While Jon Jones was wielding the power that all true sons of Krypton have when touched by the Earth’s sun, Bellator 51 was playing out on MTV2, offering up quarterfinals for their fifth season’s bantamweight tournament. How did the little guys do? And were they able to top the thrilling, nonstop action of UFC 135’s Travis Browne/Rob Broughton funfest? Read on, friend-o.
American Ed West and Brazilian Luis Nogueira opened the event with a very spirited fisticuff, West looking to use kicks and a ton of movement and Nogueira hunting for the perfect opportunity to feed his opponent knuckles. Curiously, though Nogueira possesses a strong wrestling background, he found himself on his back in the first round. But he righted himself soon after, and the end of the frame had him bashing West from the clinch. Round 2 had more of the same, sans Nogueira spending time on the bottom, while in the final frame they alternated between slugging it out and jockeying for the advantage in the clinch. At one point the Brazilian very nearly had the slam and the suplex, but West was on to his tricks, and deftly countered with a kimura. Time ran out with them still trying hard to end it. When the judges’ scorecards were tallied the unanimous decision went to West, though it was certainly a competitive match-up when all was said and done.
Brazilian Marcos Galvao had a tall order before him in former WEC champ Chase Beebe, but Galvao sports a resume that includes phenomenal jiu-jitsu and experience fighting everywhere – two factors which made their fast and furious first round and the perilously close guillotine attempts the American tried the epitome of excitement. Heck, they were even blasting each on the feet, a trend which continued into the second (but with more wild misses added). Yet for all the instances where the Brazilian got the takedown and ended atop the American in Round 2, exhaustion made the third round a sloppy punching extravaganza that Beebe seemed to steal. As such, Galvao came away with only the split decision.
The third bout of the broadcast pitted a Brazilian against a Brazilian in Eduardo Dantas and Wilson Reis. Though their combined jiu-jitsu experience is enough for more than a few human lifetimes, it was all about the boxing and kickboxing these guys brought into the cage – and as evidenced when he fought Patricio Freire, the compact Reis makes a great stationary target when knees, shins and fists are flying. Round 1 saw Dantas avoiding the ground masterfully while gauging his range and probing for openings. The former EliteEX champ, meanwhile, grew more and more desperate. That desperation came to an end at 1:02 of the second round, with Dantas landing a crushing flying knee and following it up with a torrent of knockout punches to the prone Reis.
Cuban Olympic wrestler Alexis Vila apparently had somewhere else he needed to be, because he wasted no time putting away 145-pound champ Joe Warren. Pegging the American Greco-Roman specialist with a right hand early then following it up with a failed takedown attempt,Vila showed he meant business. And his business was concluded when he put a left hook square on Warren’s chin seconds later. Warren was completely starched, and the official time of the knockout was 1:04 of Round 1.
-AlexisVila def. Joe Warren via KO (Punch) at 1:04 in Round 1
-Eduardo Dantas def. WilsonReis via KO (Punches) at 1:02 in Round 2
-Marcos Galvao def. Chase Beebe via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
-Ed West def. Luis Nogueira via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)