Reis Official with Bellator FC

Former Elite XC bantamweight champion Wilson Reis is bound for Bellator Fighting Championships, the emerging MMA promotion announced in a press release on Monday.

The Brazilian grappling standout was first rumored to join Bellator at its public inception, but the release confirmed his exclusive participation.

Stranded by the fall of Pro Elite, Reis is the first of its former champions to make a formal break for another MMA organization.

Reis will be one of eight 145 lb. fighters in Bellator’s featherweight division. He will compete in the first round of a multi-weight class tournament taking place on Apr. 4 in a located to be announced. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish arm of American sports channel ESPN, will broadcast the event as the first of twelve specials in 2009.

The promotion also promises superfights along with the tournament format.

“Wilson has unlimited potential at 145,” said Bjorn Rebney, CEO of Bellator Fighting Championships. “He has a terrific grappling pedigree, an unbelievable work ethic and he’s getting better every time he fights. He’s exactly the kind of fighter we’re looking to showcase at Bellator Fighting Championships.”