Friday night, Bellator MMA returned to action at Bellator 159 in Mulvane, Kansas with a main event featuring bantamweight Darrion Caldwell, fresh off an upset win over Joe Warren, taking on Joe Taimanglo, who entered the night on a three fight win streak. The fight was an opportunity for Caldwell to prove he made the right choice by staying busy, and not sitting and waiting for a title shot against divisional kingping Eduardo Dantas.

In the co-main event of the evening, Melvin Guillard continued to have struggles making weight, coming in two pounds heavy (as a non-title fight, this lightweight bout allowed a limit of 156lbs) against David Rickels. Would Caveman make it two in a row? Or would Guillard finally pick up his first Bellator win?

Also on the card, David Weichel faced Emmanual Sanchez.

Check back come fight time for a main card recap and full results!

Main Card Summary

Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo

Round 1 — Caldwell showed good movement early, forcing Taimanglo to chase him.  Caldwell landed a kick a minute in which may have been the first strike to connect clean. Taimanglo tries a spinning back kick as Caldwell moves in, allowing Caldwell to take the fight to the mat. Caldwell moved into half guard and worked to climb into mount. He was able to transition to the back, then step over into mount. Caldwell looked for a possible choke or kimura then landed some hard shots to the ribs. Taimanglo struggled to get back up, and finally did with just over a minute to go in the round. Caldwell looked to take the fight to the mat again, then began working for a kimura before securing the takedown. Caldwell rolled through to secure the kimura but in the process gave up his back. Taimanglo was unable to take advantage of the error and the round came to a close.

Round 2 — Caldwell was looking for a high kick early. Taimanglo with a kick and a slip. Caldwell attempted a jump knee which may have connected, and latched on to Taimanglo with a front headlock. Caldwell shot in about halfway through the round and scored the takedown. In half guard, he looked for a possible submission. Unable to make anything happen, Caldwell would try to mix in some ground strikes as ref Big John implored him to work. With thirty seconds to go, he stood them up. Taimanglo would try to shoot at the end of the round, to no avail.

Round 3 — Caldwell shot in early in a sloppy attempt and wound up caught in a guillotine! Taimanglo had it tight, and Caldwell tapped!

Melvin Guillard vs. David Rickels

Round 1 — Rickels opened the action with a kick. Guillard with a big swing but didn’t land clean. Rickels used his kicks well early. Guillard was throwing bombs but taking a big risk  in doing so. Ate a knee but shook it off, then Rickels landed a low blow. The action was paused for Guillard to recover. Rickels took the fight to the cage and ate some big shots in the clinch with an elbow dropping him. Guillard got on top and began landing huge elbows, splitting open Rickels and getting the win as the ref waived off the fight!

Melvin Guillard def. David Rickels by knockout, Round 1, 2:14

Bruna Vargas vs. Emily Ducote

Round 1 — Vargas looked much crisper early, and looked to land some combos. Ducote took a more defensive approach, trying to cover up and slip some punches. Ducote managed to rock Vargas with a pair of punches just under ninety seconds in, then pressed her up against the fence as they clinched. Ducote would have been wise to break before her opponent cleared her head. Ducote with the trip, but Vargas scrambled and managed to take top position.  Vargas remained in half guard looking to land ebows. She would ride out most of the round in this position, staying active enough with punches and elbows not to have the fight stood up, as Ducote was unable to get back to her feet.

Round 2 — Ducote with a huge right early on that dropped Vargas! She took the back of Vargas and locked in the choke! Wow! Great sequence.

Emily Ducote def. Bruna Vargas by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 0:29

Daniel Weichel vs. Emmanuel Sanchez

Round 1 — Sanchez opened up with some kicks, but Weichel soon caught one and took him to the canvass. Sanchez managed to pop right back up, and continued throwing a number of leg and high kicks, while Weichel seemed to look to catch/score the takedown. Sanchez remained the aggressor through the first half of the opening round, while Weichel looked to counter. Weichel began finding a home for his jab later in the round. With a minute to go Weichel would look to secure the back of Sanchez, but could not hold on. Sanchez would throw a big roundhouse kick late in the round (something he attempted earlier on as well) but catch nothing but air. Solid first round.

Round 2 — The second opened with a very active Sanchez circling then pushing forward with a combo. Sanchez began mixing more punches with his kicks, but ate a short right from Weichel. A spinning back kick by Sanchez doesn’t land. He continued to get the better of the exchanges however. Weichel attempted to change levels and dragged Sanchez down only to have him jump right back up again. Halfway through the round, and you sense Weichel needed to turn things up a bit. Weichel landed a leg kick. The fighters circled; Sanchez answered with some kicks of his own. Started a jump knee but didn’t finish. Sanchez caught a kick next and ate some punches for his troubles. A right hand landed from Weichel. Weichel by this point was the fighter pressing the action. Some solid exchanges finished out the round, and we went to a third.

Round 3 — The third saw Weichel take the fight to the mat early, and this time he managed to maintain top control and keep his opponent on the canvass. While Sanchez was active and working his way to the cage wall from his back, Weichel managed to score some damage with ground n’ pound. As Sanchez struggled to his feet, Weichel pulled him back down and looked to take his opponent’s back. Unable to sink his hooks in Sanchez would manage to struggle and later roll out of danger. The two then found themselves back in the center of the cage, Weichel pressing the action. High kick landed by Sanchez but there wasn’t enough on it. Another jump knee nowhere near hitting home. Weichel landed a right. He then pressed Sanchez up against the fence forcing a clinch. Sanchez attempted a spinning backfist but couldn’t land it clean. Weichel looked to score another takedown towards the end of the round but couldn’t land it, while Sanchez continued to try some flashy, low percentage strikes prior to the bell sounding. Good opening bout to the main card.

Daniel Weichel def. Emmanuel Sanchez by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)

Full Results

Joe Taimanglo def. Darrion Caldwell by submission (guillotine choke), Round 3, 0:09
Melvin Guillard def. David Rickels by knockout, Round 1, 2:14
Emily Ducote def. Bruna Vargas by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 0:29
Daniel Weichel def. Emmanuel Sanchez by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)

Preliminary card (

Philipe Lins def. Guilherme Viana by knockout, Round 2, 1:13
Jessica Middleton def. Bruna Ellen by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gaston Reyno def. LJ Hermreck by TKO, Round 3, 3:57
Manny Meraz vs. Trey Ogden
Chris Harris vs. Matt Foster
Fernando Martinez def. Marcio Navarro by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Johnny Marigo def. Andy Riley by submission (arm-bar), Round 1, 2:44
Josh Pfeifer vs. Henry Lindsay
Chuka Willis vs. Brandon Phillips

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.