Caldwell Avoids Another Taimanglo Upset

In one of the biggest MMA upsets of the summer, Joe Taimanglo caught Darrion Caldwell in a guillotine at the start of the third round in their Bellator 159 bout. After Caldwell dominated the opening two rounds, he was forced to tapout.

That didn’t happen when the two main evented Bellator 167 at the WinStar World Casino on Saturday night. Caldwell managed to put on another dominant performance, and this time avoid being submitted, to win via unanimous decision.

During the opening moments of the bout, Taimanglo did catch Caldwell on the ground, trying to get the choke. Caldwell, however, was able to counter and transition on top, smothering Taimanglo and dropping a few elbows. Taimanglo continuously attempted to get a submission, but he was stopped every time. The Caldwell domination in round one felt similar to the first round of their bout from the summer.

Similar circumstances occurred in round two, with Taimanglo continuing to attempt a choke but coming up unsuccessful. With a minute to go in the round, both fighters were stood back up to their feet. Taimanglo attempted for Peruvian necktie, and he nearly got it locked in, but he came up short. Into the third round, Caldwell left himself open to be submitted various times, but Taimanglo could get nothing going.

With the win, Caldwell earns a bantamweight title shot against champion Eduardo Dantas, who retained the title last night at Bellator 166 against Joe Warren.

The highlights of the night came in the opening bout of the main card and the final bout of the prelims. In the first fight aired on SPIKE, it took Chidi Njokuani just 21 seconds to knockout Andre Fialho — the 13th fastest in Bellator history.

The only thing that could one-up him was the fight before, which saw Fernando Gonzalez — making his pro MMA debut — throw just one left hand to score a knockout over Chris Hicks.

Bellator 167 Main Card (Spike, 9 p.m. ET):
Darrion Caldwell def. Joe Taimanglo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
John Teixeira def. Justin Lawrence via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ilima MacFarlane def. Emily Ducote via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Chidi Njokuani def. Andre Fialho via KO (R1, 0:21) – 175-pound catchweight bout

Bellator 167 Preliminary Card (Bellator.com, 7 p.m. ET)
Fernando Gonzalez def. Chris Hicks via KO (R1, 0:15)
Jarod Trice def. Tommie Britton via majority decision (30-25, 30-26, 28-28)
Justin Patterson def. Codale Ford via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
John Gary def. Aaron Roberson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bronson St. Romaine def. Joey Soto via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-27)

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