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Dantas, Vila Advance in Bellator Bantamweight Tournament

Eduardo Dantas and Alexis Vila will meet in the final of the Bellator Fighting Championships bantamweight tournament after both men won split decisions at Bellator 55 on Saturday night.

The 22-year-old Dantas showed off his trademark fast pace in beating Ed West by split decision, staying active and clearly earning the decision. The judges scored it 30-27 Dantas, 29-28 Dantas and 29-28 West, and it was surprising that one judge gave the fight to West: This was Dantas's fight all the way.

The decision in the other semifinal was much more controversial: One judge scored it 30-27 for Marcos Galvao, while the other two scored it 29-28 for Vila, and it was clear from the crowd's reaction that most of the fans in attendance thought the judges got it wrong, and Galvao deserved to win.

Dantas vs. Vila should be a very good fight for the bantamweight final, culminating what has been an entertaining eight-man tournament, but the controversial decision in the main event had the crowd booing when Dantas and Vila squared off in the cage Saturday night.

In other action, Bellator's light heavyweight champion, Christian M'Pumbu, lost to Travis Wiuff and in the process became the first Bellator champion to lose a non-title "super fight." The bigger, stronger Wiuff controlled most of the way, and M'Pumbu didn't really get things going until he knocked Wiuff down and appeared close to winning by TKO in the third round. That late rally wasn't enough, and Wiuff won by unanimous decision. M'Pumbu is still the light heavyweight champ, but he'd be well served to move down to middleweight: He's just not big enough to take on a guy the size of Wiuff.

And Ricardo Tirloni, widely regarded as one of the best young lightweights in MMA, sunk in a rear-naked choke to force a quick tap from Steve Gable in the second round of the opening fight on the MTV2 broadcast. Tirloni, who was making his Bellator debut, improved his pro record to 14-1. He looks like he's going to be a very good fighter in the Bellator lightweight division.