This Friday night (Jan. 27) lightweight David Rickels will return to the Bellator cage. His opponent will be Aaron Derrow, who hasn’t competed since Oct. 2014. The bout is going to serve as Bellator 171’s co-main event.
“The Caveman’s” last outing didn’t go the way he had hoped. Rickels was knocked out by former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Melvin Guillard in the first round. The result was changed to a no contest when Guillard tested positive for a banned substance.
This fight with “Daddy Long Legs” will be Rickels’ chance to redeem himself. Having gone 1-1, 2 NC in his last four bouts, the former title contender would like to have some consistency in 2017.
Rickels is focused on playing to his strengths when he shares the cage with Derrow. He told MMAWeekly.com that there are a few aspects of his game that are going to be crucial come fight night:
“I feel like this is a fight where I need to go out there and implement what I’m good at – pressure and good stand-up. I’ve got a really good gas tank, and (Derrow’s) got good durability, so that’s going to come into play.”
It’s not often that fighters point out their opponent’s best chance at beating them, but that’s what Rickels has done. His confidence is high, however, as he feel his skills are superior.
“His best chance is getting this to the ground and using some kind of grappling, but to be honest; in my head I believe I’m better than Aaron in a lot of places. It’s just about implementing my game plan and making him fight my fight.”
The main event of Bellator 171 features a catchweight bout at 175 pounds. “The Young Assassin” Guillard will be looking for his first win since July 2014. His opponent is Chidi Njokuani, who is riding a six-fight winning streak.