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Darrion Caldwell headlines Bellator 159, Guillard vs. Rickels set as co-main event

Bellator 159 is set to be headlined by a up-and-coming bantamweight prospect, as well as a co-feature between two hard-hitting lightweight veterans this July.

Bellator MMA

Bellator 159 is set to go down on July 22, 2016 from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, and is shaping up to be quite the show. The event is set to be headlined by a title eliminator bout between undefeated bantamweight prospect Darrion Caldwell and Joe TaimangloBleacher Report first reported the news before Bellator sent out the press release on Wednesday.

Caldwell (9-0) is a former Division I North Carolina State University national wrestling champion who is undefeated in his young MMA career, finishing five out of his nine career victories via TKO or submission. The 28-year-old is most recently coming off of a dominant win over former Bellator 135 and 145 lbs champion Joe Warren, via 1st round rear-naked choke at Bellator 151 in March.

Taimanglo (22-6-1) is a twelve year veteran of the sport who is currently riding a three fight win-streak. Taimanglo's most recent bout saw him taking home a unanimous decision victory over Sirwan Kakai at Bellator 151, the same card Caldwell last competed on.

The winner between Caldwell and Taimanglo will go on to face the winner of the upcoming bantamweight title bout set to go down at Bellator 156 on June 17, between champion Marcos Galvao and Eduardo Dantas.

Also set to take place in the co-main event is a lightweight bout between former UFC fighter Melvin Guillard and Bellator veteran David Rickels.

Guillard (32-16-2, 2 NCs) has been on a near two-year losing skid, having failed to earn a victory since his WSOF debut in July of 2014. Guillard has lost three fights in a row since November of 2014, with his most recent bout ending after 'The Young Assassin' was KO'd by Derek Campos in the early moments of the second round of their Bellator 149 bout in February.

Rickels (17-4-1) has won just one of his last four bouts, with 'The Caveman' almost taking home a victory against John Alessio at Bellator 139. However, an unintentionally thrown illegal knee landed on Alessio's head, which prevented the Canadian from continuing the bout, thus resulting in a no contest. Rickels' most recent cage appearance saw him take home a first round TKO victory at Bellator 150 over Bobby Cooper, also in his home state of Kansas.

The Bellator 159 main card will air live on Spike TV at 9 PM ET/PT.

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