Capping off a busy Friday Night of MMA action will be a stellar card from the Bellator MMA promotion. Bellator 159 will be headlined by a crucial bantamweight division fight between Darrion Caldwell and Joe Taimanglo. Also, David Rickels faces Melvin Guillard and top featherweight contender Daniel Weichel is in action.
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Division Fight
Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (9-0-0) vs. Joe “The Juggernaut” Taimanglo (22-6-1)
Caldwell is coming off of what may have been the biggest win of his career at this point as he defeated former two division champion Joe Warren at Bellator 151. Taimanglo will enter the fight riding a three fight winning streak and he has not suffered a defeat in over two years. Caldwell has only fought in two MMA promotions during his career, those promotions are Bellator MMA and Legacy FC. Taimanglo did compete in a single Bellator MMA Bantamweight Tournament, losing to Justin Wilcox in the semi-finals. Taimanglo has the punching power to keep things interesting for a little time, but Caldwell has the wrestling game to neutralize Taimanglo and he gets the decision win.
Bellator MMA Lightweight Division Fight
Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-16-2-2NC) vs. David “The Caveman” Rickels (17-4-0-1NC)
Guillard is a UFC veteran who has only won just one of his last four fights and he has not earned a victory in over two years. Rickels has only won just one of his last three fights, with that lone win coming over Bobby Cooper at Bellator 150. Guillard is currently winless in Bellator MMA competition, but he did earn fourteen wins in the UFC. Rickels has previously challenged for the Bellator MMA Lightweight Title, losing that title shot to Michael Chandler at Bellator 97. Rickels engages in lots of slugfests and he has a weak chin to boot, Guillard eventually catches Rickels with one of his wild punches to get the first round knockout.
Bellator MMA Featherweight Division Fight
Emmanuel “El Matador” Sanchez (13-2-0) vs. Daniel “The Weasel” Weichel (36-9-0)
Sanchez has won five of six fights under the Bellator MMA banner and he enters this fight on a three fight winning streak. Weichel has also won five of six in Bellator MMA and he once challenged for the Bellator MMA Featherweight Title. Sanchez has a great boxing skill set that has transitioned well into MMA, but Weichel can ground him and he does on route to a close decision win.
Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Division Fight
Luiz Philipe “Monstro” Lins (9-1-0) vs. Guilherme Viana (7-2-0)
Lins will be returning to action after a two year absence and he made it to the semi-finals of a Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Tournament. Viana is looking to build on the momentum of his first win in Bellator MMA, which came over UFC veteran Houstoon Alexander at Bellator 146. Lins has been gone for a while now and who knows what he is bringing into the cage, Viana finishes Lins with strikes in the second round.
Bellator MMA Women’s Flyweight Division Fight
Bruna Ellen (2-0-0) vs. Jessica Middleton (0-0-0)
Ellen will be making her Bellator MMA debut in this fight, having spent her entire career until this point in the Max Fights promotion. Middleton will be making her professional MMA debut in this fight, but she did go undefeated as an amateur. This is a toss up if there ever was one on this card, but Ellen uses her striking game to get a decision win.
Bruna Vargas over Emily Ducote
Gaston Reyno over LJ Hermreck
Manuel Meraz over Trey Ogden
Matt Foster over Chris Harris
Marcio Navarro over Fernando Martinez
Johnny Marigo over Andy Riley
Henry Lindsay over Josh Pfeifer
Chuka Willis over Brandon Phillips