Once again Bellator took center stage on a Saturday night with their bantamweight semifinal tournament. Coming to us live from the Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Arizona it was Bellator 55 , an event headlined by the two semifinal bouts between the remaining four 135 pounders.
In the main event, Alexis Vila, fresh off his KO victory over Joe Warren, took on Marcos Galvao and barely outpointed him in a controversial Split Decision, while Season 3 finalist Ed West fell to Brazilian youngster Eduardo Dantas. Also on the card, Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu lost to the much more experienced Travis Wiuff in a non-title bout by way of decision.
Steve Steinbeiss def. Dano Moore via Submission Round 1 (Rear Naked Choke)
Jade Porter def. Nick Piedmont via Unanimous Decision
Erin Beach def. Roscoe Jackson via Submission Round 1 (Rear Naked Choke)
Jacob Ortiz def. Edgar Garcia via KO Round 1 (Punch)
Richard Hale def. Carlos Flores via KO Round 1 (Punch)
Efrain Escudero def. Ceasar Avila via Submission Round 1 (Guillotine Choke)
Steve Gable vs. Ricardo Tirloni
Fight Recap: Tirloni dominated the first round. He landed good leg kicks when they were at a distance, heavy knees to the body and head in the clinch, and had the top position on the ground for a short while, roughing up Gable with strikes. Tirloni dominated the second round as well. He stuffed a takedown, ended up on top, and pounded away on Gable while maintaining top position. Eventually Tirloni got the back and quickly locked in a rear naked choke, which forced Gable to tap out. Very impressive performance by Tirloni.
Ricardo Tirloni def. Steve Gable via Submission Round 2 (Rear Naked Choke)
Christian M’Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff
Fight Recap: The first round was all Wiuff. He got an early takedown and roughed up M’Pumbu inside the guard with punches and elbows, opening up a cut on the face of M’Pumbu. The second round started good for M’Pumbu, landing a knee that wobbled Wiuff, but Wiuff fought on and managed another takedown. M’Pumbu tried to lock up a triangle but Wiuff slammed his way out and remained on top for the rest of the round. M’Pumbu stayed on his feet early in the third round, dropping Wiuff and nearly finishing him with strikes on the ground, but Wiuff survived and ended the final minute and a half of the round on top. M’Pumbu won the last round, but dropped the first two and should lose the decision.
Result: Travis Wiuff def. Christian M’Pumbu via Unanimous Decision
Ed West vs. Eduardo Dantas
Fight Recap: Dantas took it to West in the early part of the first round, landing the counter right at will and even dropping West. Dantas tried to finish on the ground but West survived, got to his feet, and started to find his range in the striking department, even dropping Dantas to a knee with a short uppercut. Good round of action. The second round started slow with a lot of clinch work but picked up when the fight hit the ground. Dantas had the back of West and tried to finish with the choke but West fought out and spun on top, where he ended the round. Another good round with this one closer than the first. The third round was a little slow and then West caught Dantas with an unintentional finger to the eye. The entire round was all on the feet with West being the busier of the two fighters and landing more volume, but Dantas hitting with more power. Very close round and fight overall but I think Dantas should win the decision.
Result: Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West via Split Decision
Alexis Vila vs. Marcos Galvao
Fight Recap: Not a lot happened in the first round. The most significant event was a takedown by Vila, but Galvao bounced right back up. The second round had a little more action, but that’s only because there was so little in the first. Galvao landed some good knees as Vila ducked under and some solid counters, but Vila may have landed the best punch of the round with a winging right. Very close fight through 2. Vila tried for multiple takedowns in the third round but Galvao stuffed them all. Galvao also got the better of the striking, although nothing landed all that clean. Not a great fight overall but I think Galvao did enough to win the decision.
Result: Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao via Split Decision