Bellator MMA has announced it’s return to Kansas with a pivotal matchup between the undefeated Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 159 on July 22. The winner of this bout will be named the next number one contender for the promotion’s bantamweight title

At 28 years old, Caldwell (9-0), the 2009 NCAA national wrestling champion, was last seen finishing former two-division Bellator champion Joe Warren with a first round rear-naked choke at Bellator 151 in March. This marked his fifth career stoppage win, inclduing fourth by way of submission.

Taimanglo (22-6-1) has gone 13-2 over his last 15 bouts dating back to 2009. Since signing with Bellator in 2013, Taimanglo has accumulated a 5-2 record including a current string of three consecutive victories.

In the co-main event of the evening, local hometown hero Dave “Caveman” Rickels will meet former UFC standout Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard in a lightweight matchup.

Rickels (17-4) is coming off a “Fight of the Night” back in February with a first-round knockout of Bobby Cooper during the co-main event of Bellator 150. A native of Derby, Kansas, Rickels will be making his 17th appearance under the Bellator MMA banner, a promotion with which he has earned 11 victories over the course of a six-year period.
33-year-old Melvin Guillard (32-16-2) will be looking to pick up his first win under the Bellator banner after dropping a decision to Brandon Girtz in his debut before sufferng a violent knockout loss to Derek Campos. To date, Guillard has walked away with finishes in 23 of his 32 professional victories.

Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo is set go down on July 22 at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. The main card will air live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on and The Bellator Mobile App beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on, and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.