Tag Archives: Darrion Caldwell

BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT BETWEEN EDUARDO DANTAS AND DARRION CALDWELL TO HEADLINE BELLATOR 184 ON OCTOBER 6 AT WINSTAR WORLD CASINO AND RESORT

 

PLUS, FORMER BELLATOR FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION DANIEL STRAUS MEETS EMMANUEL SANCHEZ IN CO-MAIN EVENT

LOS ANGELES – Bellator returns to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. for the third time in 2017 on Friday, October 6 for Bellator 184: Dantas vs. Caldwell.

The main event of Bellator 184 will feature Bellator’s two-time bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas (20-4) defending his belt against Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (10-1). In addition, the co-feature pits former featherweight titleholder Daniel Straus (24-7, 1 NC) competing against Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (15-3). The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for Bellator 184: Dantas vs. Caldwell are on sale now and can be purchased at the WinStar World Casino and Resort box office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com. Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Originally, Dantas and Caldwell were scheduled to compete for the title at Bellator 177; however, when Caldwell was forced to withdraw due to injury, “Dudu” went on to defeat Leandro Higo, besting his opponent on short notice. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the flashy 27-year-old is widely known as one of the most dynamic competitors in the division, recording victories in 13 of his last 15 bouts. Currently in the midst of his second stint as Bellator’s bantamweight world champion, Dantas will look to stop Caldwell’s meteoric rise to the top of the 135-pound division.

Coming off a victory over Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 167, the 29-year-old Caldwell will be competing for promotional gold for the first time in his career on October 6. “The Wolf” was able to avenge his earlier loss to Taimanglo, earning his 10th career victory. Caldwell has collected five wins by way of first-round knockout or submission, making him one of the most dangerous competitors at 135-pounds. Hailing from Rahway, N.J. and training alongside Bellator stars Phil Davis and Justin Lawrence at Alliance MMA in San Diego, Calif., Caldwell has quickly put together an impressive professional resume inside the cage, highlighted by a remarkable first-round finish over former multi-division champion Joe Warren.

One half of some of the greatest fights to ever take place inside the Bellator cage, Daniel Straus returns to action following his featherweight title bout against Patricio “Pitbull” at Bellator 178 this past April. A longtime member of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., the 32-year-old will be competing for the second time in 2017. The two-time champion returns to action with redemption on his mind, as he looks to climb back up the 145-pound ranks and earn a shot for the title that he still considers to be his.

Since debuting with Bellator MMA in 2014, the 26-year-old Sanchez has gone about his business by taking on the top competitors that Bellator’s featherweight division has to offer, fighting Pat Curran, Georgi Karakhanyan, Justin Lawrence and Marcos Galvao en route to his meeting with Straus at Bellator 184. Proclaiming that he hopes to eventually become the “Oscar De La Hoya of MMA,” Sanchez is well on his way, earning six victories since 2015. Training at Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wis., “El Matador” trains alongside some of the world’s elite fighters, making his matchup with Straus that much more intriguing.

 

Updated Bellator 184: Dantas vs. Caldwell Fight Card:

Bantamweight World Title Main Event: Eduardo Dantas (20-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (10-1)

Featherweight Co-Main Event: Daniel Straus (24-7, 1 NC) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (15-3)

 

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About Bellator:

Bellator is a leading mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 1 billion people worldwide in over 160 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on SPIKE, the combat sports television leader. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:

Spike  is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike’s Internet address is  www.spike.com  and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike’s press site at  http://www.spike.com/press.  Follow us on Twitter  @spiketvpr  for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

KARIM GHAJJI RECLAIMS WELTERWEIGHT BELLATOR KICKBOXING WORLD TITLE; JORINA BAARS, RAYMOND DANIELS & JOE SCHILLING ALSO EMERGE VICTORIOUS

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Official Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card Results & Quotes:

Karim Ghajji (98-13-1) defeated Zoltan Laszak (11-3) via split decision (50-45, 48-47, 46-49)

Karim Ghajji Quote:

“We prepared really hard for this fight. Everything that we set out to accomplish, we did. I know I could do even better, but you know in fights it doesn’t go exactly the way you want every time. In the first round when I slipped, I hurt my knee and it was extremely painful but I knew I had to dig down and do more and more to win this belt, which means everything to me,” Ghajji said. “This is the most beautiful day of my life. Like we say: ‘Hallelujah! I got my belt back.’ I felt a lot of pressure to get this belt back, and what an amazing sensation it is to win it back. I look forward to fighting the best fighters Bellator has to offer to confirm that I am the champ, but also, I’d like to compete in MMA. In France we have a lot of tough MMA fighters at our gym and my ground and pound is quite destructive. I would like to do this.”

