YUMA, Ariz. — Bellator 55 takes place this evening at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz., and features the semifinal round of Bellator Fighting Championships’ season five bantamweight tournament (135 lbs.) with BJJ black belt Marcos Galvao (10-4-1) facing undefeated Olympic medalist Alexis Vila (10-0) and Nova Uniao’s Eduardo Dantas (11-2) taking on season three finalist Ed West (17-5) for the $100,000 grand prize and a shot at Zach Makovsky‘s 135-pound title.
Bellator 55 will broadcast LIVE starting at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT) on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. The preliminary card will begin at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) and stream LIVE and FREE on Spike.com.
We have ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff on hand at Cocopah Resort and Casino tonight so stay tuned for exclusive photos and interviews from Bellator 55. And as always, we will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary throughout tonight’s event.
Bellator 55 quick results:
MAIN CARD (MTV2):
- Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Travis Wiuff def. Christian M’Pumbu by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ricardo Tirloni def. Steve Gable by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 2 (3:54)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com):
- Lightweight Feature Fight: Cesar Avila (155.5) vs. Efrain Escudero (156)
- Richard Hale def. Carlos Flores by knockout (punch) Rd 1 (:18)
- Kobe Ortiz def. Edgar Garcia by knockout (punch) Rd 1 (4:06)
- Erin Beach def. Roscoe Jackson by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (3:52)
- Jade Porter def. Nick Piedmont by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Steve Steinbeiss def. Dano Moore by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (4:52)
Bellator 55 play-by-play:
It’s 99° in Yuma this afternoon and the fights are outside in the scorching heat. “Big” John McCarthy is our first referee of the evening. There looks to be quite a few empty seats at this point, but a lot more folk will certainly show up for the main card.
(185) Steve Steinbeiss vs. Dano Moore
Round 1 – Moore gets a takedown right away and gets his head caught in a guillotine. Moore pops his head out but gets put in a triangle. Steinbeiss tightens up the triangle, pulls down on Moore’s head. Moore struggles to get free and finally does after several seconds. Moore on top in half guard. He moves to full mount, back to half guard. Steinbeiss puts him in a onoplata, but Moore gets to his feet, dives and rolls and ends up back on top of Steinbeiss in half guard. They scramble and Steinbeiss takes Moore’s back with both hooks in. Moore on all fours right now, they roll as Steinbeiss looks for the rear-naked choke. Steinbeiss gets under the chin with less than ten seconds, pulls it tight and Moore taps out with just eight seconds remaining. Nice performance from Steinbeiss.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Steve Steinbeiss def. Dano Moore by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (4:52)
(145) Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter
Round 1 – Porter backs Piedmont against the cage with punches then clinches up, Piedmont turns him to the cage. They exchange knees. Piedmont punches on the break. Porter presses him back against the cage. Knee from Piedmont, he turns Porter to the cage. They jockey for position. Right hand from Porter as he clinches and pushes Piedmont to the cage, Piedmont reverses, eats a right on the break. Porter lands a left. Jab from Piedmont coming in. Nice left hook Porter pushes him to the cage, reversed. Porter with a trip takedown but Piedmont hops right up. Porter lands a nice right that staggers Piedmont, clinches up, pushes Piedmont to the cage with two minutes left. Knee from Porter in the clinch. They separate, Porter comes in swinging big. Clinch against the cage. Knee from Porter. Piedmont ends up getting a takedown and mount at the end of the round. Porter 10-9.
Round 2 – Big left hand by Porter as Piedmont shoots. Sprawl by Porter, they exchange knees from the clinch. Lot of clinch fighting in this match. They jockey for position. Porter turns Piedmont to the fence. Nice knee to the face from Porter. Porter lands three nice left hands as they separate. Piedmont shoots, stuffed. Knee from Porter to the face, looks to just miss. Knee to the thigh from Porter, Piedmont turns him around. (I see our girl Meghan Wonder at cageside taking photos – whattup @MeghanWonder). Jab and leg kick from Piedmont. Porter comes in swinging big, backs Piedmont to the cage. Porter with a trip takedown, has a body lock from behind. Counter left from Porter. Piedmont drops levels for a takedown, can’t get it. He backs out. They swing and miss and Porter pushes him to the cage. 10-9 Porter.
