"Baby" Joe Taimanglo has pulled off the latest major upset in MMA.
On Friday night in Mulvane, Kansas, the Guamanian knocked off Darrion Caldwell in the Bellator 159 main event with a stunning third-round victory via submission.
Caldwell was controlling the fight through the first two rounds, but he went for a double-leg takedown in the opening seconds of the third round, and Taimanglo was prepared for it.
Caldwell has dominated opponents with his wrestling throughout his career, but Taimanglo did a great job of surviving the first two rounds—though he hadn't mounted much offense.
In the third, he had a plan. As he stuffed the takedown attempt, he immediately cinched in the guillotine choke and locked both hooks in.
The choke was tight, and Caldwell tapped almost instantly. Here's a look at the finish, per Bellator MMA:
The loss was devastating for Caldwell. Not only was it the first of his career, but it also denied him a shot at the Bellator bantamweight title.
Taimanglo repped Guam with pride during his post-fight interview, and now Caldwell must pick up the pieces after a humbling setback.
Here's a look at all the results from the event.
- Joe Taimanglo def. Darrion Caldwell via third-round submission (guillotine)
- Melvin Guillard def. David Rickels by first-round TKO (punches)
- Emily Ducote def. Bruna Vargas via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)
- Daniel Weichel def. Emmanuel Sanchez via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 29-28)
- Jessica Middleton def. Bruna Ellen via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Gaston Reyno def. L.J. Hermreck via third-round TKO (3:57)
- Fernando Martinez def. Marcio Navarro via split decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
- Johnny Marigo def. Andy Riley via first-round verbal submission (armbar)
- Philipe Lins def. Guilherme Viana via second-round KO (1:13)
Ducote Overcomes Vargas
From the beginning of the fight, Emily Ducote was too much for Bruna Vargas. Ducote's combinations did a number on Vargas' face in the first round.
Just as it appeared Ducote was going to pick Vargas apart with strikes, she hit a well-timed strike that put her opponent on the mat. Vargas would survive the first round, but her time was coming to an end shortly.
In the second round, a stinging right hand drops Vargas. Ducote was initially looking to pound her opponent out with punches, but she decided to take Vargas' back.
Using the rear-naked choke, Ducote earned the submission victory.
Guillard Bashes Rickels
The "Young Assassin" might have saved his career on Friday night. The 33-year-old veteran came into his bout with David Rickels on a three-fight losing streak—and he missed weight on Friday, per Sherdog.com.
That skid ended with a bang.
Rickels, the hometown favorite, appeared to be getting the better of Guillard early in the first. Guillard fought off Rickels' attempt to control him on the fence by landing a hard right hand.
The shot dropped Rickels, and Guillard landed a series of elbows on his opponent that forced the stoppage. Here's a look at the finish, per Bellator MMA:
After the fight, Guillard said he wants to move up from lightweight to welterweight. Bellator published this poll via Twitter:
Truth be told, the only guy on that list that Guillard has a chance of beating is Brennan Ward. Guillard's striking defense is too suspect to handle Michael Page or Paul Daley. We'll see where Guillard goes from here, but he's at least off the snide.