Joe Schilling (21-9) defeated Alexandru Negrea (10-4) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Joe Schilling Quote:

“The fight was okay I was really surprised that he was so tough. He’s fought in Super Combat in Romania so he’s had a lot of tough European opponents that he’s fought against. Skill level I didn’t think he’s fought against the level of competition that I’ve competed against, but he did a really good job and he was really tough. He was trying to bait me into throwing with him and he’d try to catch me when I would come in, so I was trying to stay a lot more composed and show that I’m not that idiot that fought [Hisaki] Kato twice,” Schilling said. “I’ve made a lot of changes in my personal life. I’m a lot more focused and more serious and my goal tonight was to show the level of competitor and world class kickboxer that I am and I think I did that. Hats off to Alex, he did a great job. There’s not that many people who can take those kinds of shots for three rounds. I think the judges decision was a little ridiculous. I don’t think I’d have given him half of one round let alone a round. I think they gave him the second, which is silly. But, overall it was a good night, vacation starts now.”

Raymond Daniels (13-3) defeated Csaba Gyorfi (20-6) via KO at 0:36 of round three

Raymond Daniels Quote:

“Another opportunity to go out there and make a mark with that Bellator brand. I know my man Nick Diaz says: ‘Cut out all that spinning shit,’ but I think he means everybody but me,” Daniels said. “I’ve been training for many years in sport karate and the martial arts and you know it’s a lot like training to be a sniper so to speak. There’s holes and there’s windows and when your opponent gives you those holes you have to seize that opportunity. I saw that hole, I exposed it, and it happened to be with my spin kick which is one of my most powerful and devastating techniques. If I hit that mark with that kick it’s a home run, grand slam, I’m hitting it out of the park every time. I’ve been able to spar recently with several great MMA veterans like Rory MacDonald, Georges St. Pierre and Tyron Woodley and I’ve had a lot of fun training with those guys so I’m definitely interested in doing MMA again. It’s a lot of fun to go at it with small gloves because people can’t use the big gloves as a shield to block my shots. I want to seize this Bellator Kickboxing title and continue to help build this kickboxing brand because I know they’re investing a lot of time into it. So yea, I’m definitely interested in crossing that bridge and getting some MMA fights, but my main focus is to take home that kickboxing gold.”

 

Jorina Baars (41-0-3) defeated Irene Martens (20-10-2) via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25)

Jorina Baars Quote:

“It was a good fight, I thought that Irene [Martens] was very tough. I had control from the very beginning of the fight and I kept it for all three of the rounds. I was a little disappointed in the first round but the second and third round I performed much better. She worked hard and moved a lot, so my strategy was to keep the pressure on her and try to put her in the corner and I think I succeeded at that,” Baars said after her win. “It was amazing to finally fight for Bellator. The organization is so professional. I’m looking forward to my future fights here and I hope to win the Bellator title.”

Gabor Gorbics (31-10) defeated Gabriel Varga (13-5) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-30)

Gabor Gorbics Quote:

“I’m very happy with the win and I hope I continue to win here in Bellator,” Gorbics said. “I trained very hard for this. I’ve got a lovely family and team that helped me to prepare and I will get back in the gym on Monday to continue training.”

BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION EDUARDO DANTAS WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT FIGHT, DEFEATS BELLATOR NEWCOMER LEANDRO HIGO

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 

Official Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card Results & Quotes:

Eduardo Dantas (20-4) defeated Leandro Higo (17-3) via split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)

Eduardo Dantas Quote:

“It was tough to stay motivated for this fight once he missed weight. There was nothing to gain whether I beat him fast or slow. It wasn’t for the belt, it wasn’t going to change my ranking in Bellator,” Dantas said. “When [Darrion] Caldwell got injured, I asked Scott Coker to bring in tough bantamweights and they brought in a tough fighter, but you have to make weight. I train hard for several months, I don’t go out, I train. It’s the very minimum you can do. You have to make weight. Be a professional. I don’t think Caldwell is injured. I think he just doesn’t want to fight out of America. I am looking forward to getting my hands on him.”

Daniel Weichel (39-9) defeated John Macapa (21-2) via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Daniel Weichel Quote:

“Macapa is definitely a tough opponent. He was almost undefeated coming into this with only one loss and I took him as seriously as I can take an opponent. At this time I treat everyone I fight as if it’s a championship fight. I think he is one of the top featherweight opponents that I could face so I’m pretty happy that I was able to beat him,” Weichel said. “I have to give a big shout out to all of my friends and family that drove 17-18 hours from Frankfurt and Cologne to be here and support me. They’ve been there for me and believed in me since day one and it’s difficult for me to even put into words how much it means to have them in my corner. I have to thank Bellator for putting me on this card and giving them the opportunity to come and watch me fight. I’m hoping that Bellator brings me to Mohegan Sun next week and puts me cage side so I can see who I will get to beat up next when (Daniel) Straus and (Patricio) ‘Pitbull’ fight.

