Bellator 171: “Guillard vs. Njokani” takes place TONIGHT (Fri., Jan. 27, 2017) inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kans., on the heels of a well-viewed “Ortiz vs. Sonnen” card in California with a controversial main event match. Indeed, Bellator and Spike hope to capitalize on the buzz with “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard and Chidi Njokuani, who will collide in a 180-pound Catchweight main event.
That wasn’t the first fight promoted for this card, though. On the contrary, a local favorite from nearby Derby, Kans., known as “The Caveman” David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) was booked for a televised fight with career journeyman Aaron Derrow (14-8). Speaking to MMA OddsBreaker’s Frank Trigg, Rickels talked about his loss in the same building to the aforementioned Guillard being overturned when “Young Assassin” failed a drug test.
“What do you do, you know? Cocaine’s a hell of a drug, man! You know I was just surprised by the end result. I was keeping him at range, touching him when I wanted to, and clinch is usually a position I feel super comfortable in. I think that was part of the problem. I was like, ‘Ahh this is gravy baby! This is where I always am.’ I got there and he snuck that overhand elbow and he cracked me good in the back of the head and I was definitely feeling it for sure. Anything can happen even when you feel on point.”
Rickels is not dwelling on that “No Contest,” though. He’s moved on to Derrow and is taking the task ahead seriously.
“The biggest advantage he probably has is grappling in some form or another, you know putting me on the mat, trying to get me there. He’s kind of long and awkward in his stand up. In this fight I really just feel like I’m a lot better in a lot of areas, but again I can’t feel safe in certain places you know? So, I’m really just training everything. I want to be ready for whatever he tries to do.”
Most of all, though, Rickels wants to use this 170 lb. fight as a stepping stone to one last run at the Lightweight title.
“It puts my nuts back on the table! It gets me back to where I need to be going, man. I really want to make one more good run at the (1)55 belt. Dude, I can’t be losing to dudes like Aaron Derrow doing that, so that’s where my head is at.”
Tune in to Bellator 171 “Guillard vs. Njokuani” later this evening to see if Rickels fulfills that vow to return to form.
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Source:: mma mania