(7/22/2016)
100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (26 Total):
1. Johnny Marigo - 92.9
2. Melvin Guillard - 92.5
3. Jessica Middleton - 92.4
4. Gaston Reyno - 91.9
5. Joe Taimanglo - 91.7
6. Emily Ducote - 91.4
7. Emmanuel Sanchez - 91.4
8. Daniel Weichel - 91.2
9. Bruna Ellen - 90.8
10. David Rickels - 89.6
Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo
Location: Mulvane, Kansas
Elevation: 1,234'
SCORE
-Fight of the Night-
Joe Taimanglo vs. Darrion Caldwell
90.8
Fighters & Matches 88.7
Top 10 Fighters 91.6
TOTAL 90.2
85.4
Decision
(Split)
15:00
     These guys traded random strikes for the duration of the first round at a fairly slow pace. Martinez rocked Navarro in the final 90 seconds, blasting him with a big left hand, knocking Navarro back up against the fence, forcing Navarro to clinch for the final minute. I guess round one goes to Martinez for that one punch. It was a fairly uneventful round overall though. Navarro landed a knee to the groin with around 5 seconds left in the round. Round one definitely goes to Martinez.
     The second round had the commentators discussing eating dinner at Jimmy Smith's mom's house, which should give you an idea of the kind of action we were seeing in the cage. It was another round of random sparring, with neither fighter really pulling ahead at all, until the final 90 seconds, where Martinez rocked Navarro again, resulting in a 2-0 lead for Martinez going into the final round. Martinez also landed a basic trip takedown to finish the round.
     Martinez started the final round with a barrage of power shots, pressuring Navarro back against the cage. Navarro clinched, and basically just stalled for a while. They split up, and Navarro started landing some decent leg kicks. Martinez then kicked him in the face, but that was sort of blocked. Martinez landed a few more power shots throughout the rest of the round, as they continued to trade strikes at a friendly sparring pace. I scored this fight 30-27 for Martinez, and the judges were all over the place, giving the fight to Martinez by split-decision in his Bellator debut.
88.9
Submission
(Inverted Triangle Keylock)
2:44
      Marigo came out swinging to start the first round, Riley went for a flying guillotine, and eventually whipped Marigo to the ground early in the first round, landing in half mount. Marigo got back to his feet, threw some hard kicks to Riley while he was still on the ground (legs & body), and then he pounced on him, throwing some punches while looking for a possible armbar. He transitioned to a reverse triangle choke, he blasted Riley in the head with some brutal elbows while cranking on that choke, and then finished the fight with an inverted triangle keylock early in the opening round. Fantastic Bellator debut for Johnny Marigo.
88.6
TKO
(Punches)
13:57
      These guys both came out throwing violent punches & kicks for the duration of the opening round, and it looked like Reyno rocked Hermreck a few times. That was a wild round of back & forth action. You could make an argument for either guy, but I scored that round for Reyno, based on landing the shots that looked like they hurt the most to me.
     Reyno came out swinging power shots again to start the second round. They clinched for a few seconds, and then Reyno threw Hermreck to the ground, bully style. He let him stand back up, and Reyno continued to tee off on Hermreck with power punches & brutal leg kicks. Hermreck is a very sloppy fighter, and he looks like he's going to run out of energy at any moment. I have Reyno ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
     Reyno took down Hermreck early in the final round, and beat the living shit out of him with big punches, busting open Hermreck's face. Hermreck really looked like he had no business being in there with a professional fighter. He looked like some scrappy dude they just pulled from the stands as a late replacement or some shit. Reyno grabbed his back, postured up, unloaded with some massive right hands, and finished Hermreck late in the final round. Fantastic performance by Gaston Reyno in his third Bellator fight.