Lena Ovchynnikova (12-4) defeated Helen Harper (4-2) via doctor stoppage at 5:00 of round two

Lena Ovchynnikova Quote:

“Before the fight I was a little bit nervous, and I felt that my first round wasn’t quite as good as I would of liked. But when the second round started she was going to feel my power and I knew that I would win,” Ovchynnikova said. “When the judges stopped the fight I couldn’t believe it. I was ready for a third round and I wanted to win with a knockout but we have what we have.”

Adam Borics (6-0) defeated Anthony Taylor (1-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:12 of round one

Adam Borics Quote:

“When the fight started, I felt a great deal of pressure from the crowd and I was in a bit of a rush. It took me a while to settle down and regain my composure, but once I did that I was able to see the fight much better. I’ve been working on my striking with Henri Hooft and I really was hoping to win with a knockout, but I saw my opening for a submission and I was able to end the fight with the choke,” Borics said. “I’m very happy that I was given this great opportunity to represent Hungary in MMA. This is very important for me to support the development of this sport in Hungary. It is my plan to continue to be an ambassador for the sport here and to continue to bring victories like this in the future.”

Brian Moore (10-5) defeated Michal Horejsi (5-3) via TKO at 3:57 of round two

Brian Moore Quote:

 

“I’m really, really happy that I got the call back from Bellator. To be honest I begged for the call back because Bellator is where I want to be. I want to be signed with Bellator, I want to be a household name. I really believe I’m one of the better featherweights in this division. I was given a guy who is very unpredictable. I was patient in my approach but I cut him down and was able to finish him. Tonight I wanted to make a statement with a knockout because my dream is to fight at Madison Square Garden. I want to open up the show. My teammate James (Gallagher) is already on the card and we’d put on a super camp together and we’d tear that place apart,” Moore said. “My hero, Sugar Ray Robinson used to own the Garden. I’ve watched every bit of footage I can get my hands on of Sugar Ray, he’s my idol. So to fight in the same arena as he has – and obviously my teammate Conor (McGregor) has fought there too – it would be a dream come true. But I want to open up the card and set the tone for the night because when you see a fighter that is as exciting as I am that’ll set the tone. Give me anyone, I don’t give a f-ck.”

Mate Kertesz (3-0) defeated Patrick Szombat (1-3) via TKO at 4:37 of round two

PHOTOS & QUOTES FROM TODAY’S BELLATOR 177 & BELLATOR KICKBOXING 6 PRESS CONFERENCE

B177Dantas_Higo 

EVENT SET TO TAKE PLACE FRIDAY, APRIL 14 IN BUDAPEST

 

ADDITIONAL FIGHTER PHOTOS – CREDIT BELLATOR/LUCAS NOONAN

 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Several fighters from both Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo and Bellator Kickboxing 6 gathered in Budapest this morning to speak with the media about their upcoming fights this Friday night inside the Budapest Sports Arena.

 

Two titles will be on the line, as Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas defends his Bellator bantamweight belt against former LFA champ Leandro Higo, while Bellator kickboxing welterweight titleholder Zoltan Laszak takes on Karim Ghajji in a championship rematch.

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo will be broadcast Friday, April 14 on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

Below, you can find quotes from today’s press conference.

Bellator Bantamweight World Champion Eduardo Dantas:

“Thank you to Bellator for supporting me and thank you Budapest for the opportunity.”

“I’m very happy to be here. I want to say thank you to my opponent for accepting this fight. And I’m ready to show you what I do best, which is to punch his face.”

Leandro Higo:

“Thank you to Bellator for the opportunity. Thank you, Budapest, for the reception. I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to putting on a good show this Friday!”

“I feel no extra pressure because I’m here to do what I love, which is fighting. I’m looking forward to winning another championship belt.”

Adam Borics:

“I’d like to welcome all of you. This is one of the biggest opportunities of my life. I’m very much looking forward to the fight and I’m well prepared, so I can’t wait. I was fortunate enough to prepare for this fight in America with great professional coaches like Henri Hooft.”

“I’m ready. I can hardly wait for my arm to be lifted at the end.”

