Olympic bronze medalist Alexis Villa and the striker from Novia Uniao in Eduardo Dantas will face off in the bantamweight tourney finals for Bellator Fighting Championships. Last night at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Arizona, Bellator 55 and the season 5 bantamweight semifinals were held. After trumping Joe Warren in the quarter finals, Vila faced Marcos Galvao in a tightly-contested decision. Similarly, Dantas faced the very underrated Ed West in another close contest. Both fights ended in split decision wins for the victors.
Dantas won 29-28 and 30-27 on two of the judges score cards. The other judge awarded it 29-28 for West. Here's Bloody Elbow's recap of Dantas:
Round one: West opens up with a leg kick, then another. Dantas comes in with a combo that backs West up a bit. Dantas then lands another right, West clinches up briefly. Dantas lands another combo and tries a head kick but misses. Dantas with another combo, backing West up. Dantas clips West again, he's down and hurt, Dantas comes in to finish but West closes guard. West goes for an armbar but Dantas gets out. They're up and clinched up on the cage. They separate, and West throws some little leg kicks. Dantas lands another left, West answers with an uppercut that puts Dantas down briefly. They clinch on the fence again, then separate. West lands a good leg kick but Dantas answers with a combo that puts West back on the cage. Dantas gets a takedown but West is back up immediately. West lands a headkick, then the round is over. Pretty close but I give it to Dantas 10-9.
Round two: West starts right out with a leg kick, and another. He goes for a head kick but barely misses. They're on the cage momentarily, then back out. Dantas lands a head kick, West misses with a superman punch. West gets a solid push kick in. Dantas catches him with a right. West comes forward with several kicks, Dantas answers with a combo. They clinch and trade knees. West is trying for a trip but can't get it. Dantas does, however. West gives up his back, Dantas is going for an rnc but West is defending well. West spins and ends up in Dantas' guard. Dantas goes for an armbar but West gets out. West back to full guard. Dantas is keeping him tied up. Dantas tries for rubber guard but West starts landing body shots. End of the round. Wow. I think Dantas took that one too, 10-9. Great round though.
Round three: West with the leg kicks again. Dantas comes forward swinging, but West moves away. West lands a push kick, Dantas goes for a single but can't get it. West has him against the cage now. West lands a few little body shots, and they trade knees. Dantas goes for a single but gives up. Back to the center. West is landing kicks but eating punches in the process. Both fighters swinging, and then it looks like Dantas gets a thumb in his eye. Time is called, then resumed. Twas an accident. Dantas comes in with a good shot, then another. West is landing kick after kick but they don't look like they're doing much. West is finally coming forward with some good punches, but the fight is over. I give it to Dantas, at least 29-28 if not 30-27.
Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West via split decision
There was some controversy about the judging. Two judges scored it for Vila 29-28 while one judge saw it 30-27 completely in Galvao's favor. Here's the recap of Vila vs. Galvao:
Round one: Slow start, but Galvao throws the first punch and misses. He lands a leg kick that just barely connects. Lots of circling. Vila throws a right that misses. Galvao with another leg kick. Galvao comes in with a knee and Vila takes him down. They get up quickly. Vila comes in with a head/body combo then backs off. Galvao swinging and missing. Galvao lands a leg kick that almost trips Vila. Galvao slipped but Vila lets him up. Both guys being pretty hesitant this round. Vila throws an uppercut that would have been wicked if it connected. End of the round. No idea how to score this one, since neither guy did much.
Round two: Vila comes in swinging but misses. Vila goes for a takedown, Galvao gets out if it. Vila with a nasty leg kick, followed by a combo that doesn't really connect. Another slow round so far. Vila throws a head kick that Galvao blocks. Vila lands a couple more kicks. Galvao is threatening with punches but not throwing. He does land a good knee. Vila shoots, can't get the takedown, then throws another head kick that Galvao blocks easily. Vila lands a hard body kick but eats a punch for it. Galvao connects with a body kick. They trade some kicks and punches but nothing is doing much damage. End of the round. I give it to Vila 10-9. Probably the first round would be the same.
Round three: Galvao comes out with a leg kick that looks like it hurts Vila. Vila gets a takedown, but Galvao is up quickly. Galvao almost catches a kick from Vila, but Vila spins out. Galvao misses with a head kick, then connects with a combo. Vila answers with a good right. Galvao misses with another kick, then eats a left. And again. Vila goes for a single, but Galvao gets away quickly. Galvao lands another good outside leg kick. Vila is swinging and connecting, but Galvao is landing a lot of good kicks. And more of the same. Vila can't even shoot, Galvao is stuffing the takedowns almost before they happen. End of the fight. Galvao took the third round, the fight will likely go to whoever the judges thought took the first.
Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao via split decision
In other results, Christian M'Pumbu, the Bellator light heavyweight champion, lost his bout with Travis Wuiff in a non-title affair. Full results are as follows:
Alexis Vila defeated Marcos Galvao via split decision (30-27G, 29-28, 29-28)
Eduardo Dantas defeats Ed West via split decision (29-28, 29-28W, 30-27)
Travis Wiuff defeats Christian M'Pumbu (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ricardo Tirloni defeats Steve Gable via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:54 of round 2
Efrain Escudero defeats Cesar Avila via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:55 of round 1
Richard Hale defeats Carlos Flores via knockout at :18 of round 1
Jacob Ortiz defeats Edgar Garcia via knockout at 4:06 of round 1
Erin Beach defeats Roscoe Jackson via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:52 of round 1
Jade Porter defeats Nick Piedmont via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Steve Steinbeiss defeats Dano Moore via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:52 of round 1