Undisclosed injuries to both Emmanuel Sanchez and Patricky “Pitbull” have forced them to withdraw from their matchups at this weekend’s “Bellator 166” & “Bellator 167” respectively.
Because of Sanchez’s injury, Ray Wood (7-2) has agreed to face A.J. McKee (5-0) on a week’s notice in the co-main event of Friday’s event, which is headlined by a bantamweight world title fight rematch pitting Eduardo Dantas (18-4) against Joe Warren (14-5).
Originally the co-main event of Saturday’s card, Darrion Caldwell (9-1) versus Joe Taimanglo (23-6-1) has been promoted to the featured bout of “Bellator 167.” Pitbull’s opponent Derek Campos will be paid his show money and re-scheduled to compete in 2017.
“Bellator 166: Dantas vs. Warren 2” airs live and free Friday on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT., while “Bellator 167: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo 2” airs live and free Saturday on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Preliminary bouts for both events will stream live on Bellator.com and The Bellator Mobile App. Tickets for the unique doubleheader event start at just $45 and can be purchased at the WinStar World Casino & Resort Box Office, as well as Ticketmaster and Bellator.com.
Fighting out of Long Beach, Calif., McKee enters this fight following the quickest finish of his budding career, a 32-second guillotine choke submission at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” A 5-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, McKee has a knack for finishing fights early and often, spending a grand total of 10:25 inside the cage over the course of his five scraps. Trained by his father, Antonio McKee, the Team Bodyshop product will try to protect his unblemished mark and fulfill his goal of becoming the youngest champion in MMA history when he enters the cage this Friday on Spike.
Ray “All Business” Wood made a splash in his Bellator MMA debut earlier this year, when he finished Chris Jones with a spinning-back fist that resulted in a first-round knockout at “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell.” The 27-year-old Maine native has begun his professional career with a flashy 7-2 record, including four knockout victories and two first-round finishes. After beginning his career under the direction of regional promotions, Wood now has his eyes set on establishing himself among the top of Bellator’s always-competitive featherweight division, against arguably the toughest prospect the weight class has to offer.
Complete “Bellator 166: Dantas vs. Warren 2” Main Card:
Bantamweight World Title Main Event: Eduardo Dantas (18-4) vs. Joe Warren (14-5)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: A.J. McKee (5-0) vs. Ray Wood (7-2)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Marcos Galvao (17-7-1) vs. L.C. Davis (23-7)
Middleweight Feature Bout: Chris Honeycutt (8-1, 1 NC) vs. Ben Reiter (17-1-1)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Treston Thomison (9-4) vs. TBD
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Chris Jones (10-4) vs. Derrick Adkins (7-2)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Chance Rencountre (8-2) Levi Queen (8-3)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Gregory Babene (17-11) vs. Emiliano Sordi (14-5)
Catchweight Preliminary Bout (210 lbs.): Kinny Spotwood (2-2) vs. John King (4-3)
Complete “Bellator 167: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo 2” Main Card:
Bantamweight Main Event: Darren Caldwell (9-1) vs. Joe Taimanglo (23-6-1)
Featherweight Co-Main Event: John Teixeira (19-1-2) vs. Justin Lawrence (9-3)
Flyweight Feature Bout: Ilima MacFarlane (4-0) vs. Emily Ducote (4-1)
Welterweight Feature Bout: Chidi Njokuani (15-4, 1 NC) vs. Andre Fialho (7-0)
Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Jarod Trice (Debut) vs. Tommie Britton (Debut)
Lightweight Preliiminary Bout: Jonathan Gary (11-6) vs. Aaron Roberson (5-4)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Brandon Philips (6-2) vs. Stephen Banaszak (5-5)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Justin Patterson (7-1) vs. Codale Ford (11-8)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Fernando Gonzalez (Debut) vs. Chris Hicks (3-8)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Joey Soto (0-1) vs. Bronson St. Romaine (Debut)