Anthony Taylor

“Welcome! Welcome! How’s it going? I am the “Pretty Boy”, the prettiest of them all. I definitely want to thank Budapest and Bellator for bringing me in. Of course, I bring numbers, you know, so I’m expecting this should bring over a million viewers, hands down.”

“I want to thank you all for coming here and showing the support. We’re going to put on a show – one hell of a show. We’re going to get these ratings up and have so much fun. Definitely.”

“Hands down, pound for pound, everyone knows I am the strongest 145-er in the division and if anybody stands in my way or stands in the middle of the cage and wants to bang with me, they’re gonna get knocked out. I kid you not! Anybody in the featherweight division stands toe to toe with me is going to get knocked out.”

“I’m not going to take nothing from this man. He has a 9-0 record so he’s definitely put in work. He beat up nine people, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to beat up me. I tell you that! But I give him credit because he’s coming out here and sacrificing his time and being away from his family to put in his work just as I am. We’re going to put on a show for all you fans out there and all you media out there.”

“You know in my eyes, this is the main event: The Hungarian versus the American. Everyone wants to see this fight. They want to see what is this man can do with a record of 9-0. He earned his wins and I respect him as a fighter. But after Friday he will be 9-1.”

Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight World Champion Zoltan Laszak

“I’d like to thank Bellator very much for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to this this rematch with Ghajji. This is a great chance to really entertain and I appreciate the support from all of the Hungarian fans. I feel their cheers and support every day.”

“This is the most important fight of my life because there has been much more promotion here in Budapest leading up to the event. I realize that most people in the arena will be cheering for me, and for Hungary. I’ve done my preparation and my homework. I’m excellently prepared and I’m looking forward to this challenge.”

Karim Ghajji

“Thank you for the rematch. It was a big mistake in the first fight. Now I’m going to make it right and bring the belt back home to France.”

“Two days before the first fight I was sick and I had dealt with injuries during that camp, but this time I had a great camp, I’ve prepared myself very well, and this will be an explosive fight on Friday.”

Complete Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Leandro Higo (17-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (38-9) vs. John “Macapa” (21-1-2)

Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) vs. Helen Harper (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Adam Borics (5-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-2)

 

Preliminary Card:

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Brian Moore (9-5) vs. Michal Horejsi (5-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Patrick Szombat (1-2) vs. Mate Kertesz (3-0)

 

Complete Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (83-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Karim Ghajji (23-5-1)

Middleweight Feature Bout: Joe Schilling (20-9) vs. Alexandru Negrea (9-2)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Raymond Daniels (10-3) vs. Gyorfi Csaba (20-5)

Women’s Featherweight Feature Bout: Jorina Baars (40-0-3) vs. Irene Martens (20-9-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Gabriel Varga (13-4) vs. Gabor Gorbics (30-10)

FOLLOWING INJURY TO DARRION CALDWELL, LEANDRO HIGO RECEIVES TITLE SHOT AGAINST EDUARDO DANTAS AT BELLATOR 177 IN BUDAPEST ON FRIDAY, APRIL 14

 

LOS ANGELES — (March 14, 2017) – Following an undisclosed injury to Darrion Caldwell, budding superstar Leandro “Pitbull” Higo (17-2) will now challenge current champion Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (19-4) in a bantamweight world title fight at Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higoinside the Budapest Sports Arena on April 14.

In addition, John “Macapa”(21-1-2) will face Daniel Weichel (38-9) in a featherweight contest and Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) meets Helen Harper (4-1) at 125-pounds. Rounding out the Spike-televised MMA action will be a featherweight matchup pitting Hungarian-born Adam “The Kid” Borics (5-0) against Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor(1-2).

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higowill be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

 

Complete Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Higo Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Leandro Higo (17-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (38-9) vs. John “Macapa”Teixeira (21-1-2)

Flyweight Feature Bout: Lena Ovchynnikova (11-4) vs. Helen Harper (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Anthony Taylor (1-2) vs. Adam Borics (5-0)

Preliminary Card:

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Brian Moore (9-5) vs. Ludovit Klein (6-0)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Mate Kertesz (3-0) vs. Adam Polgar (10-8)

BELLATOR RETURNS TO BUDAPEST FOR A BANTAMWEIGHT WORLD TITLE FIGHT PITTING EDUARDO DANTAS AGAINST DARRION CALDWELL AT BELLATOR 177 ON FRIDAY, APRIL 14

 

 

WELTERWEIGHT BELLATOR KICKBOXING TITLE ALSO ON THE LINE WHEN ZOLTAN LASZAK DEFENDS BELT AGAINST KARIM GHAJJI AT BELLATOR KICKBOXING 6

 

 

BUDAPEST — (February 8, 2017) – Bellator is returning to Hungary with a bantamweight world title fight pitting Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas (19-4) against Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (10-1) serving as the main event of Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell from the Budapest Sports Arena on April 14. The MMA portion of the evening will also feature a featherweight bout between Hungarian-born Adam “The Kid” Borics (5-0) and Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor (1-2).

 

In addition, Bellator Kickboxing 6 will be headlined by a welterweight world title rematch featuring Zoltan Laszak (11-2) against Karim Ghajji (97-13-1). Additional bouts for both events will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell will be broadcast on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air immediately following the MMA portion of the event, beginning at 11pm ET/10pm CT.

 

Dantas made his presence felt during his last outing, successfully defending his bantamweight championship belt in a five-round victory over Joe Warren. A 10-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, “Dudu” has recorded victories in 12 of his last 14 bouts, including nine under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. Hailing from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, the flashy 27-year-old is widely known as one of the most dynamic competitors in the division, tallying four knockouts and six submissions over his 23-fight career. A two-time Bellator MMA bantamweight world champion, Dantas will look to defend his title for the second time since winning the belt in a victory over former champion Marcos Galvao, and for the fourth time overall.

 

The 29-year-old Caldwell will be competing for division gold for the first time in his career and is coming off of a crucial victory over Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 167. “The Wolf” was able to avenge his earlier loss to Taimanglo, earning his 10th career victory and seventh under the Bellator MMA banner. Caldwell has collected five wins by way of first round knockout or submission, making him one of the most dangerous compeititors in the 135-pound class. Hailing from Rahway, N.J., the 11-fight veteran has quickly put together an impressive professional resume inside the cage, highlighted by a remarkable first round finish over former multi-division champion Joe Warren, a man whom Caldwell idolized coming into the sport. The Alliance MMA product now has the opportunity of a lifetime, as he prepares for the next chapter of his career and a shot at championship glory.

 

After winning the welterweight kickboxing championship at Bellator’s inaugural kickboxing show in Turin, Italy in 2016, Ghajji dropped his belt to world-renowned Hungarian champion Laszak when the pair met during Bellator’s first visit to Budapest last year. Now, fresh off an impressive win in Florence, Ghajji hopes to reclaim the belt that he feels is his.

 

If you missed their first enthralling encounter, watch it here.

 

Updated Bellator 177: Dantas vs. Caldwell Main Card:

Bantamweight World Title Bout: Eduardo Dantas (19-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (10-1)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Adam Borics (5-0) vs. Anthony Taylor (1-2)

 

Updated Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (11-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (97-13-1)

DARRION CALDWELL TAKES REMATCH WITH JOE TAIMANGLO, EARNS TITLE SHOT AGAINST EDUARDO DANTAS

Complete Event Photos Here

THACKERVILLE, OK. (Dec. 3, 2016) – In the evening’s bantamweight main event, Darrion Caldwell (10-1) redeemed himself with a decisive unanimous decision (30-27 x3) win over Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1). The three-round battle capped off Bellator MMA’s massive doubleheader at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, OK.

With the win, Caldwell improves his record in the Bellator MMA cage to 7-1 and opens the door for a bantamweight world title clash with current division champion Eduardo Dantas. “Dudu,” of course, protected his belt just last night with a one-sided affair against Joe Warren in the first night of the promotion’s epic doubleheader.

After the fight, Caldwell and Dantas exchanged words inside the cage, as “The Wolf” announced his desire for the belt: “I look forward to fighting you. It’s been a long time coming.”

Featherweight Co-Main Event Lives up to Hype as Teixeira Outlasts Lawrence

It took 15 minutes to determine a winner, but in the end John Teixeira (21-1-2) notched a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2) over Justin Lawrence (9-4) on Saturday night. The Brazilian veteran peppered away with a combination of jabs and kicks that severely damaged Lawrence’s lead leg throughout the bout. “Macapa” continues to dominate the featherweight division, earning victories in nine of his last 10 contests, including one draw. Since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion in 2014, Teixeira has won each of his four fights, maintaining his position among the 145-pound elite.

Flyweight Marathon Ends in Unanimous Decision Victory for Undefeated MacFarlane

 

Following three hard-fought rounds inside WinStar World Casino, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (5-0) emerged victorious with a (30-27, 29-28 x2) win over Emily Ducote (4-2). McFarlane was able to withstand an early barrage of strikes from Ducote, preserving her unblemished professional mark. “The Ilimanator” relied heavily on her accurate striking, as the 26-year-old Californian landed a remarkable 68% of her punches thrown. For the budding star Ducote, the loss is just her first of the year, following four consecutive victories to begin her campaign.

