BELLATOR 171 is stacked with homegrown talent from Kansas/Missouri!


BELLATOR 171 is stacked with homegrown talent from Kansas/Missouri!


BELLATOR 171 is stacked with homegrown talent from Kansas/Missouri!

A catchweight bout pitting Melvin Guillard (32-16-2, 3 NC) against Chidi Njokuani (16-4, 1 NC) will serve as the main event of Bellator 171 at the Kansas Star Arena on Jan. 27. The rest of the fight card will feature several veterans and newcomers who have made a name for themselves fighting on local promotions like Kansas City Fighting Alliance, BlacKOut Fighting Championships, Walkout FC, Evolution Fighting Championships, Shamrock FC, and Blue Corner. All these fighters have proven themselves on the Regional scene and now they are getting the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of the World. “The King of Kansas” David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC), who will meet Aaron Derrow (14-8) is a fight that has local fight fans buzzing. Rickels is a fan favorite at the Kansas Star Arena and looking to get another big win in front of the Wichita fans. Aaron "Daddy Long Legs" Derrow is looking to stay undefeated in the Bellator cage and keep his win streak alive.

Brandon Phillips (6-2) is looking to bounce back after his recent loss at World Series of Fighting 33 and get the biggest win of his career against undefeated top prospect A.J. McKee (6-0). MMAMadhouse caught up with Brandon Phillips and he had this to say about the fight... "Fans should expect a knock out if he don't run HAHA and a really good fight and I'm very excited to fight someone like McKee so I can prove how wack he is and good I am."

Jessica Middleton (1-0) is known for her highlight reel knockouts against Holly Torrez and Tabby Patterson. Middleton made her successful professional debut at Bellator 159 defeating previously undefeated Bruna Ellen via Decision. She will now be facing off with Alice Yauger on the main card of Bellator 171.

Chris Harris is undefeated with an impressive 8-0 record and is looking to keep his streak alive with a big finish over another rising star in the sport, Jordan Young (5-0). Harris has 7 finishes and has only been to the judges scorecards once in his professional career. Jordan Young has finished 4 out of his last 5 opponents via submission. This fight could easily reveal who the next big star in Bellator's growing Middleweight division.

Gaston "Tonga" Reyno (6-1) will be returning against Justin Overton (3-2). “Tonga” is coming off a huge win at Bellator 159 where he dismantled the very tough L.J. Hemreck throughout the fight and the referee was forced to stop the the action in Round 3. Gaston “Tonga” Reyno has a huge following of dedicated fans from his home country of Uruguay and since moving to the Kansas City area, he has gained a following throughout the Midwest. Justin Overton is currently training BJJ under Joe "The Nose" Wilk and is very crafty and dangerous on the ground, all 3 of his victories come by way of submission.

Scott Heston (8-0) will be making his Bellator debut against Manny Meraz (8-3). Scott Heston has finished all his opponents all his opponents in Round 1 and is looking to make a statement in the Bellator cage. Manny Meraz is looking to bounce back from a recent loss against Trey Ogden at Bellator 159 and get his first win inside the Bellator cage.

Chance Rencountre (8-2) faces off with UFC veteran Jake Lindsey (11-5)! Chance Rencountre and Jake Lindsey are both veterans of the sport and are looking to rebound from recent losses. Oklahoma Native Chance Rencountre is a heavy hitter with 5 of his 8 wins coming by knockout. Kansas native Jake "The Librarian" Lindsey has 5 finishes by knockout and 4 by submission. You can expect both these fighter to come into the fight looking for a finish!

Mike Breeden and Craig Fairley are touted as two of the best fighters on the Midwest amateur circuit and both will be making their professional debuts as they face off on the Bellator 171 preliminary card. Mike Breeden is coming off several wins at Kansas City Fighting Alliance and is currently training with Glory MMA & Fitness to prepare for his professional debut. Craig Fairley has finished his last 3 opponents via TKO and had a highlight reel knockout at Walkout FC 3.

William "The Thrill" Lavine is making his long-awaited professional debut against Domo Garcia on the preliminary card. "The Thrill" has an impressive amateur record of 11-4 and decided it was time he made the jump into the pro ranks. Domo Garcia (1-0) recently made his professional debut at Kansas City Fighting Alliance 21 with a dominate performance over Nick Radtka. Both these fighters come to finish fights and give the fans a show every single fight.

Joseph "The Hulk" Fulk (4-4) will be facing off with undefeated Johnny Marigo (3-0). Joseph "The Hulk" Fulk is the former Walkout FC professional bantamweight champion and is looking to get a big win in his Bellator debut. Johnny Marigo is coming off a big win at Evolution Fighting Championships 4, where he submitted Edgar Rodriquez in quick fashion.

Kevin Woltkamp (1-2) will be facing off with 3 time NCAA Wrestling All-American Jarod Trice (1-0). Kevin Woltkamp has fought tough opponents throughout his whole MMA career and has a lot more cage experience than Jarod Trice. Kevin Woltkamp had this to say about his opponent "I'm looking to make a statement against a 3 time All- American... They said he's a future star in professional MMA and I have traveled this road before and will continue on my journey. I'm looking to make a statement".

Will Johnson will be making his professional debut against one-time NCAA Division 2 champ Tyrell Fortune (1-0). Will Johnson trains with Bellator veteran Rudy Bears at Caveman Crew MMA in Raytown, Missouri. Will Johnson has faced very tough opponents and is looking to derail the hype train of Tyrell Fortune. Tyrell Fortune had a quick and successful professional debut against Cody Miskell at Bellator 163 and is looking to become another wrestling powerhouse in MMA.

Carmella James is set to make her professional debut against Bruna Ellen (2-1). Carmella James is undefeated on the amateur circuit and recently won the Sugar Creek Showdown Women's strawweight title and is looking to take her success as an amateur into the Bellator cage. Brazilian Bruna Ellen (2-1) will be looking to win her first fight in the United States and inside the Bellator cage. Ellen trains at Team Nogueira in Brazil so she will be a tough test for local Carmela James.

It's great to see Bellator giving all these local fighters a chance to showcase their skills on a big stage.

Tickets for Bellator 171: Guillard vs. Njokuani start at $24 and are on sale now at, as well as Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on and the Bellator Mobile App.


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