Bellator 167: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo 2 will be held on December 3, 2016, at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The event will air live on Spike TV following the preliminary card on MMA Mad.
A bantamweight rematch pitting Darrion Caldwell (9-1) against Joe Taimanglo (23-6-1) will feature as the main event of the Bellator MMA doubleheader inside WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK.
After beginning his career on a nine-fight winning streak, Caldwell hit a 5-foot 4-inch speed bump by the name of Joe Taimanglo. Now the 28-year-old Rahway, New Jersey native looks to rebound in a highly anticipated rematch. With five of his nine wins coming by way of first-round knockout or submission, Caldwell has proven to be one of the most feared strikers in the division. “The Wolf” has collected six wins since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion in 2014, highlighted by a notable first round finish over former multi-division champion and current title challenger Joe Warren. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches tall, Caldwell will once again hold a significant height advantage, as he prepares to use his length to overpower the much shorter Taimanglo inside WinStar World Casino & Resort.
“The Juggernaut,” also known as “Baby Joe” returns to the cage to once again challenge one of the top young talents the sport has to offer in Caldwell. Taimanglo got the best of the young submission specialist at “Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo” earlier this year, emerging victorious after catching his opponent with a guillotine choke submission that came just nine seconds into the third round of the evening’s main event. The win was Taimanglo’s fourth consecutive victory and 17th finish of his career. Dating back to 2009, the 32-year-old Guam native has recorded victories in 14 of his last 16 bouts, including nine by way of knockout or submission.
The co-main event pits Justin Lawrence against John Teixeira.
The 29-year-old Teixeira continues to make a name for himself in Bellator MMA’s featherweight division, as he will make his fourth appearance under the promotion’s direction following three consecutive victories. Similar to his opponent, Teixeira also steps into the cage on a recent string of success, having won seven of his last eight bouts, including a trio of first-round knockouts. Prior to his days with Bellator MMA, Teixeira began his professional career fighting exclusively in Brazil, posting an undefeated record of 12-0 with one draw. The upcoming bout marks only the fourth time in Teixeira’s nine year career that he will fight outside of his native Brazil. With 14 of his 19 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, you can be sure to see “Macapa” go for the finishing blow early and often in this mouthwatering matchup.
Following the recent news of an undisclosed injury that forced Pat Curran to withdraw, Lawrence has agreed to fill in to face Teixeira. After beginning his professional career under the direction of Strikeforce, Lawrence has found a home in Bellator MMA’s formidable featherweight division. “The American Kid” has tallied a pair of highlight-reel knockouts since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion last year, including his most recent victory over Isao Kobayashi at “Bellator 157: Dynamite 2.” The emphatic finish was the fifth of his young career and fourth by way of knockout. Dating back to 2013, the 26-year-old striker has won five of his last six contests, three of which came by way of knockout. Hailing from Pacific, Missouri, the former UFC competitor will look to keep the ball rolling against another tough opponent in Teixeira.
A flyweight clash pitting Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (4-0) against Emily Ducote (4-1) and a welterweight bout pitting Chidi Njokuani (15-4, 1 NC) against Andre Fialho (7-0) also features on the main card of the event.
Possibly no name is growing faster in the MMA community than Ilima-Lei MacFarlane’s, as the 26-year-old flyweight has rapidly climbed the ranks with four consecutive victories and three finishes. The undefeated submission specialist has emerged victorious in her first three bouts under the Scott Coker-led promotion, and finishing both Amber Tackett and Rebecca Ruth via submission. Hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, “The Ilimanator” has secured one career knockout victory, which came just 10 seconds into her first professional bout and spread virally around the internet. MacFarlane will now direct her attention to another one of Bellator MMA’s top young female competitors, Emily Ducote.
The 23-year-old Ducote will look to add to an already impressive 2016 campaign, having earned victories in each of her four fights this year. Ducote’s most recent pair of wins have come under the Bellator MMA umbrella, recording back-to-back second round submission finishes over Brazilian flyweightsBruna Vargas and Kenya Miranda. Ducote will now look to add to her current four-fight winning streak, as she prepares for what is undoubtedly the toughest opponent of her young career. A native of Oklahoma City, “Gordinha” returns home to fight in her back yard, where she anticipates a sold out WinStar World Casino & Resort chock full of close friends and family.
Njokuani made his presence felt early in his career, recording finishes in each of his first seven career victories, including six knockouts and six first round finishes. “Chidi Bang Bang” continued to see success with his knockout power, as 10 of his 15 career wins came by way of knockout or submission. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more consistent fighter than Njokuani right now, the 27-year-old Las Vegas native enters the cage in search of his seventh consecutive victory and 11 of his last 12, dating back to 2012. Njokuani has won both of his first two bouts under the direction of Bellator MMA since joining the promotion in 2015, with key victories over the likes of Ricky Rainey and Thiago Jambo Goncalves. He hopes to add to that list when he joins his opponent Andre Fialho on December 3.
With an unblemished mark of 7-0, Fialho joins his opponent Njokuani as one of the most feared knockout artists in the game. The 22-year-old welterweight has finished each of his seven opponents and tacked on six knockouts. Possibly even more impressive is the manner in which the young Portuguese prospect has defeated his opponents, with six of the seven victories coming in the first round and three in the first minute of action. Since joining the Bellator MMA fray earlier this year, Fialho has recorded first round knockout wins over Manuel Meraz and Rick Reger, proving early in his career that he belongs with the top dogs. We can be sure to see some fireworks fly when Fialho enters the cage inside WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville this December.
Check out the full fight card below along with a video preview of the event.
Main Card (Spike TV)
Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo
Justin Lawrence vs. John Teixeira
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Emily Ducote
Chidi Njokuani vs. André Fialho
Preliminary Card (MMA Mad)
Jarod Trice vs. Brandon Lee
Abdul Razak Al Hassan vs. Dakota Cochrane
Jonathan Gary vs. Aaron Roberson
Brandon Philips vs. Stephen Banaszak
Justin Patterson vs. Codale Ford
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Chris Hicks