Njokuani Upsets Fialho With a Bang, Hands Portuguese Superstar First Loss of Career

 

In the first Spike-televised bout of the evening, Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) delivered a brutal first round knockout against Andre Fialho(7-1) that came just 21 seconds into the contest. A flurry of Njokuani punches sent Fialho to the canvas and the 27-year-old took care of the rest. Dating back to 2012, “Chidi Bang Bang” has recorded wins in 11of his last 12 bouts and extends his current winning streak to seven. Of Njokuani’s 16 career victories, 10 have come by way of knockout, making him one of the most feared strikers in the stacked welterweight division. The young Portuguese star Fialho tastes defeat for the first time in his career and will look to redeem himself at the start of the new year.

Preliminary Card Results:

Jarod Trice (1-0) defeated Tommie Britton (0-1) via majority decision (28-28, 30-25, 30-26)

Jonathan Gary (12-7-2) defeated Aaron Roberson (5-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Justin Patterson (8-1) defeated Codale Ford (11-9) via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Fernando Gonzalez (1-0) defeated Chris Hicks (3-9) via knockout at :15 of round one

Bronson St. Romaine (1-0) defeated Joey Soto (0-2) via unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-28)

JOE TAIMANGLO UPSETS DARRION CALDWELL VIA GUILLOTINE DURING MAIN EVENT OF ‘BELLATOR 159’

Complete Event Photos Here

MULVANE, KS. (July 22, 2016) – In the main event of the evening, Darrion Caldwell (9-1) was submitted by Joe Taimanglo (23-6-1) in an absolutely shocking upset :09 seconds into the third and final frame.

With the defeat, the 2009 NCAA Div. 1 National Champion was handed the first loss of his career, while “Juggernaut” has the entire Island of Guam rocking with his guillotine submission win. “The Wolf” was cruising heading into the third and final frame, but after shooting for a takedown, Taimanglo slapped on a choke and didn’t relinquish the hold until Caldwell tapped. The fight was slated to be a title eliminator, but because of Taimanglo failing to make weight, it remains to be seen who will challenge next for Eduardo Dantas’ title.

Guillard Assassinates ‘Caveman’ in Front of Hometown Faithful

Melvin Guillard (33-16-2) put Dave Rickels (17-5) to sleep in front of his hometown fans during the co-main event of “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo.” After 90 seconds of closely contested action, “The Young Assassin” caught “The Caveman,” then followed with a series of vicious elbows that ended the action at 2:14 of round one.

 

After the fight, Guillard made it clear that he is done as a lightweight and will carry on his Bellator MMA career at 170-pounds, and hopes to fight renowned welterweight Paul “Semtex” Daley.

Ducote Taps Vargas in Flyweight Bout

Emily Ducote (3-1) handed Bruna Vargas (2-1) the first loss of her short career, landing an overhand right that she quickly followed up with a rear-naked choke, forcing the referee to call a halt to the action at :29 of round two. After the fight, Ducote dedicated the fight to her grandmother, who has helped her a great deal throughout her upbringing and supported her decision to pursue a career in mixed martial arts. Look for Ducote to make waves in the flyweight division in the future.

Weichel ‘Weasels’ Out Split Decision Win

In a fight that had plenty of title implications for both 145-pounders, Daniel Weichel (37-9) weaseled out a close decision victory against Emmanuel Sanchez (13-3) on Friday night, receiving the benefit of the doubt from two of the three cage side judges. Weichel has now been on the positive end of 10 straight decisions, while Sanchez has been involved in four straight consecutive split decisions.

Preliminary Card Results:

Brandon Phillips (6-1) defeated Chuka Willis (8-3) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Chris Harris (7-0) defeated Matt Foster (6-9) via submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:23 of R1

Trey Ogden (6-1) defeated Manny Meraz (8-3) via submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:37 of R2

Philipe Lins (10-1) defeated Guilherme Viana (7-3) via KO (Punches) at 1:14 of R2

Jessica Middleton (1-0) defeated Bruna Ellen (2-1) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gaston Reyno (6-1) defeated L.J. Hermreck (3-2) via TKO (Punches) at 3:57 of R3

Johnny Marigo (2-0) defeated Andy Riley (2-2) via submission (Armbar) at 2:44 of R1

Fernando Martinez (15-10-1) defeated Marcio Navarro (14-13) via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

EMMANUEL SANCHEZ-DANIEL WEICHEL PAIRING SET FOR MAIN CARD OF STACKED ‘BELLATOR 159’

PHILIPE LINS-GUILHERME VIANA & THE PROMOTIONAL DEBUT OF BRUNA ELLEN COMPLETE STACKED MAIN CARD

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 29, 2016) – A gem of a featherweight contest pitting divisional standouts Emmanuel Sanchez (13-2) and Daniel “The Weasel” Weichel (36-9) has been added to the main card of “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” on July 22 inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. Completing the televised card, Philipe Lins (9-1) will face Guilherme Viana (7-2) in light heavyweight action and Brazilian strawweight Bruna Ellen (2-0) will make her promotional debut against Jessica Middleton.

