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Bellator 159: recap, results, video highlights and .gifs for 'Caldwell vs Taimanglo'

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Bellator 159: "Caldwell vs. Taimanglo" took place last night (Fri., July 22, 2016) at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. MMA Mania brings you a post-fight recap, results, .gifs and interview highlights featuring Darrion Caldwell, Joe Taimanglo, Melvin Guillard, Dave Rickels and more!

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Bellator 159: "Caldwell vs. Taimanglo" came to Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, last night (Fri., July 22, 2016) live on Spike TV. The card was loaded up with contenders and big fights in multiple weight classes.

The main event saw "The Wolf" Darrion Caldwell put his undefeated record on the line against Joe Taimanglo -- winner of three straight going into the main event. Who notched their claim to a Bantamweight title shot with a big win?

Taimanglo missed weight coming into this fight but still made the most of his opportunity. Caldwell scored takedowns for the first two rounds but Taimanglo seized the opportunity on a missed shot in Round 3. He quickly locked in a tight guillotine choke to give Caldwell his first loss, and first tap, just nine seconds into the round.

Jimmy Smith spoke to Taimanglo after the stunning upset.

"Ah man it feels amazing. Thank you Bellator! I know I earned that No. 1 spot. I know he was up in line for the title but it's my time this little boy from Guam is gonna come and represent that beautiful island. It makes my people proud. Being part of the U.S. now we are proud to celebrate our liberation. This is why I raise my flag up proud for you guys!"

To fill out time on the live broadcast a preliminary bout between Philipe Lins and Guilherme Viana at Light Heavyweight was aired. After a stale first round that wasn't worth the price of admission, viewers were treated to Lins opening up with his hands and landing a bomb of a right hand that left Viana knocked out at 1:13 in Round 2.

Hometown favorite Dave "The Caveman" Rickels returned to Mulvane looking for a big win at Lightweight against a fighter who has had very few of late -- Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard.

Guillard's record (0-2) to this point in Bellator suggested Rickels would have a fun night in front of a partisan crowd, but nothing is a guarantee in mixed martial arts (MMA). After a restart due to Rickels landing a kick to the cup, Guillard got the better of a clinch on the cage and rocked Rickels with a right elbow, finishing with heavy ground-and-pound to earn the first-round TKO.

Guillard spoke to Jimmy Smith after finally posting his first Bellator win.

"I've always been a fan of Rickels, I've watched him for a long time, but when you've got a man in here fighting for his job, fighting to feed his family -- had I lost tonight I probably wouldn't be in Bellator, I would have been cut. When you put a man back to the wall like that nobody can stop me. Unfortunately this is the fourth time that I've missed weight at 155, my body's not letting me cut the weight like I used to, so I'm going back up to 170. This is officially my last fight at 155 tonight. I want Semtex man, I want Paul Daley. That's my homey but I think me and him can give Bellator some fireworks. I'm here to fight."

Second from the top on the broadcast was a fight between Bruna Vargas and Emily Ducote at Flyweight. Vargas had more hype coming in as the undefeated fighter out of Brazil, but Ducote rocked her twice with right hands in Round 1. Vargas scrambled on top after a takedown went awry for Ducote and may have won the first frame back.

Unfortunately for her, it didn't matter as Ducote blasted her with another big right hand early in Round 2. She threw a rapid combinations as Vargas sank to the ground, sunk in the rear naked choke on her dazed opponent, and Vargas knew she couldn't defend it in her condition and tapped out immediately at 0:29.

Jimmy Smith spoke to Emily Ducote after the exciting finish.

"It's awesome. I told you I'm comfortable with my striking. I'll go anywhere."

A woman of few words with very heavy hands.

A critical Featherweight fight featured the streaking Emmanuel Sanchez against former No. 1 contender Daniel Weichel in a fight sure to clear out who's near the top of a talent-rich weight class.

This fight went the distance and none of the rounds felt decisive. Neither man got rocked at any point, though Weichel did occasionally score takedowns, and Sanchez popped up quickly from most of them before Round 3. Weichel was able to sporadically land the hard right hand, but Sanchez ducked under a lot of those strikes to land his own kicks.

It was another split-decision fight as the first two judges rendered opposite scores of 30-27 for each man, and John McCarthy broke the tie with a 29-28 for Weichel.

Weichel spoke to Jimmy Smith after the bout about his second straight win.

"At this level in Bellator you're only fighting tough guys, the toughest in the world. I wanted to fight often and I wanted to fight many times. My goal is to become the first German featherweight champion. If Straus is not ready I'll fight anyone for the interim belt -- I don't care."

The televised bouts were paired with exciting "Prelims" action that aired exclusively on Spike.com.

For complete Bellator 159 results and coverage click here.