Round 3 – Big leg kick from Porter. Inside leg kick from Porter. Porter with a right to the body. Piedmont with a leg kick but Porter counter with a one two and a leg kick, again with a leg kick, body shot. Piedmont swings and misses, eats a nice right from Porter as Porter backs him to the cage. They clinch up and struggle a moment before moving to the center. One two from Porter, big overhand right. Piedmont shoots, pushes Porter to the fence but can’t get the takedown. Porter drops levels, goes for a single leg, they go down but bounce right up. Porter jumps on Porter’s back while standing. Piedmont puts his feet down and Porter lands a knee to the face and some nice elbows to the face. Piedmont fires one back himself. Leg kick from Porter as they separate. Porter shoots, Piedmont touches the ground with his knee but gets right up. They square up, Porter catches a kick, Piedmont tries a head kick with his other leg. Piedmont gets a takedown but Porter bounces right up. Continues to try for a takedown, misses a head kick. 10-9 and 30-27 for Porter as I see it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jade Porter def. Nick Piedmont by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Rd 3 (5:00)
(155) Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson
Round 1 – Leg kick from Jackson. Nice left from Jackson. Love the name Roscoe (P. Coltrane). Takedown from Beach, inside Jackson’s full guard. Lands an elbow on Roscoe’s skull. Right hand from Beach, again. Jackson throws up an armbar. Beach staying in tight to prevent Jackson extending it. Beach is free, tries to pass and does so; moves to side control. Nice short elbows from Beach. Another one. Uh oh, he traps Jackson’s arm with his leg and lands another nice elbow, then some punches as Jackson frees his arm. Beach moves to full mount. Right hand. Jackson puts his feet on the cage, gives up his back. Beach gets both hooks in, goes for the choke and Jackson taps. By the way, Beach was on Fist-ta-Cuff Radio this past week, check it out on our FisttaCuff Radio Page or by clicking play on the player at the bottom of the page.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Erin Beach def. Roscoe Jackson by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 1 (3:52)
(185) Kobe Ortiz vs. Edgar Garcia
Round 1 – Ortiz on the outside circling. Misses a leg kick, hands low. He shoots, stuffed and Garcia fires off some punches. Jab from Ortiz. Garcia makes him pay for missing a punch. Ortiz’s hands a re very low. Body shot from Garcia. Ortiz shoots, stuffed, eats a punch but also lands a shot on Garcia. He backs out. Leg kick from Garcia. Another one that buckles Ortiz’s leg, again. He almost looks scared to be honest. Big leg kick from Garcia again. Ortiz on his bike trying to stay away. Big leg kick from Garcia. Big leg kick again from Garcia, another one. Garcia taps his chin telling Ortiz to come on. Holy crap, Ortiz comes in with one huge right hand right on the chin and Garcia is out cold. Oh my god — do not ever tap your chin in MMA says commentator Jimmy Smith. Wow, just amazing.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Kobe Ortiz def. Edgar Garcia by knockout (one punch-overhand right) Rd 1 (4:06)
(211) Richard Hale vs. Carlos Flores
Round 1 – Flores backs Hale up. Hale grabs a collar tie, throws a knee to the head followed by a big a right hand that lands on the button and Flores falls face first down to the mat and this fight is over folks.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Richard Hale def. Carlos Flores by knockout (punch) Rd 1 (:18)
(155) Steve Gable vs. Ricardo Tirloni
Round 1 – Tied up against the cage with Tirloni’s back to the cage. Knee to the head from Tirloni just misses. Gable shoots, pushed over onto his back and Tirloni has to control in half guard. Tirloni locks on a D’arce, lets it go. Gable gets to his knees, then feet, and goes for a single. Knee from Tirloni, right from Gable. Tirloni checks a leg kick from Gable. They tie up. Tirloni with a collar tie, knee scores. Gable with a knee to the body, again. Tirloni fires back with a knee. Tirloni 10-9.
