Bellator traveled to the Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz., for the semifinals of the bantamweight tournament. The main event was Alexis Vila vs. Marcos Galvao, while Ed West battled Eduardo Dantas in the co-main event. Also, Bellator light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu took on Travis Wiuff in a non-title bout. The event was televised live on MTV2.

 Vila edges past Galvao, becomes second bantamweight finalist

In the main event of the evening, two bantamweights stepped in the cage and battled to the distance. In a close split decision, it was Alexis Vila that was able to steal the win from Marcos Galvao.

In the opening round, it was more of a feeling-out process where the two men did not engage very much. Vila did throw a few more strikes than Galvao, giving him round one.

More action ensued in the second, but once again it was the Cuban Vila who had the upper hand. Galvao would look to stalk his opponent, but was unable to find angles to land shots. Another factor was Galvao respecting Vila’s striking very much, which is acceptable considering the seven knockouts he is credited with. Galvao did make it very difficult for the judges to dictate.

Galvao appeared to have gotten over the striking of Vila and attempted to stalk his prey more in the third. Vila looked fatigued, moving backwards more than controlling the fight.

However, it was Vila who edged out the victory by split decision. One judge scored the bout 30-27 for Galvao, while the other two saw it 29-28 for Vila. Vila will now face Dantas in the bantamweight finals.

Dantas battles past West, moves on to finals

In the first bantamweight semifinal bout, 22-year-old Brazilian Eduardo Dantas was able to overcome the tough Ed West and earn a split decision victory.

Round one was very entertaining from bell to bell and displayed an array of MMA skills. As fast of a pace the two men were going, neither fighter would go down, giving the round to the one who did more damage and controlled the fight. That advantage went to Dantas.

The middle of the fight proved to be the same as the beginning: back-and-forth action. At one point, it appeared as if Dantas was close to finishing West by rear-naked choke, but the American was able to spin out and take top position. However, it was Dantas who slightly won the round on the majority of the scorecards.

As expected, the pace slowed in round three. After an accidental poke to the eye by West, the two resumed fighting with Dantas looking as if he would be named the victor.

In the end, the judges awarded a split decision to Dantas, with one judge giving Dantas all three rounds.

Wiuff upsets champion M’Pumbu

In a light heavyweight non-title bout, Bellator champion Christian M’Pumbu was defeated by 80-fight MMA veteran Travis Wiuff.

In round one, it was all about wrestling. Wiuff, a high-level wrestler, used his game plan very effectively by putting M’Pumbu on his back and wearing him down the entire round.

M’Pumbu tried to get his striking rhythm down in the second stanza and did land a few shots, but Wiuff was able to recover and land another takedown. With around 30 seconds remaining, Wiuff landed some hard shots to the champion until the bell sounded.

In the final round, M’Pumbu appeared to be the fresher fighter and won the round on most scorecards, using his striking ability effectively and keeping the fight standing.

Even with the late onslaught, it was not enough as Wiuff earned a unanimous decision for his impressive performance over the champion.

Tirloni submits Gable

In a lightweight contest, Brazilian Ricardo Tirloni used his jiu-jitsu background to his advantage, forcing Steve Gable to tap in round two.

The opening round was fought primarily on the mat, which gave Tirloni the advantage. He was able to control the fight on the ground and didn’t allow Gable to do damage by escaping whenever he needed to.

A finish came in the second round for Tirloni by rear-naked choke at the 3:54 mark. The finish came during Tirloni’s second mount attempt, eventually taking the back of the American and locking up the submission hold.

Main Card Results

Alexis Vila def. Marcos Galvao by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

Eduardo Dantas def. Ed West by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Travis Wiuff def. Christian M’Pumbu by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Ricardo Tirloni def. Steve Gable by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 3:54

Undercard Results

Efrain Escudero def. Cesar Avila by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 1:55

Richard Hale def. Carlos Flores by knockout (punch). Round 1, 0:18

Jacob Ortiz def. Edgar Garcia by knockout (punch). Round 1, 4:06

Erin Beach def. Roscoe Jackson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 3:52

Jade Porter def. Nick Piedmont by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Steve Steinbeiss def. Dano Moore by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 1, 4:52

Photo: Alexis Vila (left) edged Marcos Galvao at Bellator 55 (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.