A changing of the guard in the Bantamweight division and new Welterweight and Featherweight contenders emerge.
With has his sights set on another run at the 135-pound title Joe Warren must first get through the undefeated Darrion Caldwell.
Gilbert Smith makes his Bellator debut against Fernando Gonzalez who is currently on a four-fight winning streak.
Goiti Yamauchi will meet Bubba Jenkins in featherweight action, with both men hoping to keep their current winning streaks intact making their case as top contenders.
The Guam-native Joe Taimanglo faces Bellator newcomer Sirwan Kakai in a Bantamweight match-up.
Warren has just about done it all under the Bellator MMA banner, winning titles at featherweight and bantamweight during his nearly six-year promotional tenure. Now, Warren has his sights set on another run with the 135-pound title, a belt he lost during an intense encounter with Marcos Galvao early in 2015. A 2006 Pan American and World Champion in Greco-Roman competition, the 39-year-old will test himself against a young competitor who excels in the same skillset that Warren has used to his advantage for most of his career, wrestling. With five impressive outings in a little over a year and a half under the Bellator MMA umbrella, it was only a matter of time before “The Wolf” found himself in a position to compete for a world title. The next stop on the road to championship gold goes through Warren, a man who has held Galvao’sbelt already. A standout on the wrestling team at NC State University, the 27-year-old Caldwell most recently submitted Shawn Bunch via rear-naked choke in the first frame, adding to his tally of finishes (4). Initially a featherweight, Caldwell looks much more comfortable now at 135-pounds and as he proclaimed during a recent interview, “I foresee myself competing against Joe [Warren] with a No. 1 contender shot on the line, sooner rather than later.”
Tonight, two of MMA's fastest rising stars face-off on Spike. Yamauchi comes into the fight riding a wave of momentum he’s caught after wins against Mike Richman, Martin Stapleton, and Isao Kobayashi. The 23-year-old Japanese fighter has only lost once in six appearances under the Bellator MMA banner and has notched 15 of his 19 wins as a professional by way of submission. It’s hard to ignore Jenkins inside or outside the Bellator MMA cage, being that “The Highlight Kid” also doubles as a podcast host during his free time. The Arizona State alum notched two straight wins to cap off 2015, most recently, an impressive offensive display against a promising prospect in Jordan Parsons.
Just when you think Joe Warren is done...He keeps coming back! Darrion Caldwell needs to take this opportunity stepping into the limelight to put on a show. Manny Rodriguez and Jimmy Smith breakdown the match-up between the up and comer and the savvy veteran.
The young fighter showed veteran chops when he took a split decision win over Jordan Parsons. Jimmy Smith breaks down the fight and why Bubba's next one will be one to watch.
After a long layoff Goiti Yamauchi showed the time away from the cage was more positive than negative as he dominated Isao Kobayashi. Jimmy Smith breaks down the fight.
Everything Baby Joe Taimanglo throws is a BIG shot. Jimmy Smith breaks down his last win and why he's a fighter to watch.