Round 2 – They tie up. Knees to the thighs from Gable against the cage. Tirloni returns the favor and pulls Gable to the ground but they bounce right up, still clinched. Tirloni puts Gable’s back to the cage, they separate and square up. Gable shoots and gets stuffed and pushed over to his back with Tirloni on top in half guard. Tirloni stands over Gable and lands two big rights. Gable lands a nice up kick. Tirloni drops down inside Gable’s closed guard with an elbow. Body shots from Tirloni. Two minutes to go. Tirloni postures up with body shots. He stands over Gable and rains down punches, drops to full mount, Gable gives up his back and Tirloni continues with punches. Gable rolls to his back and Tirloni mounts, Gable gives up his back, Tirloni locks on the rear naked choke and Gable taps out quickly.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ricardo Tirloni def. Steve Gable by submission (rear-naked choke) Rd 2 (3:54)
(205) Travis Wiuff vs. Christian M’Pumbu
Round 1 – This is Wiuff’s 80th pro fight. M’Pumbu is the light heavy champ. Wiuff shoots, puts M’Pumbu on his back easily. Wiuff is on top in half guard. M’Pumbu doesn’t even cut weight. M’Pumbu defending well. Wiuff unable to do much here, however, M’Pumbu’s left eye is bleeding from one of Wiuff’s right hands. Wiuff with a nice hammerfist. M’Pumbu throws up an armbar with a minute and a half left. Big hammerfist and more right hands and left hammerfists and punches from Wiuff. Big John stands them up. One minute to go. One two three punches, Wiuff walks M’Pumbu down against the cage, clinches and pushes M’Pumbu to the cage. Gives a few punches to the body before the bell. 10-9 Wiuff.
Round 2 -Wiuff gets caught with a right coming in, but walks right through it. M’Pumbu rocks Wiuff with a big knee. They swing leather until Wiuff shoots. M’Pumbu sprawls, lands some shots but ends up on his back as Wiuff drives through. Wiuff on top in half guard landing some small hammerfists. M’Pumbu defending well, eats a right. Another one. Two and a half minutes left. M’Pumbu sets Wiuff up for a triangle and Wiuff just lets him do it. He pulls Wiuff’s head down. Wiuff picks him up over his head and slams him hard. This breaks the submission attempt and Wiuff goes back to punishing M’Pumbu with hammerfists and punches. Wiuff landing some nice punches to the side of the head as M’Pumbu tries to cover up. M’Pumbu cuts no weight — whereas Wiuff cuts down as a big heavyweight. Wiuff rides it out on top doing just enough not to get stood up. 10-9 Wiuff.
Round 3 – Slow start to round three, a minute gone by and M’Pumbu finally lands a left hook and a right. Jab from Wiuff. Left from M’Pumbu, knee to the body as they tie up. Jab from M’Pumbu. Nice right uppercut and straight right from M’Pumbu. Wiuff tells him to come on. He comes in swinging and ties M’Pumbu up against the cage. Right hand from M’Pumbu on the break. He hurts Wiuff with a right on the break, he’s wobbling. M’Pumbu goes in for the kill as Wiuff goes down. He’s cut under his right eye. Wiuff is able to get back to his feet and puts M’Pumbu on his back. Great recovery from Wiuff. Less than a minute to go as Wiuff hangs out in half guard. Wiuff was looking exhausted prior to getting rocked. Wiuff finishes out landing some right hands and body shots. Close round. I’ll give that round to M’Pumbu but the fight to Wiuff 29-28.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Travis Wiuff def. Christian M’Pumbu by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) Rd 3 (5:00)
Wiuff (@TravisWiuffMMA) defeats the champion in a non-title bout. That’s the danger in putting their champions in these non title bouts.
(135 semifinals) Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West
Round 1 – Touch gloves. Leg kick from West. Again. Dantas lands a left right. Leg kick West. Dantas has the strangest shorts I’ve ever seen. Big overhand right from Dantas. Leg kick West. Dantas ties him up against the cage, pulls out. Inside leg kick West. Dantas misses a high kick. Beautiful body kick and leg kick from West. Push kick from Dantas. Leg kick West. One two three from Dantas. Again and West goes down. Dantas follows him down inside guard and rains down punches. West wraps him up, goes for an armbar, Dantas breaks free but West gets to his feet. Clinched. Dantas’ shorts look like they belonged to Bill Bixby after he became the Hulk. Left hand from Dantas. West lands an uppercut that drops Dantas but he pops right back up. He pushes Dantas to the cage, where he gives Dantas some knees. Leg kick from West. Head kick blocked. Leg kick. Overhand right from Dantas. Takedown from Dantas but West bounces right up, hammerfists Dantas’ thighs, high kick blocked, lands a leg kick. 10-9 West.
