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.