Bellator Fighting Championships returns TONIGHT (Oct. 15, 2011) to the Cocopah Casino in Yuma, Arizona, with the continuation of the promotion's season five bantamweight tournament as the promotion holds its semifinals.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of Bellator 55 below, beginning with the MTV2 telecast at 9 p.m. ET. In addition, we'll deliver up-to-the-minute quick results of all the undercard action much earlier in the evening.
Former Olympic bronze medal winner Alexis Vila will battle gritty WEC veteran Marcos Galvao while Bellator season three finalist Ed West will take on highly touted Brazilian prospect Eduardo Dantas. The winners will advance to the finals to potentially earn a title shot against Bellator champion Zach Makovsky.
Also on the card will be a superfight featuring the Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu as he squares off with massive MMA veteran Travis Wiuff.
The opening bout of the main card will be a lightweight attraction as top Brazilian prospect Ricardo Tirloni and EliteXC veteran Steve Gable.
Complete Bellator 55 results and play-by-play are after the jump:
Main Card (MTV2)
135 lbs.: Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao via split decision
135 lbs.: Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West via split decision
205 lbs.: Travis Wiuff def. Christian M'Pumbu via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Ricardo Tirloni def. Steve Gable via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:54 Round 2
155 lbs.: Efrain Escudero def. Cesar Avila via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:55 Round 1
210 lbs.: Richard Hale def. Carlos Flores via knockout at 0:18 Round 1
185 lbs.: Kobe Ortiz def. Edgar Garcia via knockout at 4:06 Round 1
155 lbs.: Erin Beach def. Roscoe Jackson via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:52 Round 1
145 lbs.: Jade Porter def. Nick Piedmont via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Steve Steinbeiss def. Dano Moore via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:52 Round 1
Hemmi here, I'll be handling the play-by-play tonight.
135 lbs.: Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila
Round one: They size each other up and Galvao attempts a body kick. Vila dives in but comes up short with a left hand. Galvao has his hands up very high while Vila bounces around on the outside. Galvao almost throws a flying knee but thinks twice halfway through. Galvao throws a leg kick that connects and Vila forces him backwards with a doubled-up jab. Galvao gets inside and Vila takes him down easily. Galvao ties up one of Vila's arms and Vila backs out allowing him back to his feet. Galvao lands another nice leg kick. Vila dives in and Galvao falls backwards but pops back up. Vila throws a kick and whiffs with a huge uppercut. Both men miss with kicks as time expires. Not much action there but I'll go 10-9 Galvao for landing some leg kicks.
Round two: Both men again start out very cautious with their hands up. Vila shoots in and eats a knee and takes Galvao down but Galvao again pops right back up. Vila connects with a leg kick, then another. Both men throw strikes but none really connect. Galvao throws a left hand that lands and Vila responds with a pair of kicks.Galvao lands a nice left knee and Vila is repeatedly coming up short with his power strikes. Vila shoots in and gets shrugged off, throwing a kick on the exit. Vila throws a body kick and eats a counter right hand. Leg kick connects for Galvao and Galvao opens up a bit with 30 seconds left. Galvao lands several kicks and they trade punches and Galvao gets the better of them. 10-9 Galvao
Round three: Galvao opens up with his punches and stuffs a takedown. Both men throw big strikes and Vila again comes up short. Vila scores a takesdown but Galvao throws strikes from bottom and again gets to his feet. Bila throws a body kick, then catches a kick from Galvao. Galvao continues to stalk and throws a nice right leg kick and backs Vila up with a combination. Both man blast each other with right hands and Vila lands a flush leg kick. Galvao continues pressing the pace andboth men trade big right hands. Vila shoots and gets stuffed again. Nice leg kick from Galvao chops into Vila's thigh. Galvao is turning it up here. Galvao throws another nice leg kick. Vila looks tired and eats another leg kick. Galvao lands a nice right hand on Vila as he comes in and Vila is now throwing wildly. Galvoa lands a right hand and Vila whiffs with power and goes off balance. Galvao connects a big right hand and knocks Vila back with a kick. Big chopping kick from Galvao and they throw until the final bell. 10-9 Galvao, that was his best round of the fight.
