Bellator 59 Results: Pellegrino Retired, Dantas Secures Bantamweight Shot

Eduardo Dantas knees Alexis Vila

Eventful night in Atlantic City ends in heavyweight controversy

Bellator 59 ended in controversy when the main event bout between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos was ruled a no contest after a kick to the ground left Prindle unable to continue in the first round.

Santos had taken Prindle to the canvas for the second time in the opening frame, but rose to his feet and kicked Prindle directly in the groin. Prindle immediately rolled to his stomach in pain and was given five minutes to recover. Santos protested to referee Greg Franklin that the shot was intended to hit the upper inner thigh.

Prindle could not recover after five minutes, and the bout was ruled a no-contest, marring what had been, at least to that point, another excellent Bellator event.


Former UFC star Kurt Pellegrino retired earlier this year after the birth of his child, but returned to take another fight in Bellator at the urging of his wife.

The comeback didn’t last long, as Pellegrino was dropped and finished in the first round by Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, who sent Pellegrino to the canvas early in the first with left/right combo. Freire pounced on Pellegrino with hammerfists and earned a controversial TKO stoppage; Pellegrino had recovered from the punches and was rolling from his back when the bout was stopped.

After the fight, Pellegrino offered to train Freire for his next bout and then told the Atlantic City crowd that it would be his last fight.

“I started my career in Atlantic City and I wanted to end it in Atlantic City too, so I’m glad Bellator gave me this fight,” Pellegrino said.


Twenty-two year old Brazilian prospect Eduardo Dantas shined in defeating Alexis Vila in the season five bantamweight finale.

Dantas controlled the majority of the second and third rounds after dropping the first to Vila, a 1996 Olympic bronze medalist in wrestling. Dantas nearly had rear-naked choke submissions secured in the final two frames, leading to a unanimous 29-28 decision.

With the win, Dantas secures a title shot at reigning Bellator bantamweight champion Zack Makovsky.

“Tonight, Eduardo Dantas went from the #1 prospect in the world to a world-class fighter who will pose a spectacular challenge for our Bantamweight World Champion Zach Makovsky,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Patricky Pitbull further established himself as one of the most electrifying lightweights in the world by stopping Kurt Pellegrino early in the first. And, while it’s never ideal to end a night, nevertheless a tournament with a no contest, those things are going to occasionally happen in this game.”