It might be almost three months away, but it'll be worth the wait. Bellator announced the pairings for their season five bantamweight tournament today, which starts on September 24th at Bellator 51. This might be their deepest tournament yet, which is saying a lot considering the kind of talent Bellator has used in the past. Here are the matchups:
Alexis Vila (9-0, 0-0 BFC) vs. Joe Warren (7-1, 5-0 BFC)
Eduardo Dantas (10-2, 0-0 BFC) vs. Joe Soto (9-1, 4-1 BFC)
Luiz Nogueira (11-1, 1-0 BFC) vs. Ed West (16-5, 2-1 BFC)
Chase Beebe (18-7, 1-0 BFC) vs. Marcos Galvao (9-4-1, 0-1 BFC)
The biggest bout is undoubtedly the quarterfinal matchup between Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren and Olympic wrestler Alexis Vila. Warren is already scheduled to defend his featherweight title against Patricio "Pitbull" Friere on July 23rd, and will start his quest to becoming a two-divison champion less than two months later. The other high-profile match is between Dantas and Soto. Dantas is Bloody Elbow's # 1-rated bantamweight prospect, and his opponent Soto is a former Bellator featherweight champion who's making the drop to 135 for the first time. The winner of this tournament will face off with champion Zach Makovsky for the Bellator bantamweight title.
If you were ever going to pick a time to check out Bellator on MTV 2, September 23rd might just be the time.