For the first time in his Bellator Fighting Championships career, Joe Warren was stopped, as Alexis Villa knocked out the featherweight champion at Bellator 51 Saturday night.
Villa, Eduardo Dantas, Marcos Galvao and Ed West all advanced in the bantamweight tournament. Warren, Wilson Reis, Chase Beebe and Luis Nogueira were knocked out of the field.
“Just spectacular performances by our 135ers,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “These four semi-finalists are some of the best in the world. Vila and Dantas’ knockouts are two of the greatest knockouts I’ve seen all year. This division is stacked and I cannot wait for October 22nd in Arizona. These semi’s will be magic.”
Villa (10-0) and Warren (7-2) was the main event on the MTV2 card, which was held in the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. Villa, a 1996 Olympic freestyle wrestling bronze medalist, landed a left hook to Warren’s chin that knocked the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” out cold. The fight was over in just 64 seconds.
“There’s nobody that can stop me from becoming the next Bellator Bantamweight World Champion,” Vila said after the fight. “I feel like the belt is already mine. I just have to beat up a few guys before I get to take it home.”
Dantas (11-2) won his Bellator debut with a flying knee that dropped Reis, while Galvo (10-4-1) defeated Beebe via split decision, and West (17-5) topped Nogueira via unanimous decision.
BELLATOR 51 RESULTS
Alexis Villa def. Joe Warren via knockout (punch) at 1:04 of round one in the bantamweight tournament
Eduardo Dantas def. Wilson Reis via knockout (flying knee) at 1:02 of round two in the bantamweight tournament
Marcos Galvao def. Chase Beebe via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) in the bantamweight tournament
Ed West def. Luiz Nogueira via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28) in the bantamweight tournament