Bellator made two announcements Monday, one regarding their 205-pound champion and another on the future of one of their heavyweight tournament competitors.
The promotion finalized their card for Bellator 55, confirming that Alexis Vila vs. Marcos Galvao and Ed West vs. Eduardo Dantas will be their bantamweight tournament semifinal fights.
Vila (10-0) made headlines by knocking out Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren in the tourney's opening round, while Galvao (10-4-1) defeated Chase Beebe by split decision. West (17-5) advanced by picking up a unanimous decision win over Luis Nogueira as Dantas (11-2) scored a second round knockout win over Wilson Reis.
Bellator also announced that Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M'Pumbu will return to action for the first time since winning his belt in a non-title defense against veteran Travis Wiuff.
M'Pumbu (18-3-1) is on a three-fight win streak, all via T/KO. Wiuff (65-14-0-1) has won his last two fights, both by first round finish. Bellator is currently not holding a 205-pound tournament, so it will be quite some time before M'Pumbu actually defends his title.
In other action, Edgar Garcia (10-2) will make his promotional debut against a yet-to-be named opponent. In 2009, Garcia competed twice in the UFC, dropping a split decision to Brad Blackburn and 1st round submission loss to DaMarques Johnson before being cut. Richard Hale vs. Carlos Flores and Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable were also confirmed for the event.
The Saturday, October 22nd event will be held outdoors in Yuma, AZ, at the Cocopah Resort.
Hayes Out, Santos In
Thanks to a first round submission win this past Saturday, Thiago Santos now finds himself in the final four of Bellator's heavyweight tournament.
He replaces Mike Hayes who was medically suspended for 60 days by the Louisiana State Commission due to a broken orbital bone after his recent win over Neil Grove. Santos will battle Blagoi Ivanov and Ron Sparks will fight Eric Prindle in the semifinals at Bellator 56 on Saturday, Oct. 29.