Joe Warren wants a second Bellator belt. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Officials from Bellator Fighting Championships Tuesday announced the opening-round pairings for the promotion’s fifth-season bantamweight tournament.
Sherdog.com confirmed with a source close to the event that all four quarterfinals will be contested Sept. 24 at Bellator 51, for which a venue has not yet been finalized. Bellator’s fifth season will begin Sept. 10 with Bellator 49.
Airing live on MTV2, the Sept. 24 quarterfinals will see reigning Bellator featherweight king Joe Warren square off against fellow wrestling convert Alexis Vila, as well as third-season tournament finalist Ed West returning to face Brazilian prospect Luis “Betao” Nogueira. Bellator’s inaugural 145-pound champion, Joe Soto, will make his return to the circular cage at the event, as the 24-year-old drops in weight to lock horns with Eduardo Dantas. Rounding out the tournament bouts will be a matchup pitting Nova Uniao representative Marcos Galvao against fellow WEC veteran Chase Beebe.
The eight bantamweight tournament participants will vie for a shot at reigning 135-pound champion Zach Makovsky and $100,000 in total pay.