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Bellator 151 results: Darrion Caldwell puts Joe Warren to sleep, calls out champ Marcos Galvao

Bellator MMA

Darrion Caldwell wanted to make a statement Friday at Bellator 151, and boy, he did exactly that. The former NCAA champion put on a flawless performance against the toughest test of his career, manhandling Joe Warren before putting the former two-division beltholder to sleep with an early rear-naked choke. Afterward, Caldwell turned his attention toward Bellator bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao.

"You're a pu**y!" Caldwell shouted to Galvao, who last week withdrew from his Bellator 150 title defense a day before the event due to illness.

Caldwell (9-0) has long been discussed as the future of Bellator's bantamweight division, and on Friday he showed why. The 28-year-old proved to be an overwhelming physical force from the opening bell, landing takedowns at will, then slamming Warren (13-5) to the mat with a monstrous suplex. From there the rest was a formality; Caldwell lunged onto Warren's back and locked up the fight-ending choke, coaxing Warren into dreamland before referee Dan Miragliotta could realize the fight had ended.

The win pushed Caldwell to 6-0 inside the Bellator cage, and with four first-round submissions to his credit, he could be up next for the winner of Galvao vs. Eduardo Dantas.

In the night's co-main event, welterweight veteran Fernando Gonzalez (25-13) made the best of a bad situation, edging a split decision over former TUF 17 contestant Gilbert Smith (12-5) after losing out on the opportunity to fight Michael Page, who withdrew from the card due to undisclosed reasons.

From the outset it was clear that Smith planned to take the fight to the ground, and Gonzalez made him work for it, stuffing countless shots and cracking Smith with hard counters off his entries. Smith had his best round in the second, when he trapped Gonzalez against the fence and pounded away with short punches. But otherwise Gonzalez kept off his back enough to pull ahead in the judges' eyes, earning two 29-28s to one 28-29, propelling his Bellator record to a perfect 5-0.

Elsewhere on the card, fellow former NCAA champion Bubba Jenkins (11-2) fell back on his bread-and-butter wrestling to survive the submission attack of Goiti Yamauchi (19-3) and win a battle between two of Bellator's brightest featherweight prospects via unanimous decision.

Things looked dicey to start, as the 23-year-old Yamauchi took Jenkins' back early and spent most of the opening stanza fishing for a standing rear-naked choke. But Jenkins gutted it out and turned the tide in the latter two rounds, twice sweeping Yamauchi off his feet with power double legs, then going to work with short elbows and punches from top control. Yamauchi threatened with a slick armbar attempt in the second, but other than that was stuck underneath the smothering assault of the two-time All-American.

The judges scored the scored the contest 29-28, 30-27, and 29-27, giving the 28-year-old Jenkins his eighth victory in 10 Bellator appearances, and third straight in the featherweight division.

"This puts me at the top, man," Jenkins said. "I know the two Daniels are in front of me, so I want to go after them obviously. Everybody knows I lost to Georgi Karakhanyan, so I'd like to see him. But I'll let the bosses call me out, let me do what I've got to do. It's like I said, I'm a hitman. Put that name on the line and I go get that ass, that cash, or that belt."

Joe Taimanglo (22-6-1) kept his hot streak alive in the night's opening main card bout, weathering a late push from ex-UFC bantamweight Sirwan Kakai (12-4) to take a unanimous decision.

A 31-year-old native of Guam, Taimanglo set the tone in the opening round with a chain of submission attempts, then outstruck Kakai in the second. The 26-year-old Kakai finally found his rhythm in the final minutes, scoring two takedowns and landing a few good shots on a slowing Taimanglo, but by then it was too little, too late. All three judges scored the fight 29-28, awarding Taimanglo his third straight win inside the Bellator cage.

Catch complete Bellator 151 results here.

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