Final Result: Alexis Vila defeats Marcos Galvao via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
135 lbs.: Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West
Round one: West gets on the outside and peppers Dantas with some leg kicks. Dantas explodes forwards and lands an overhand right. Dantas shoots in and pushes West into the fence but then backs up. Dantas misses with a big combination and West responds with a body kick. Dantas wades in with big looping hooks and clips West. Dantas connects and drops West and dives into his guard throwing ground and pound. West closes his guard and hangs on, it looks like he's recovered. West latches on an armbar and goes belly-down looking for the finish but Dantas escapes it, allowing West back to his feet in the process. The clinch and Dantas looks for the clinch and West throws some knees before backing off. Dantas connects with another right hand. West dives in and connects with a right uppercut and pushes Dantas into the fence, dropping some foot stomps. West throws a big knee and backs off. Dantas is hunting for the knockout, stalking West and looking to land punches. Dantas closes the distance with a combination of strikes and pushes West into the fence. They separate and West throws a head kick and a leg kick as the round ends. 10-9 Dantas
Round two: West opens with a leg kick, then another. West snaps a head kick and Dantas shoots in but West shrugs him off. Dantas lands a right hand and follows it up with a head kick of his own but West blocks it. Dantas lands a nice counter right hand, he's definitely landing the better shots on the inside and he's closing the distance well. West throws some leg kicks and Dantas walks through the outside kicks and lands his big power strikes, pushing West into the fence and throwing some knees. Dantas works for a trip and he gets it. West tries to roll but Dantas takes his back with a body triangle. West is in big trouble here. Dantas nearly latches on a rear naked choke but West survives and then spins into his guard, dropping a right hand. Dantas looks for an armbar and West drops a big left hand. Dants brings up his right leg and eats some right hands from West and he stays on top until the round ends. 10-9 Dantas
Round three: They exchange and West stumbles Dantas with a push kick. West stuffs a takedown and presses Dantas into the fence as both men trade knees. They circle each other in the clinch and separate at the midway point of the round. Dantas lunges in and looks like his eye is injured. Yeah, replay shows a bad eye poke from West's thumb. They reset and Dantas still looks like he's affected by it. Dantas wades in with a combination of hooks that forces West to back up. Dantas connects with another right hand and West responds with some weak kicks from the outside. West throws a switch kick as he backs up and Dantas wades in and throws a knee. West counters with some low kicks. They trade kicks and punches as the fight concludes. That was a really close round. I'll go 10-9 West
Final Result: Eduardo Dantas defeats Ed West via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
205 lbs.: Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff
Round one: M'Pumbu works to snap a jab but Wiuff shoots in and takes him down. M'Pumbu holds the butterfly guard and Wiuff passes to half guard. Wiuff drops an elbow but M'Pumbu retains guard. Wiuff stays in tight and presses M'Pumbu hard into the canvas. M'Pumbu brings his legs up and latches on an armbar but Wiuff stacks him up and doesn't allow him to extent. Wiuff drops some punches and the ref stands them up. Wiuff wades in with strikes and presses M'Pumbu into the fence. Wiuff throws some knees and some foot stomps as the round concludes. 10-9 Wiuff
Round two: They open tentatively and M'Pumbu hurts Wiuff with a big knee. Wiuff tries to close the distance and they trade punches. Wiuff presses M'Pumbu into the fence and scores a takedown again. Wiuff is all over M'Pumbu with his size here. Wiuff drops some right hands and M'Pumbu brings his legs up looking for a triangle. He wraps his legs around Wiuff's neck but Wiuff lifts him off the canvas and slams him to power his way out of the submission attempt. Wiuff gets some space and drops repeated punches. Wiuff drops some short elbows and hangs on until the round ends. Closer round but I've got it 10-9 Wiuff
Round three: They posture for nearly a minute and M'Pumbu snaps a couple punches but nothing serious. M'Pumbu needs a finish. M'Pumbu throws a combination that connects. Big left hand from M'Pumbu and Wiuff clinches but M'Pumbu throws some knees and forces him back. Wiuff is slowing down here. M'Pumbu snaps a left jab and then a right hand and Wiuff taunts him. Wiuff closes the distance and clinches, pressing M'Pumbu into the fence. Wiuff has a cut under his left eye. M'Pumbu blasts Wiuff and drops Wiuff with a right hand. Wiuff pops to his feet and scores a single leg takedown, dropping M'Pumbu to his back. If he can ride out to the rest of the round, he won't win the round but he'll stop it from being a 10-8 and win the decision. 50 seconds left and M'Pumbu isn't even trying to get to his feet. Wiuff drops ground and pound until the end of the fight. 10-9 M'Pumbu
Final Result: Travis Wiuff defeats Christian M'Pumbu via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable
Round one: Tirloni opens with a pair of leg kicks and then a body kick, none are blocked. They tie up and Gable presses Tirloni into the fence, looking for a takedown. Tirloni throws a pair of knees to force Gable to back off and then blasts him with another knee once he has free space. Gable again initiates a clinch but can't score a takedown and Tirloni nails him with a knee on the exit. Gable shoots and gets stuffed badly as Tirloni takes top position in the half guard. Gable postures on his hip but Tirloni is heavy on top of him. Tirloni's looking for a D'Aarce choke but can't secure it and instead drops some left hands. Gable really working hard for the sweep and he turtles into a single leg but Tirloni stuffs it. They separate and Gable lands a nice right hand on the exit. Gable presses Tirloni into the fence again as both men trade knees. Tirloni takes inside position as the round ends. 10-9 Tirloni
Round two: Gable opens again with a clinch but Tirloni trips him and temporarily puts him down but Gable pops back to his feet. Tirloni circles to the inside position and throws a big knee. They separate and Gable shoots but gets stuffed and Tirloni lands on top. Tirloni drops a big elbow and postures up, throwing big right hands. Gable has a cut over his left eye now. Tirloni stands up and drops back into Gable's full guard. Tirloni opens up his attack and unloads some ground and pound as Gable goes defensive. Tirloni passes to mount and Gable gives up his back. Tirloni locks in a rear naked choke, flattens him out and forces an insta-tap from Gable. Tremendous finish to the fight by Ricardo Tirloni!
Final Result: Ricardo Tirloni defeats Steve Gable via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:54 of round two