89.2
Decision
15:00
      Middleton threw some decent strikes, and then Ellen aggressively took her to the ground, and immediately grabbed her back. Middleton tried to break Ellen's arm, by pressing Ellen's elbow into her own (Middleton's) neck, but that didn't work, so Ellen nearly had a rear-naked choke after that. They scrambled back to their feet, Ellen tried to throw MIddleton to the ground, but Middleton defended, and ended up on top. Ellen was working for a triangle, but Middleton blasted her with a lot of brutal punches & elbows, until Ellen caught her in an armbar, but Middleton slipped out, and stayed on top. Ellen continued to look for a variety of submissions, while Middleton absolutely slaughtered her with punches for the last half of the round. That was a crazy fucking round, and even though Ellen started out looking like a beast, Middleton pretty clearly won that round by doing way more damage.
     The second round started with Ellen taking Middleton to the ground again, landing inside her guard. Middleton ALMOST swept her, but Ellen was able to stay on top. Ellen mostly just smothered her, while Middleton was throwing sharp elbows up from her guard. The referee stood them up around the halfway point. Middleton continued to dominate Ellen with her punches, but that left her open for another takedown from Ellen, this time landing in half mount. She passed, and grabbed Middleton's back again. The round ended with Ellen still clinging to Middleton's back. I have this fight all tied up going into the final round.
     Ellen took the fight to the ground again early in the final round, landing inside Middleton's guard again. Middleton eventually swept her, ended up back on top in half mount again, and spent the rest of the round beating the fuck out of Ellen with brutal punches & elbows. Ellen threw up a triangle choke late in the round, and Middleton had an interesting defense for it, sitting on her butt, while hammerfisting Ellen's stomach. They ended the round tied up in a variety of bizarre positions. I scored that fight 29-28 for Middleton based on the damage from her ground & pound, but holy shit that was a great fight. I wouldn't be shocked by a split-decision, but I'll be a LITTLE shocked if the judges give the win to Ellen. All 3 judges agreed, giving the fight to Middleton by unanimous decision. Fantastic pro debut for Middleton.
87.2
TKO
(Punches)
6:13
      These guys both moved around a lot in the first round, but didn't really attack at all. Viana landed a decent leg kick at the end of the round, but that's about it. I guess that round was probably a draw. They bumped shoulders really hard as they were walking back to their corners, so hopefully that will kick this fight into high gear. Lins started working his counterstriking early in the second round, and his hands are FAST. He rocked Viana early with some hard punches, and then started stalking him near the cage. Lins opened up with his hands, and put Viana on his ass in just over one minute of the second round. The first round sucked, but that second round was fireworks for Lins.
N/A
Submission
(Guillotine Choke)
7:37
(Unaired)
N/A
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
1:23
(Unaired)
N/A
Decision
15:00
(Unaired)
89.9
Decision
(Split)
15:00
      These guys traded strikes at a decent pace to start the first round, Sanchez got tripped up, but immediately got back to his feet. Sanchez was more aggressive with his striking, but Weichel did a good job catching kicks, and tripped up Sanchez. There was a scramble in the final 90 seconds, that had Weichel taking Sanchez's back for a few seconds, but Sanchez got back to his feet and reset. Sanchez continued to unload fluid combinations to finish the round, but Weichel took him back down with 15 seconds left in the round, but Sanchez immediately popped back up again. That was a close round that could potentially go either way.
     The second round was another close round of striking, with Weichel landing some decent power shots, but Sanchez looked more active with his striking overall. I have Sanchez ahead 2-0 going into the final round, but it could be going either way at this point. Weichel took Sanchez down quickly in the final round, landing inside Sanchez's guard. Sanchez tried to scramble back to his feet, and that just allowed Weichel to pass to half mount. Sanchez put some serious effort into getting Weichel off of him, but Weichel did a good job controlling Sanchez on the ground, grabbing his back 2 minutes into the round. They stood up, and Sanchez rolled forward to escape the clinch. Weichel just pressed him back against the fence though.
     They reset back in the center halfway through the round. They traded a few more strikes, and Sanchez blasted Weichel with a head kick. He landed a nice leg kick, and some crazy combinations. Sanchez threw a spinning backfist, but was a little too close, so landed with a small elbow instead. Sanchez blasted Weichel with a combination of punches to the chin late in the round, and then stuffed a takedown. That was a really close fight that could go either way, but I scored it for Sanchez, 30-27, based on his higher rate of activity. I'm expecting a split-decision though. Yup... Daniel Weichel wins the fight via split-decision.
