Dantas Wins Bellator Bantamweight Tourney, Heavyweights Fight to No Contest

In addition to Kurt Pellegrino's swan song, Saturday night's Bellator 59 event also featured the Season 5 tournament finals in the heavyweight and bantamweight divisions. But while the bantamweight tournament final was a solid fight that crowned a new top contender in the division, the heavyweight fight was a debacle.

That heavyweight fight, Thiago Santos vs. Eric Prindle, came to a confusing and confounding ending, with a conference including the referee, cageside doctor and athletic commission officials taking much longer than the fight itself. It was ultimately ruled a no contest.

With Prindle on the ground on his back, Santos kicked him right between the legs, and the referee called a halt to the action for an illegal low blow. After five minutes Prindle said he still couldn't continue fighting, and it was announced that the low kick was unintentional, so the fight was declared a no contest. But it's hard to see how anyone watching the kick could think it was unintentional: If Santos didn't intend to kick Prindle between his legs, what did he intend to do?

In any event, Santos and Prindle will now have to have a rematch to determine which one of them gets the next crack at Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad. That's a disappointment for Bellator, which was hoping to find itself a good contender for Konrad to fight.

At bantamweight, Eduardo Dantas beat Alexis Vila by unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three judges' cards, to win the Bellator bantamweight tournament. The fight gave Vila the first loss of his MMA career and improves Dantas to 13-2. Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky will defend his belt against Dantas next year, and that should be a good fight: Bellator has a fun and exciting bantamweight division, and it's too bad that the bantamweight tournament final was overshadowed by the mess at heavyweight.

And in a big surprise to begin the MTV2 televised broadcast, the 19-year-old Polish lightweight Marcin Held won a split decision victory over former Ultimate Fighter finalist Phillipe Nover. The fight easily could have gone for Nover, and the decision had the crowd booing. A Held-Nover rematch would make a lot of sense for Bellator in 2012.

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