 

The fights join a main and co-main event that has the MMA world abuzz, featuring the undefeated Darrion Caldwell (9-0), who will meet Joe Taimanglo (22-6) in a 135-pound main event to determine the No. 1 contender for Bellator MMA’s Bantamweight Championship. In support, Kansas’ own Dave Rickels (17-4) will return to Mulvane’s Kansas Star Arena to face the always-exciting Melvin Guillard (32-16-2). In addition, multiple preliminary contests have also been confirmed, namely, the debut of recent strawweight signee Bruna Vargas (2-0) who will be facing Emily Ducote (2-1) and Uruguay’s favorite MMA superstar, Gaston Reyno (5-1), when he takes on L.J. Hermeck (3-1). Both of these preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com andThe Bellator Mobile App beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

 

“Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Tickets for the event start at just $27 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com,KansasStarEventCenter.com or the Kansas Star Arena box office. Doors for the event open at 5:30 p.m. CT local time and the first preliminary bout will commence one hour later.

 

“The Weasel” has shown great consistency as of late, recording wins in eight of his last nine fights dating back to 2012 over fighters the likes of Pat Curran and Georgi Karakhanyan. Since joining Bellator MMA in 2014, the German featherweight has posted a 5-1 record, proving time and time again that he belongs among the division’s elite. Of his 36 career wins, 21 have come by way of submission, making Weichel one of the most skilled athletes on the ground. The 31-year-old submission specialist will look to build off his deserving unanimous decision win against Karakhanyan at“Bellator 147: Thomson vs. Villaseca,” as he prepares to take on “El Matador” inside Kansas Star Arena on July 22.

 

Sanchez also enters this contest having won five of his first six bouts under the Bellator MMA banner. Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and training at the world-renown Roufusport camp, “El Matador” has recently put together an impressive run, claiming wins in nine of his last 10 fights. The 25-year-old most recently defeated Daniel Pineda via split decision at the record-shattering “Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie”event in Houston. Sanchez will enter the cage riding a three-fight winning streak, all of which subsequently ended in split decision victories.

 

At only 30 years of age, Viana has impressed only nine fights into his professional career. Most recently, Viana put his unique skillset on full display against Houston Alexander at “Bellator 146: Kato vs. Manhoef,” emerging victorious after a second-round knockout. The Brazilian light heavyweight now has seven career finishes to his name, including three in the first round, and will look to add to that total when he enters the cage with fellow Brazilian competitor Philipe Lins on July 22.

 

Hailing from Natal, Lins has consistently impressed through his first 10 professional bouts, recording nine wins, with four victories coming by way of knockout. After winning his first four professional fights, Lins decided to take an extended break from MMA from 2007 until 2011. After the hiatus, Lins rallied off five wins, including his first two bouts under the Bellator MMA umbrella. Now, “Monstro” will look to return to the cage for the first time since a brutal knee injury that he suffered against Kelly Anundson at “Bellator 122” back in 2014.

 

Undefeated to start her professional career, Bruna Ellen, 20, competed twice in 2015, winning both of her bouts. A member of Team Nogueira Campinas in Sao Paulo, Ellen recently did a stint of training at the world-renown Blackzilians gym in Florida, where she continued to hone her budding striking and skills on the mat. It’s also worth noting that Ellen’s listed on this year’s “Top-Ten Brazilian Prospects” compiled by MMAFighting.com.

 

Eight years the elder of Ellen, Middleton will be making her professional debut after a stellar 4-1 amateur record on the regional scene. If unfamiliar with her work, look no further than her spectacular finish of Holly Torrez via spinning-backfist here.