88.5
Submission
(Rear-Naked Choke)
5:29
      Vargas came out throwing a lot of fast punch combinations, reminding me of the guy with the wild swords in Indiana Jones. Ducote was Indiana Jones in this case, blasting Vargas with single shots, and rocking her. The fight went to the ground 2 minutes into the round, with Vargas ending up on top. Vargas mostly just smothered Ducote for most of the round, only opening up with big punches & elbows in the final minute or so. Ducote tried to catch an armbar, but Vargas pounded her way out of it. Round one goes to Vargas.
     The second round had Ducote dropping Vargas with a massive overhand right, she immediately grabbed her back, locked on a tight rear-naked choke, and Vargas was forced to tap immediately. That was a fantastic finish by a decent sized underdog in her Bellator debut. Emily Ducote is someone to keep an eye on. Vargas looked pretty good too, but yeah, great win for Ducote.
90.2
KO
(Elbows)
2:14
      Guillard started the first round looking for power punches, and Rickels was working his kicks. Rickels punched Guillard, might have had him rocked, and he followed it up with a wild attack, capped off with a big knee. Rickels then accidentally kicked Guillard in the dick. The fight started back up, Rickels landed a few shots, and then got rocked, fell to the ground, Guillard pounced on him, unloaded with some brutal punches & elbows, cut open the forehead of Rickels, and left him laying unconscious. That was a HUGE win for Melvin Guillard, a guy that I had pretty much written off already. I had Rickels ranked as the #5 Lightweight in Bellator, so... I guess this means Guillard might have a chance of climbing back up those rankings. I'm curious to see who they pit him against next. As for Rickels, as much as I like the guy, I'm having a hard time trusting his chin at this point.
90.8
Submission
(Guillotine Choke)
10:09
      Caldwell landed a few decent kicks, and threw some explosive stuff, but wasn't landing much. He also shot for a takedown, but Taimanglo easily avoided it. Taimanglo tried some sort of spinning attack, and Caldwell used that moment to take him to the ground, landing in half mount. He passed to full mount, and immediately started looking for submissions. Taimanglo rolled out of a few attempts, and Caldwell beat him up a little bit on the ground. Taimanglo worked his way back to his feet with 90 seconds left in the round. Caldwell blasted him with a big punch, and shot for another takedown, but Taimanglo stuffed the shit out of it. Caldwell sort of took his back, and started looking for a Kimura from sort of a back crucifix. Taimanglo spun out of that, and grabbed Caldwell's back with 30 seconds left in the round. He started working for a rear-naked choke, Caldwell spun out of that, and started working for an arm at the end of the round. Round one goes to Caldwell, but that was really competitive.
      They traded a few strikes to start the second round, and Caldwell kicked Taimanglo in the face, but it didn't seem to phase him. Taimanglo slipped at one point, and Caldwell caught him with a flying knee, followed by a front choke, but they split up and reset again 90 seconds into the round. Caldwell scored another takedown halfway through the round, landing in half mount again. He landed a few short punches, before working for an Americana, but that didn't go anywhere. Caldwell continued to control him from half mount for the rest of the round, but not a lot of damage was done. The referee stood them up with 30 seconds left in the round, but nothing really happened. Caldwell is ahead 2-0 going into the final round.
      Caldwell shot for a terrible takedown to start the final round, from WAY too far away, Taimanglo slapped on a guillotine choke, and finished the fight almost immediately by submission. This was one of the biggest upsets of the year for sure. Caldwell was undefeated going into this fight with a record of 9-0, and he was fighting for a title shot here, and he tapped out in 9 seconds of the third round. That was easily the biggest win of Joe Taimanglo's career. I like both of these guys, so I'm proud of Taimanglo, but holy shit, that's a super depressing loss for Caldwell after clearly winning two rounds.
N/A
0
0:00
(Unaired)
OVERALL 90.2
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