Florida competition.

The first and only EliteXC bantamweight champion, Reis has split his last four bouts, falling in the semifinals in Bellator’s first three featherweight tournaments.

Only 22, Dantas has won three straight. The Shooto South American 132-pound champion most recently defended his title, submitting Samuel de Souza with an armbar in December.

A former WEC bantamweight champion, Beebe rebounded from a difficult stretch to win seven of his last eight contests. Beebe made a successful Bellator debut in May, submitting Jose Vega with a guillotine choke at Bellator 43.

Galvao recently gave an excellent account of himself in his first Bellator appearance, dropping a controversial unanimous decision to Warren in a 137-pound catchweight bout at Bellator 41. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for the Brazilian.

West made it all the way to the final of Bellator’s first bantamweight tournament, losing by unanimous decision in the championship round to reigning king Zach Makovsky. The loss marked West’s first defeat since February 2007.

Nogueira, 26, has won seven straight fights. “Betao” most recently made a successful Bellator debut in April, earning a unanimous nod over Jerod Spoon at Bellator 42.

Bellator 51
Saturday, Sept. 24
Canton Memorial Civic Center
Canton, Ohio

Bellator Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals
Joe Warren (135) vs. Alexis Vila (134.5)
Wilson Reis (135.5) vs. Eduardo Dantas (134.5)
Chase Beebe (135) vs. Marcos Galvao (135)
Ed West (134) vs. Luis Alberto Nogueira (134)

Frank Caraballo (142.5) vs. Dustin Kempf (143.5)
Jessica Eye (125) vs. Casey Noland (127.5)
Farkhad Sharipov (135) vs. Jessie Riggleman (134.5)
Dane Bonnigson (203) vs. Dan Spohn (201.5)
John Hawk (204) vs. Allan Weickert (200)
Clint Musser (154.5) vs. Joey Bernard Holt (153.5)


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