 

Complete “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” Fight Card:

 

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Main Event: Darrion Caldwell (9-0) vs. Joe Taimanglo (22-6)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Co-Main Event: Dave Rickels (17-4, 1 NC) vs. Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 2 NC)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Daniel Weichel (36-9) vs. Emmanuel Sanchez (13-2)

Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Feature Bout: Philipe Lins (9-1) vs. Guilherme Viana (7-2)

Bellator MMA Strawweight Feature Bout: Bruna Ellen (2-0) vs. Jessica Middleton (Debut)

 

Preliminary Card:

 

Bellator MMA Strawweight Preliminary Bout: Bruna Vargas (2-0) vs. Emily Ducote (2-1)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Gaston Reyno (5-1, 1 NC) vs. L.J. Hermreck (3-1)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Meraz (8-2) vs. Trey Ogden (5-1)

Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Harris (6-0) vs. Matt Foster (6-8)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Marcio Navarro (14-12) vs. Fernando Martinez (14-10-1)

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Marigo (1-0) vs. Andy Riley (2-1)

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Josh Pfeifer (4-2) vs. Henry Lindsay (5-5)

Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chuka Willis (8-2) vs. Brandon Phillips (5-1)

 

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 400 million homes worldwide in over 120 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world’s premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

DARRION CALDWELL LOOKS TO SOLIDIFY HIMSELF AS NO. 1 CONTENDER AGAINST JOE TAIMANGLO DURING MAIN EVENT OF ‘BELLATOR 159: CALDWELL VS. TAIMANGLO’ – FRIDAY, JULY 22 – LIVE AND FREE ON SPIKE

HOMETOWN HERO DAVE RICKELS SET FOR ACTION AGAINST MELVIN GUILLARD IN CO-HEADLINER

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 1, 2016) – Bellator MMA returns to Kansas with a pivotal matchup between undefeated phenom, Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (9-0) and Joe Taimanglo (22-6-1) to determine the No. 1 contender for the Bantamweight Title in the main event of “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” on July 22 inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.

In the co-main event of the evening, local hometown hero Dave “Caveman” Rickels (17-4) will meet Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-16-2) in a lightweight matchup that will surely provide fireworks. Additional contests will be announced shortly.

“Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Tickets for the event start at just $27 and go on sale Saturday, June 4, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, KansasStarEventCenter.com. Doors for the event open at 5:30 p.m. CT local time and the first preliminary bout will commence one hour later.

At 28 years old, “The Wolf” may very well be the brightest young star in Bellator MMA’s deep bantamweight division. The New Jersey native has begun his career with nine consecutive victories, including five blistering first round finishes. Caldwell will be tasked with the headlining role for the second consecutive time after an impressive first outing at “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” in which he had his way with former two-division Bellator champion Joe Warren, winning via rear-naked choke submission. The former NC State standout wrestled to a National Championship and two All-American accolades before joining the Bellator MMA fray in 2014. The undefeated Caldwell is reinvigorated after recently re-signing a seven-fight contract with the Scott Coker-led promotion. For a closer look at Caldwell’s most recent technical submission victory over Joe Warren in the main event of“Bellator 151,” click here.

A native of Yona, Guam, Taimanglo has emerged as one of the most prolific bantamweight fighters in MMA. Having gone 13-2 over his last 15 bouts dating back to 2009, it’s difficult to find a fighter more consistent than “The Juggernaut.” Since signing with Bellator in 2013, Taimanglo has accumulated a 5-2 record including a current string of three consecutive victories. Standing at 5’4,” Taimanglo will once again be squaring off against a much taller opponent in the 5’10’’ Caldwell. Click here to see exclusive footage of Taimanglo’s unanimous decision win over Sirwan Kakai at “Bellator 151.”

As is usually the case when Bellator rolls through Kansas, Rickels will be the center of attention when he fights Guillard on July 22. “The Caveman” delivered the proverbial “Fight of the Night” back in February with a first-round knockout of Bobby Cooper during the co-main event of “Bellator 150: Kongo vs. Spartan.” A native of Derby, Kansas, Rickels will be making his 17th appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, a promotion with which he has accrued 11 victories over the course of a six-year period. The 27-year-old recently re-signed with the Scott Coker-led promotion, ensuring his exciting fighting style will be seen exclusively in the Bellator cage for years to come.

With 52 career fights under his belt, 33-year-old Melvin Guillard will have a lot to prove when he takes on “The Caveman.” Guillard seems to have made a full recovery from his brutally broken hand that occurred during his Bellator MMA debut last year. Throughout his MMA tenure, “The Young Assassin” has displayed a knack for ending fights early, with 23 of his 32 professional victories coming before reaching the judges’ scorecards. On July 22 the New Orleans native will have an opportunity to take down another experienced lightweight in Rickels and reassert himself as a top 155-pounder.

Updated “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” Card:

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Main Event: Darrion Caldwell (9-0) vs. Joe Taimanglo (22-6-1)

Bellator MMA Lightweight Co-Main Event: Dave Rickels (17-4, 1 NC) vs. Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 2 NC)

Preliminary Card:

Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Manny Meraz (8-2) vs. Trey Ogden (4-1)

Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Harris (6-0) vs. Matt Foster (6-8)