Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (7-1) will be trying to win his second Bellator title when he takes part in the season five bantamweight tournament which kicks off at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio, on Sept. 24.
Warren is undefeated at 5-0 inside the Bellator cage since making his debut with the organization last year. After winning the season two featherweight tournament, Warren took the 145-pound title from Joe Soto (9-2) with a second round TKO last September.
Warren has fought once since becoming champion, scoring a hard fought unanimous decision win over Marcos Galvao (9-4-1) in a non-title bout at Bellator 41 in April.
At Bellator 51 on Sept. 24 Warren has a tough fight on his hands as he takes on Cuban wrestler and 1996 Olympic bronze-medalist Alexis Vila (9-0) who remains undefeated since making his pro MMA debut in 2007.
Vila has knocked out his last five opponents in a row, all in the second round. His most recent victim was Lewis McKenzie (12-7) in February.
In the second bantamweight quarterfinal bout on the Bellator 51 card, 2004 BJJ world champion Wilson Reis (12-3) will take on top-ranked bantamweight prospect Eduardo Dantas (10-2), a 22-year-old Nova Uniao member.
In the third bantamweight quarterfinal bout and fresh off his three round war with Joe Warren, BJJ world champion Marcos Galvao (9-4-1) returns to take on former WEC bantamweight champion Chase Beebe (19-7) who is riding a five fight win streak.
West is 8-2 in his last 10 bouts, most recently defeating Sam Rodriguez (4-3) with a first round armbar in March. Nogueira has won his last seven fights, most recently defeating Jerod Spoon (5-2-1) via unanimous decision at Bellator 42 in April.
All four 135-pound quarterfinal bouts will air LIVE on MTV2 on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.