Darrion Caldwell avenged his only MMA loss in the main event of Bellator 167, and will now face the promotion’s bantamweight champion.
Joe Taimanglo submitted Caldwell only nine seconds into the third round of their first fight in July, and had his moments in Thackerville, Okla. on Saturday night, but Caldwell was able to escape the multiple submission attempts and use his wrestling to secure the win.
Taimanglo locked in guillotine chokes early in rounds one and two, but Caldwell avoided the finishes and easily controlled the action for the rest of the rounds, landing elbows and punches from the top position.
“Obviously, Joe is a dangerous guy,” said Caldwell, who won via unanimous decision. “I really had to stay poised and stay focused on the task at hand.”
After the decision was read, the promotion announced that Caldwell will face Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas next. “Dudu” watched the fight cageside, just 24 hours after defending his title with a decision win over Joe Warren inside the same arena.
In the co-main event, Dantas’ teammate John Teixeira defeated Justin Lawrence to improve to 4-0 under the promotion’s banner. In a featherweight bout that took place mostly standing, “Macapa” landed vicious leg kicks that hurt Lawrence. After the bout, the Brazilian asked for a shot at the 145-pound championship.
“I came here to prove I’m for real and that I deserve a title shot,” Teixeira said. “I’m seeking for evolution to surprise everyone. Bring whoever, I’m ready to fight anyone.”
In the only female fight of the night, Ilima-Lei MacFarlane remains undefeated. MacFarlane was rocked early in the bout, but managed to control the action in the first, and went for submissions in the second round. In the end, MacFarlane was declared the winner via unanimous decision and improved to 5-0 in MMA.
The main card’s opening bout lasted only 21 seconds. Portugal’s Andre Fialho, who vowed to prove to Bellator he deserved a better contract, was dropped only 14 seconds into the fight after eating a left hand by Chidi Njokuani. The welterweight striker followed with hard punches that knocked Fialho out cold, forcing the referee to stop the fight after only 21 seconds.
Click here for Bellator 167 full results.