Round 2 – West kind of reminds me of Cowboy Cerrone. Leg kick West. Again. Head kick blocked. West shoots, stuffed. Overhand right from Dantas. Inside leg kick from West, eats a counter right. Push kick from West. Big big leg kick from Dantas. Leg kick from West. Again. One two punch from Dantas. Leg kick West. Dantas pushes him to the cage. Gets a trip takedown but West bounces up. Dantas rolls and ends up taking West’s back with a body triangle locked on. Dantas looking for the rear naked choke. West spins and ends up inside full guard. West postures up, Dantas goes for an armbar as West dives in with a right. Less than a minute to go. Right hands to the body from West. Dantas landing some right rabbit punches. Very fast paced. 10-9 West.
Round 3 – Jabs from West, leg kick. Leg kick from West. Nice push kick from West knocks Dantas back. Dantas shoots for the single, West pushes him back to the cage, foot stomp. Knee from Dantas. They jockey for position. Body punches from West. Dantas looks for a trip, no dice. Knee from Dantas to the body. Counter right from Dantas. Leg kick from West. Head kick from West is blocked. Body shot West. Dantas gets a poke in the eye and he drops to his knees. Ref halts action to look at it. They restart. Exchange of leg kicks. Left hook from Dantas. Leg kick from West. Nice right from Dantas rocks West. West lands a big leg kick and a head kick mostly blocked. Just under a minute to go. Beautiful body kick from West, switch kick. Right hand from Dantas. Right from West. Big leg kick from West, one inside. Body kick from West, Dantas gives one back at the bell, blocked. I’ve got it 10-9 West all three rounds –however, the first two rounds, at least, were very close and commentator Jimmy Smith gave them to Dantas.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) Rd 3 (5:00)
(135 semifinals) Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila
Round 1 – Galvao misses a leg kick. Big leg kick from Vila. Lots of feeling out here. Right hand from Galvao. One two from Galvao and Vila puts him on his back. Galvao kicks him back and gets up. They trade punches, neither land flush. Right hand from Vila. Nice leg kick from Galvao. Big leg kick from Galvao. Uppercut from Vila just misses. Jumping round kick to the body by Vila. Vila 10-9.
Round 2 – Knee from Galvao, Vila catches it and tries to put him on his back but Galvao defends. Big leg kick from Vila. Leg kick inside from Vila. Leg kick from Galvao. Big right hand from Vila scores. Body kick. Left hand from Galvao and a knee to the body. Vila just misses a huge right hand. Vila shoots, stuffed, head kick blocked. Galvao stalking, Vila dodges a right. Body kick from Vila, eats a counter right. Leg kick from Galvao. Body shot from Vila, right counter. Left hand from Vila scores as they trade in the pocket. Body shot from Vila. Knee from Galvao. Right hand from Vila, great action here! 10-9 Vila.
Round 3 – Leg kick from Galvao. Vila catches a leg kick and fires off a counter right. They swing big from the pocket. Vila gets a takedown but Galvao gets right up. Galvao catches a kick, Vila misses a punch. Vila catches a kick. Right hand from Galvao. Left from Vila. Nice right from Galvao, nice right clubbing hand of Vila. Leg kick from Vila. Left from Vila. Galvao continually coming forward. Right hand from Vila, shoots, stuffed. Galvao hunting. Left hand from Vila. Leg kick from Galvao. They trade jabs. Big leg kick from Galvao. Left from Vila. Vila has slowed and looks tired. Leg kick, again from Galvao. Vila shoots, stuffed. Right from Galvao. Vila misses and stumbles. They trade leg kicks. Big right from Galvao and a right hand. Lazy shot from Vila stuffed. Twenty five seconds left as Galvao lands a big leg kick. Again. Vila with a left hook. Very fast paced fight. 10-9 Galvao, 29-28 Vila as I see it.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28) Rd 3 (5:00)