Bellator Fighting Championships’ bantamweight playing field is set and ready to rumble at Bellator 51. On September 24 in Canton, Ohio eight of the Chicago-based MMA promotion’s top 135lbs. fighters will meet in the center of the cage to determine who will advance to the next round with the hopes of getting the next shot at Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (13-2).
Bellator Season 3 Bantamweight Tournament finalist Ed West (14-5) returns for the first time since his five-round battle with champion Makovsky, and welcoming him back to the cage is Brazilian Shooto veteran Luis Nogueira (4-1).
Former Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto (8-1) is making his second appearance in the Bellator tournaments, only this time he is doing so 10lbs. lighter in the bantamweight division. First on his list of challengers is Shooto veteran Eduardo Dantas (5-2). The Brazilian will pit his flashy striking against Soto’s NJCAA wrestling credentials in what will likely be a fight to the end.
WEC and Chicago Cagefighting Championship veteran “The Rage” Chase Beebe (18-5) earned a spot in his first Bellator tournament after defeating Jose Vega (8-5) via first-round Guillotine Choke at Bellator 43 in May. He will face another well-known bantamweight in “Loro” Marcos Galvao (9-5) in next month’s quarter-finals match-ups. Many still assert that Galvao was unfairly on the losing end of the judges’ decision in his fight against reigning Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (7-1). Galvao looks to get his rightful revenge against Warren but he must go through a very game Chase Beebe to get it.
Featured in the main event is none other than the reigning champion of Bellator’s 145lbs. division, Joe Warren, who believes he has what it takes to be the first man to hold two titles in the promotion. Going against Warren is the undefeated and strong striker Alexis Vila (8-0). Vila hopes to pull off the upset of the season by sending the boisterous Warren back to the featherweight division.