This Friday, Viacom's premiere MMA promotion returns to the United States, and live television, with Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo. The marquee matchup of the evening will see top prospect Darrion Caldwell taking on an explosive veteran in Joe Taimanglo. The co-main event for Bellator 159 promises to be an action fight as 'The Caveman' David Rickels is slated to slug it out with 52 fight veteran Melvin Guillard. The main card will air LIVE on Spike TV at 9:00 PM EDT with the preliminary bouts streaming online at 7:00 PM EDT.
Main Card: 9:00 PM on Spike TV
Darrion Caldwell (9-0 MMA; 6-0 Bellator) vs. Joe Taimanglo (22-6-1 MMA; 5-2 Bellator): Bantamweight
Former NCAA national wrestling champion Darrion Caldwell has been on an absolute tear as of late. This past March at Bellator 151, Caldwell made short work of former Bellator bantamweight champion Joe Warren in spectacular fashion; including a suplex followed by a technical submission due to a Rear Naked Choke. Can Darrion Caldwell continue his hot streak and transition from a top prospect to a top contender?
Here are Darrion Caldwell's thoughts on his upcoming opponent:
'Baby' Joe Taimanglo is a cannonball of power who only needs one punch to put to someone to sleep. That power also carries into the later rounds as we saw in his third round knockout of Antonio Duarte back at Bellator 137. After a unanimous decision victory of Sirwan Kakai in his last outing, Taimanglo looks to derail Darrion Caldwell's hype train to move himself up the ranks in Bellator's bantamweight division.
Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on Joe Taimanglo:
David Rickels (17-4 MMA; 11-4-1 Bellator) vs. Melvin Guillard (32-16-2-2 MMA; 0-2 Bellator): Lightweight
Styles make fights, not records. With that being said David Rickels, who has won three of his last seven bouts, will be taking on Melvin Guillard, who has won three of his last 12. Both guys hit incredibly hard for the division and both guys are more than willing to stand in front of each other and trade. Both guys have shown mental lapses that have cost each fighter in the past so this may come down to who makes the fewest mistakes. It is tough to correctly call the outcome of this bout, but it is almost guaranteed to be the most brawl-like bout on the Bellator 159 main card.
This matchup between Daniel Weichel and Emmanuel Sanchez has 'fight of the night' written all over it. Daniel Weichel was within seconds of taking the Bellator featherweight title from then champion Patricio Freire, but the round had expired. This gave Pitbull the time needed to recover in between rounds and as Weichel went in for the kill the second stanza, boom! Patricio Pitbull landed a locomotive of a left hand that laid out the German contender. Daniel Weichel rebounded at Bellator 147 in a unanimous decision victory over the dangerous grappler Georgi Karakhanyan, and is looking to string together back to back wins to get another crack at a Bellator title.
Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on Daniel Weichel:
Roufusport product Emmanuel Sanchez is looking for his fourth straight victory in hopes of hopping to the head of the line for the Bellator featherweight crown. Sanchez's previous three bouts have all been close split decision victories. Can Sanchez put on a dominant performance and rise to the top of the featherweight division?
Here is Bellator color commentator Jimmy Smith on Emmanuel Sanchez:
A clash of true light heavyweights is set to take place as Philipe Lins is set to square off with Guilherme Viana. Lins has yet to see a second round inside of a Bellator cage and Viana is fresh off of a TKO stoppage of UFC veteran Houston Alexander.
Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo will be taking place from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas on July 22, 2016. Tune in to Spike TV at 9:00 PM EDT for the main card and catch the Prelims streaming online at 7:00 PM EDT. Follow Bloody Elbow for continual coverage of the event including the MMA Vivisection, live tweets, results, and more!
Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Preview