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 Bellator 159 - Fight Card Updates 
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Caldwell vs. Taimanglo, Rickels vs. Guillard Top 'Bellator 159' on July 22 at Kansas Star Arena‏


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.

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)

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Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:57 pm
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Featherweight Fireworks, Additional Attractions Added to Bellator 159 on July 22‏


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 and The Bellator Mobile App beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

“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)

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Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:04 pm
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