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Bellator 55 Preview

Bantamweight tournament semifinals!  How exciting this should be!  I really like the fighters remaining in this tournament and I know we’ll see a great finals regardless of who wins tonight.  Alexis Vila is probably the most talented fighter remaining, but Marcos Galvao, Ed West, and Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas are great competitors in their own right.

I like the light heavyweight bout we’re seeing, even at the contracted weight of 210 pounds.  I also wish that the Efrain Escudero fight was on the main card, since he’s a fighter with some name power.  I guess it’s still possible that Tirloni vs. Gable could get bumped down to the prelim card.

Bellator 55 airs live on MTV2 tonight at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST with a replay shown at 1:00 AM EST/12:00 AM CST.  The preliminary fights will also be live on Spike.com at 7:00 PM EST/6:00 PM CST.  I’ve never seen the Spike.com fights before so I’m glad to get a chance to tonight.

Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Alexis Vila (10-0, No. 8 BW, No. 8 FLW) vs. Marcos Galvao (10-4-1)

Hey look, it’s the last two fighters to beat Joe Warren!  Yes, I know Galvao lost his decision to Warren, but I felt that he pretty clearly won their fight at Bellator 41.  Alexis Vila left absolutely no doubts when he punched Joe Warren in the face very, very hard and Joe Warren decided to go to sleep.

I’ve long been a proponent of the flyweight division so just imagine how pleased I am with Alexis Vila’s success.  He’s one of the most talented fighters at flyweight and he proved against Joe Warren that he’s also one of the most talented bantamweight fighters.  Galvao is a very capable fighter who has competed in some big bouts for Shooto and the WEC.  He’s looked great in Bellator thus far.

I really like Vila to win another bout by knockout.  He has such fantastic power and Galvao proved in the WEC that he’s a little vulnerable to heavy handed fighters.  Vila is as well-rounded a fighter as there is in the lighter weight classes, even at 40 years old.

Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Ed West (17-5) vs. Eduardo Dantas (11-2)

Ed West’s only loss in Bellator was in the previous bantamweight tournament, where he lost to Zach Makovsky for the vacant Bellator Bantamweight Title.  “Dudu” Dantas started this tournament quite impressively by defeating Wilson Reis.  He also holds a victory over top flyweight Shinichi Kojima back from Dantas’ days in Shooto.

Dantas is a much more well-rounded fighter than Ed West, who hasn’t finished a fight with strikes in his eight year career.  Dantas holds a handful of submission wins and definitely shows off his strikes, just like we saw against Wilson Reis.  West might be 9-1 in his last ten fights, but he really lacks any significant wins.  I’ll take Dudu by decision in this contest.

Light Heavyweight: Christian M’Pumbu (18-3-1) vs. Travis Wiuff (64-14, 1 NC)

I’m looking forward to this one, if only because we don’t always see fighters with over 60 wins in competition.  Wiuff certainly has the experience edge since few fighters have 80 fights under their belt.  Wiuff is a very busy fighter, but unlike similar fighters such as Dan Severn, Wiuff actually has a handful of quality wins including victories over Jeff Monson, Chris Tuchscherer, and Kazuyuki Fujita.

But I really like Christian M’Pumbu, who is the reigning Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion.  M’Pumbu looked extremely impressive in the his three tournament fights and has shown great striking with five TKO victories in his last five wins.  M’Pumbu may be a slightly undersized light heavyweight, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t a super talented fighter.

I have a hard time seeing Wiuff winning this fight and I see him being M’Pumbu’s latest knockout victim tonight.  I expect big things from Christian M’Pumbu so long as they can bring in the talent necessary to challenge him at 205 pounds.  Based on what we’ve seen from Zach Makovsky, I don’t have very high hopes for that.

Lightweight: Ricardo Tirloni (13-1) vs. Steve Gable (5-1)

You know what I did today?  I spent five hours at the 2011 Pinball Expo in Wheeling, IL.  It was pretty cool seeing so many machines, especially since it was just $20 for all you can play.  I probably played 100 games on 67 different tables (I counted how many I played).  That’s a great use of a Saturday and of $20.

I did have some concerns while I was there.  For instance, the germs.  Oh man, can you imagine how many filthy, disgusting hands are touching those machines.  I had to wash my hands very generously during my time there.  Thankfully, this was in a nice hotel so the restrooms were quite lovely.

Also, think about this: are you more likely to see pedophiles or prostitutes at such an occasion?  You know that both of them are there, pedophiles preying on the children and prostitutes preying on the sad, lonely men in attendance.  I think the quantity of pedophiles is higher, but it’s easier to pick out the prostitutes.  Pedophiles probably look forward to the Pinball Expo all year long and would play pinball whether or not there were children.  Prostitutes stand out like a sore thumb.  I think I saw a handful of them.

I think I saw one guy there with an escort, like he brought a prostitute date.  He was in his 40s and wore tennis shoes with his khaki pants.  She was quite young and quite thin, wore tight jeans, and was showing her midriff.  She was not exceptionally pretty and I could imagine her having been paid for.  I guess you have to maintain appearances at Pinball Expo time.

Oh, uhh…Ricardo Tirolni wins.  I know this isn’t a pinball blog, but maybe it should be.

Catchweight (210 lbs.): Richard Hale (17-4-1) vs. Carlos Flores (5-0)

Lightweight: Cesar Avila (6-1) vs. Efrain Escudero (17-3)

Middleweight: Edgar Garcia (10-2) vs. Jacob Ortiz (10-2)

Lightweight: Erin Beach (2-1) vs. Roscoe Jackson (1-4)

Featherweight: Nick Piedmont (5-2) vs. Jade Porter (7-2)

Middleweight: Steve Steinbeiss (8-4) vs. Dano Moore (5-5)

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Categories: Event Preview
  1. kyle
    October 23, 2011 at 2:23 am

    wtf? Efrain Escudero as a prelim? does Bellator not care about ratings? who the fuck are Richard Tirloni or Steve Gable…well hopefully with the win Escudero will be in the next lightweight tournament.

  2. kyle
    October 23, 2011 at 2:57 am

    ok just watched this on my DVR. Richard Tirloni was very impressive so i take back waht i say. Wiuff was just 2 big and….smothering for him. no idea who scored it 27-30…showing how overrated takedowns are i guess…but even then wtf?

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