Darrion Caldwell takes rematch with Joe Taimanglo, earns title shot against Eduardo Dantas
In the evening’s bantamweight main event, Darrion Caldwell (10-1) redeemed himself with a decisive unanimous decision (30-27 x3) win over Joe Taimanglo (23-7-1). The three-round battle capped off Bellator MMA’s massive doubleheader at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, OK.
With the win, Caldwell improves his record in the Bellator MMA cage to 7-1 and opens the door for a bantamweight world title clash with current division champion Eduardo Dantas. “Dudu,” of course, protected his belt just last night with a one-sided affair against Joe Warren in the first night of the promotion’s epic doubleheader.
After the fight, Caldwell and Dantas exchanged words inside the cage, as “The Wolf” announced his desire for the belt: “I look forward to fighting you. It’s been a long time coming.”
Featherweight Co-Main Event Lives up to Hype as Teixeira Outlasts Lawrence
It took 15 minutes to determine a winner, but in the end John Teixeira (21-1-2) notched a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 30-27 x2) over Justin Lawrence (9-4) on Saturday night. The Brazilian veteran peppered away with a combination of jabs and kicks that severely damaged Lawrence’s lead leg throughout the bout. “Macapa” continues to dominate the featherweight division, earning victories in nine of his last 10 contests, including one draw. Since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion in 2014, Teixeira has won each of his four fights, maintaining his position among the 145-pound elite.
Flyweight Marathon Ends in Unanimous Decision Victory for Undefeated MacFarlane
Following three hard-fought rounds inside WinStar World Casino, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane (5-0) emerged victorious with a (30-27, 29-28 x2) win over Emily Ducote (4-2). McFarlane was able to withstand an early barrage of strikes from Ducote, preserving her unblemished professional mark. “The Ilimanator” relied heavily on her accurate striking, as the 26-year-old Californian landed a remarkable 68% of her punches thrown. For the budding star Ducote, the loss is just her first of the year, following four consecutive victories to begin her campaign.
Njokuani Upsets Fialho With a Bang, Hands Portuguese Superstar First Loss of Career
In the first Spike-televised bout of the evening, Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) delivered a brutal first round knockout against Andre Fialho (7-1) that came just 21 seconds into the contest. A flurry of Njokuani punches sent Fialho to the canvas and the 27-year-old took care of the rest. Dating back to 2012, “Chidi Bang Bang” has recorded wins in 11of his last 12 bouts and extends his current winning streak to seven. Of Njokuani’s 16 career victories, 10 have come by way of knockout, making him one of the most feared strikers in the stacked welterweight division. The young Portuguese star Fialho tastes defeat for the first time in his career and will look to redeem himself at the start of the new year.
Preliminary Card Results:
Jarod Trice (1-0) defeated Tommie Britton (0-1) via majority decision (28-28, 30-25, 30-26)
Jonathan Gary (12-7-2) defeated Aaron Roberson (5-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Justin Patterson (8-1) defeated Codale Ford (11-9) via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Fernando Gonzalez (1-0) defeated Chris Hicks (3-9) via knockout at :15 of round one
Bronson St. Romaine (1-0) defeated Joey Soto (0-2) via unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-28)