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Joe Warren Stunned in Bellator Bantamweight Tournament

TheWrestlingTimes.com  By - Kent Jones


Joe Warren Stunned

Joe Warren's pursuit of a second Bellator title didn't get very far.

Warren, Bellator's featherweight champion, dropped to bantamweight to enter the promotion's Season 5 tournament, hoping to win the tourney and get a shot at bantamweight champ Zack Makovsky. But Alexis Vila had plenty to say about that Saturday at Bellator 51, and he said it with his left hand.

Vila dropped Warren with a big left in the main event, knocking him out before he hit the ground. The knockout came at just 1:04 of the first round. Vila advanced to the semifinals of the Bellator bantamweight tourney, as did Eduardo Dantas, Marcos Galvao and Ed West with their wins on Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

"This is what MMA is about," Vila said after the fight. "I think everyone's happy with my performance, so let's roll. I'm looking for the title. It's why I came here – to get a title."

Warren's loss snapped a five-fight winning streak, all in Bellator, since his last loss at Dream 11, a submission setback to Bibiano Fernandes in October 2009. Warren's featherweight title was not on the line. Vila, from Cuba, remained unbeaten at 10-0. It was his Bellator debut.

In the co-main event, Dantas, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, upset Wilson Reis with a first-round knockout. Dantas landed a big flying right knee to Reis' chin. Six shots on the ground later, Reis was in his second straight Bellator semifinals. He lost in the featherweight tournament's semis in the spring.

And in a pair of decisions to open the quarterfinals, Marcos Galvao beat former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe with a close split decision. Galvao, a BJJ black belt, survived several first-round submission attempts from Beebe. And West beat Luis Nogueira, a Brazilian national wrestling champion, by unanimous decision.

The semifinal fights of the bantamweight tournament are expected to take place in a Bellator event next month.