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Wilson Reis expected to sign with the Bellator Fighting Championships

EliteXC bantamweight (140 pounds) champion Wilson Reis is expected to sign a contract with the Bellator Fighting Championships, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned.

Reis’ agent, Matt Stansell of North County Fight Club Fight Management, told Five Ounces of Pain that the 23-year old jiu-jitsu black belt has not formally signed his deal with Bellator but that it could be finalized within days.

Reis is still technically under contract to ProElite but Stansell indicated that he believes that the promotion is in violation of the terms of the contract and any legal attempt to prevent Reis from working with Bellator would unlawfully hinder his ability to earn a living.

Once signed, Reis is expected to be the centerpiece of Bellator’s featherweight (145 pounds) division and will compete for the promotion’s vacant featherweight title in a eight-man, single elimination tournament that will be televised over the course of several months on Disney-owned ESPN Deportes, a Spanish language version of ESPN.

In addition to featherweight, Bellator is also expected to hold tournaments at lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight. According to a press release issued by the promotion last week, tournaments will commence in April of 2009.

Separate sources have also revealed to Five Ounces of Pain in recent weeks that Reis also received a contract offer from Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting but that the proposal was not as strong as the one submitted by Bellator.

9 COMMENTS
  • bcolflesh says:

    That’s good news for Reis, but I hope they can actually get the ProElite contract nullified before signing anything else…

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I think that you’re going to start seeing some companies sign ProElite-contracted fighters and force them to try and stop it.

  • steve says:

    i really think the best move for his career would be to sign with WEC. unless he doesn’t want to fight the worlds top 145 competition and be in the most talent-rich 145 division i say he changes his mind.

    i do recall before his title fight for EliteXC him and ProElite saying he would like to fight Urijah Faber.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    If Bellator is making the strongest financial offer by a significant margin, what other choice does he have? The WEC has a great 145 lbs. division but let’s keep in mind that there are plenty of top 145’ers for Reis to fight that are not in the WEC such as Masakazu Imanari, Antonio Carvalho, Deividas Taurosevicius (yes, he’s talking about dropping), Rafael Assucano, and Bao Quach.

  • TFK says:

    First Alvarez, now Reis. This is starting to show some potential. Just sucks that it’s on a channel nobody has.

    TFK

  • steve says:

    You do make strong points Mr. Caplan.

    I just hope WEC eventually picks up him and the rest of the guys you mentioned.

  • Jesse says:

    I saw Wilson on Saturday and asked if he was getting any offers coming in and he smiled and said yeah. Good for him. While I of course would have liked to see him in the WEC I think this may be an excellent career move for him. He fights for Bellator, gains some more experience, and then maybe signs with a WEC to start taking on the top flight guys. He’s still a young guy and has plenty of time to further his career. On top of all this he’s probably the nicest guy you’d ever meet – hard not to like or root for. Congrats Wilson, get yours.

  • EJ says:

    Big mistake by Reis, The WEC is the place to be for guys at his weight class for his sake he better keep winning because that is the only way he’ll stay on their radar. These guys really need to start thinking in the long term when it comes to all of their business decisions because taking more cash up front can cause them to lose more of everything in the long run.

  • mike says:

    ESPN Deportes is on more cable/satellite providers than you think. Take a look at your system, because this show is going to be really good.

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