Alexis Vila knocked Joe Warren out cold before he hit the floor. | Photo: Keith Mills


CANTON, Ohio -- In Bellator 51’s battle of wrestling world champions, it was fists that made the difference inside the Canton Civic Center, where 1996 Olympic Games bronze medalist Alexis Vila knocked Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren out cold just 64 seconds into the opening round.

K. Mills


Joe Warren got emotional.

Warren, the 2008 Greco-Roman wrestling world champion at 132 pounds, was making his bantamweight debut in MMA after earning the Bellator featherweight title at 145 pounds. On the other hand, Vila, a Cuban defector now based in Miami, carved out most of his 9-0 record entering the fight in the flyweight division, 10 pounds south of the bantamweight limit.

The carnage started with an overhand right just seconds into the bout, as Vila clipped a surging Warren. The rattled Warren turned and retreated, but Vila gave chase, swinging heavy leather. When Warren thought to punch back, Vila landed a crushing left hook that left Warren unconscious before he ever hit the mat. When he did, his head whipped violently off the floor.

Now 10-0, the 40-year-old Vila has had stoppages in nine of his bouts, including six straight knockouts. Warren falls to 7-2 with the loss.

On the other end of the age spectrum, the bantamweight tournament contains several notable prospects but perhaps none quite as interesting as 22-year-old Nova Uniao prodigy Eduardo Dantas, who knocked out Wilson Reis in impressive fashion.

The Philadelphia-based Reis controlled the action early, getting the better of Dantas by bringing the bout to him. However, after Dantas just missed with a knee to start the second round, Reis was stumbling back, moving away to avoid danger. The Brazilian would have none of it, though, and immediately pounced on his opponent. Reis tried to recover and shoot in for a takedown but it played right into Dantas’ game. Just as Reis went down for the takedown, Dantas came in with a devastating jumping knee that knocked the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt out cold.

The powerful finish came 62 seconds into round two, moving Dantas’ career mark to 11-2.

K. Mills


'Dudu' did it with knees.

Dantas was not the only successful Nova Uniao representative on the bill, nor even in the bantamweight bracket, as his elder teammate Marcos Galvao turned in an impressive display in taking a deserved split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over former WEC champion Chase Beebe.

Fighting for the first time since losing a controversial decision to Joe Warren at Bellator 41 in April, Galvao went out aggressively, leaving nothing to chance in this bout. From the opening bell, Galvao wore Beebe down with his superior jiu-jitsu and did just enough in the striking department to supplement his game, landing wild-but-effective overhand rights.

Beebe valiantly stuck it out, threatening with guillotines in the first round that made the Brazilian sweat. However, Galvao escaped and took top positon, where his grappling proved superior over the 15-minute bout. Although judge Mike Barry had a hard-to-believe 29-28 Beebe scorecard, judges John Beltz and Darren Austin saw it 29-29 for Galvao, now 10-4.

The first man to advance to the semifinals was former Bellator bantamweight tournament runner-up Ed West, who earned a crafty unanimous verdict over another talented young Brazilian in Renovacao Fight Team's Luis Alberto Nogueira.

K. Mills


West even tried a fireball.

The Tucson, Ariz., native used every inch of his 5-foot-10 frame to stay outside of Nogueira for most of the 15 minutes. Nogueira repeatedly sought to clinch West along the fence and secure takedowns, but when it did occur, West was able to separate from the cage -- or escape to his feet -- where his wild kick arsenal was on full display.

With the fight close in the third frame, West turned it on with a salvo of kicks and punches. It paid dividends, as judges Mike Barry and Darren Austin saw the bout 29-28, while John Beltz had it 30-27 for West, now 17-5 with the win. West's lone loss in his last 10 was his championship contest with Bellator 135-pound king Zach Makovsky.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

After playing catchup, Bellator 163's Paul Daley vows to be ahead of Derek Anderson

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

To Bellator welterweight Paul Daley, a loss to ex-champ Douglas Lima is one of those things where it’s best to not think about it too much.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

5 reasons to watch Bellator 163, including a title fight and a few very different kinds of debuts

  • 29 days ago
  • 17 views

Things are about to get real busy in the MMA world. Between now and December 30, Bellator and the UFC, the two major players in the sport, will present 17 total fight cards. The first of those is Fri read news >>

Derek Anderson Says He's Going to 'Smack' Paul Daley Around at Bellator 163 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 6 views

For his fight on Friday, Derek Anderson is sure that his 170-pound main card bout against Paul Daley won’t go to decision. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2318 with Douglas Lima and Jon Anik

  • 29 days ago
  • 5 views

Stream or download Wednesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Douglas Lima and Jon Anik.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Video: Watch today's Bellator 163 weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

You can watch a live stream of today’s official Bellator 163 weigh-ins here on MMAjunkie beginning at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Video: Watch today's Bellator 170 press conference with Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen at 6:15 p.m. ET

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 views

You can watch a live stream of today’s Bellator 170 press conference with headliners Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen here on MMAjunkie beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis Weigh-in Video and Results | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis weigh-in video for Thursday's ceremonial event. Watch it live at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. read news >>

Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz Bellator 170 Press Conference, Live at Appox. 6:15p ET | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 11 views

Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz square off in a press conference. Watch it live on Thursday at approx. 6:15 pm ET, shortly after the Bellator 163 ceremonial weigh-ins. read news >>

Bellator 163 weigh-in results: Headliners on weight but main-card bout scrapped

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

The fighters have hit the scales for Bellator 163 weigh-ins, and though the headliners were on weight, one main-card bout was scrapped.Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Why Daniel Cormier's advice has Bellator 163's Ed Ruth confident for MMA debut

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Three-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and four-time All-American Ed RuthFiled under: Bellator, News, UFC read news >>