The co-main event of tomorrow night’s Bellator 159 will be a matchup in the lightweight division as David Rickels will look to put together back to back victories for the first time since 2013 when he meets Melvin Guillard on the fight card coming from the Kansas Star Arena.
Rickels (17-4, 1NC) is coming off a TKO win in February against Bobby Cooper at Bellator 150 and the Kansas Star Arena is a familiar venue for Rickels. Five of his previous six fights have take place at this venue and his record in those fights is 3-1, 1NC.
It has been nearly five months since Rickels stepped into the Bellator cage and there has been some major changes in the Bellator lightweight division. Back in February, Will Brooks was the lightweight champion and now he is in the UFC. Brooks won his UFC debut earlier this month against Ross Pearson and The MMA Report recently asked Rickels if he thinks the victory by Brooks could lead to Bellator fighters getting more recognition from the mixed martial arts community.
“I think the perception to the average eye definitely could start to open up,” Rickels stated on yesterday’s The MMA Report Podcast. “But us fighters, we all know once you get to the top tier. Take the top five from Bellator. Take the top five from UFC in each weight class and throw them together. That is one hell of a toss up. You don’t know who is going to come out on top. I think there is — a lot of styles make fights of course and there is a lot of talent on both ends. I would like to see more recognition for the Bellator fighters, especially us lightweights because we are nasty son.”
Check out Rickels’ complete interview from yesterday’s edition of “The MMA Report Podcast” below and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher.