SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (February 29, 2016) – This Friday, Bellator MMA returns to Spike for the third consecutive Friday with “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell.” The event takes place from the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK, and features a main event between highly touted undefeated bantamweight Darrion Caldwell (8-0) challenging former two-division world champion and the self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” Joe Warren (13-4).
Tickets for “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” are on sale now and start at just $45. You can purchase tickets at the WinStar World Casino and Resort Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com. Doors for the event open at 5:00 p.m. CT local time, with the first contest taking place 45 minutes later.
“Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” airs live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary bouts will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App.. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Joe Warren (13-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (8-0)
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’s belt 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.”
Fernando Gonzalez (24-13) vs. Gilbert Smith (12-4)
Gonzalez took a brief hiatus from MMA to compete in the kickboxing portion of the groundbreaking “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” event in September, losing a tightly contest decision to world-renowned striker Paul “Semtex” Daley. Gonzalez now returns to his comfort zone of MMA, where he has strung together an impressive four-fight winning streak. A veteran of the Scott Coker-founded Strikeforce promotion, as well as World Extreme Cagefighting, Gonzalez has been competing professionally since 2003.
Smith will be making his Bellator MMA debut against a fighter who is currently in the midst of a four-fight winning streak. “Midnight Magic” is on a bit of a roll of his own, coming into the promotion riding a two-bout winning streak. A veteran of UFC and most recently RFA, Smith won the regional promotion’s welterweight belt in June, defending the title one time before signing with Bellator.
Goiti Yamauchi (19-2) vs. Bubba Jenkins (10-2)
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.
Sirwan Kakai (12-3) vs. Joe Taimanglo (21-6-1)
Taimanglo will be making his seventh appearance under the Bellator MMA umbrella, and is riding a two-fight winning streak. A Guam-native, “The Juggernaut” has stopped his opponent in 21 of his victories and has only lost twice in his last 14 fights. Look for the 31-year-old to make an impression against the bantamweight division’s newest commodity.
Kakai is one of Bellator MMA’s latest signings, joining the fray after a two-fight stint in the UFC. “Zohan,” 26, hails from Sweden and owns 10 finishes in his 12 victories as a professional fighter. With a bantamweight title fight one-week prior and another marquee 135-pound pairing in the main event, it will be interesting to see what a win does for Kakai in the grand scheme of things.
Complete “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell” Fight Card:
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Main Event: Joe Warren (13-4) vs. Darrion Caldwell (8-0)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Co-Main Event: Gilbert Smith (12-4) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (24-13)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Feature Bout: Goiti Yamauchi (19-2) vs. Bubba Jenkins (10-2)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Feature Bout: Sirwan Kakai (12-3) vs. Joe Taimanglo (21-6-1)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Roger Carroll (16-13) vs. Neiman Gracie (3-0)
Bellator MMA Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Steve Garcia (6-0) vs. Ricky Turcios (5-0)
Bellator MMA Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Justin Patterson (6-1) vs. Chance Rencountre (8-1)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Jones (10-3) vs. Ray Wood (5-1)
Bellator MMA Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Derek Palmer (Debut) vs. Jermayne Barnes (0-1)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Steven Peterson (13-4) vs. Stephen Banaszak (5-5)
Bellator MMA Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Treston Thomison (8-4) vs. Aaron Roberson (5-3)