CHICAGO, Ill. (June 28, 2011) — Bellator’s Season 5 will feature a talent-stacked tournament at 135 lbs., as eight of the world’s top bantamweights are set to battle it out for the right to challenge current champion Zack Makovsky for the Bellator Bantamweight World Title.

Season five kicks off LIVE on MTV2 on September 10th, and the Bellator Season 5 Bantamweight Quarterfinals are scheduled to get underway on September 24th.

Headlined by current Bellator Featherweight World Champion and “Baddest Man on the Planet” Joe Warren, who is dropping down a weight class in an attempt to simultaneously hold two World Titles.

The bantamweight field also includes the spectacular talents of former Bellator Featherweight World Champion Joe Soto, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Marcos Galvao and hard-hitting Olympic Medalist wrestling phenom Alexis Vila.

Rounding out the group is the world’s top bantamweight prospect Eduardo Dantas, Season 3 Bantamweight Tournament Finalist Ed West, Brazilian Wrestling Champion Luis Nogueira and former WEC Champion Chase Beebe.

All four bantamweight quarterfinal fights will be televised LIVE on MTV2 on September 24th, with the undefeated and extremely dangerous Vila battling Warren. Vila, a Cuban Olympic bronze medalist known as “The Exorcist,” comes in with a 9-0 record, with six of those eight wins coming by way of some form of knockout.

His unblemished professional career will most certainly be tested by Warren, who will be coming off a featherweight title defense against Patricio Pitbull at Bellator 47 from Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada (also LIVE on MTV2).

“To say our Season Five Bantamweight tournament is stacked is a gross understatement,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Warren-Vila is going to be absolutely explosive for as long as it lasts, and the inclusion of Dantas, Nogueira, Chase, Soto, Ed and Luis makes every single fight in this tournament a pick’em adventure. This should be an unbelievable tournament for our fans watching live on MTV2.”

In what is sure to be one of the night’s most compelling fights, World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Galvao, nicknamed “Loro,” faces off against fellow submission specialist Chase Beebe. If there ever was a Bellator fighter who made his name in defeat, it was Galvao, who lost by decision in a much talked about and hotly contested all out war with Warren. Being at most two victories from a potential rematch with Warren will surely motivate the supremely talented Galvao.

In other quarterfinal action, former world Champion and worlds #6 ranked Joe Soto takes his impressive 9-1 mark against the Nova Uniao-trained “Dudu” Dantas, who at 10-2 and only 22 years old is one of the sport’s true up and comers. Also, Ed West returns to the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament to face off with Nogueira in the cage, as each fighter looks to punch their ticket to the semifinals.

The Season 5 Tournament in full is listed below:

  • Joe Warren vs. Alexis Vila
  • Eduardo Dantas vs. Joe Soto
  • Ed West vs. Luiz Nogueira
  • Marcos Galvao vs. Chase Beebe

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