David Rickels

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David Rickels
Born (1989-01-05) January 5, 1989 (age 30)
Derby, Kansas, United States
Other namesThe Caveman
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Reach72 in (183 cm)
Fighting out ofWichita, Kansas, United States
TeamJanjira Muay Thai
Years active2010-present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission6
By decision8
By knockout4
By submission1
By decision1
No contests2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

David Rickels (born January 5, 1989) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in Bellator's Welterweight division. A professional since 2010, he is a 23-fight veteran of the promotion, and won the Season Eight Lightweight Tournament.


Rickels was born and raised in Derby, Kansas, a 2007 graduate of Derby High School where he competed in wrestling. He then went on to attend Butler Community College. Started his own promotion called 'Evolution Fighting Championship" in late 2015.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Rickels compiled an amateur record of 8-1, and made his professional mixed martial arts debut in February 2010. He won via first-round TKO and went on to compile an undefeated record of 5-0 before being signed by Bellator.[2]

Bellator MMA[edit]

Rickels made his Bellator debut on April 9, 2011, at Bellator 40 where he defeated formerly undefeated Dylan Smith by a first-round triangle choke submission.[3]

Rickels next fought Strikeforce veteran Richard Bouphanouvong on May 7, 2011, at Bellator 43 where he won by triangle choke in round 2.[4]

After defeating Levi Avera with a third-straight win by triangle choke in Bellator in 2011, Rickels was featured in the Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament in 2012. He faced Jordan Smith in the opening round of the tournament at Bellator 63 and won via KO at just 22 seconds into the first round. In the semifinals at Bellator 69, Rickels faced Karl Amoussou. The bout was back-and-forth but in the end, Amoussou won the fight via controversial split decision, giving Rickels his first professional loss.

Rickels returned to face Jason Fischer at Bellator 82. He won via unanimous decision.

Rickels was picked to enter the Lightweight Season 8 Tournament where he defeated Lloyd Woodard in the quarterfinals at Bellator 87 via unanimous decision. Rickels was to face Russian prospect Alexander Sarnavskiy, but Sarnavskiy fractured his hand during his first fight and had to withdraw from the tournament. Rickels instead faced Jason Fischer in a rematch and won via unanimous decision. In the finals at Bellator 94, Rickels took on Saad Awad. He dropped Awad with a right hand at the very end of the second round, but Awad remained resting on his back instead of getting up to his corner, resulting in the referee declaring an end to the match, controversially making Rickels the winner by TKO.

With the tournament win, Rickels faced undefeated 11-0 Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler at Bellator 97.[5] He lost the fight via knockout at just 44 seconds into the first round.

In March 2014, Rickels entered into the Bellator season 10 lightweight tournament, where he faced Patricky Freire in the opening round at Bellator 113. He lost the fight via knockout in the second round.

Rickels faced Davi Ramos on October 24, 2014, at Bellator 130.[6] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Rickels faced John Alessio at Bellator 139 on June 26, 2015.[7] Rickels almost finished Alessio in the first round, but an unintentional illegal knee from Rickels landed on Alessio's head when he was down and prompted the referee to stop the fight. Alessio couldn't continue and the fight was overturned to a no contest.

Rickels had a rematch with Michael Chandler on November 6, 2015, at Bellator 145.[8] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.

Rickels faced Melvin Guillard on July 21, 2016, at Bellator 159. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round. However, the loss was overturned to a No-Contest after Guillard tested positive for a non-performance-enhancing banned substance.[9]

Rickels faced Aaron Derrow at Bellator 171 on January 27, 2017. He won the fight via TKO, due to punches in the third round.[10]

Rickels was expected to face Brennan Ward at Bellator 185 on October 20, 2017,[11] however, an injury to Ward forced him out of the bout, and Rickels was removed from the fight card as a result.[12]

After an injury to Derek Anderson, Rickels stepped in as a replacement to face Adam Piccolotti at Bellator 189 on December 1, 2017.[13] He won the 160 lb catchweight fight by unanimous decision.[14]

Rickels faced Michael Page on May 25, 2018, at Bellator 200.[15] He lost the fight via verbal submission due to a punch in the second round.[16]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
29 matches 21 wins 6 losses
By knockout 7 4
By submission 6 1
By decision 8 1
No contests 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 21–6 (2) Yaroslav Amosov Submission (D'Arce choke) Bellator 225 August 24, 2019 2 4:05 Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States Catchweight (175 lbs) bout.
Win 21–5 (2) A.J. Matthews TKO (punch) Bellator 219 March 29, 2019 2 3:24 Temecula, California, United States
Win 20–5 (2) Guilherme Bomba Decision (unanimous) Bellator 210 November 30, 2018 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Loss 19–5 (2) Michael Page TKO (retirement) Bellator 200 25 May 2018 2 0:43 London, United Kingdom
Win 19–4 (2) Adam Piccolotti Decision (unanimous) Bellator 189 December 1, 2017 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States Catchweight (160 lbs) bout.
Win 18–4 (2) Aaron Derrow TKO (punches) Bellator 171 January 27, 2017 3 0:44 Mulvane, Kansas, United States Return to Welterweight.
NC 17–4 (2) Melvin Guillard NC (overturned) Bellator 159 July 22, 2016 1 2:14 Mulvane, Kansas, United States Originally KO loss; Overturned to a no contest when Guillard tested positive for a banned substance.
Win 17–4 (1) Bobby Cooper TKO (knee and punches) Bellator 150 February 26, 2016 1 3:49 Mulvane, Kansas, United States
Loss 16–4 (1) Michael Chandler TKO (punches) Bellator 145 November 6, 2015 2 3:05 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
NC 16–3 (1) John Alessio NC (illegal knee) Bellator 139 June 26, 2015 1 2:24 Mulvane, Kansas, United States
Win 16–3 Davi Ramos Decision (unanimous) Bellator 130 October 24, 2014 3 5:00 Mulvane, Kansas, United States
Loss 15–3 Patricky Freire KO (punches) Bellator 113 March 21, 2014 2 0:54 Mulvane, Kansas, United States Bellator Season 10 Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 15–2 J.J. Ambrose TKO (punches) Bellator 103 October 11, 2013 3 2:37 Mulvane, Kansas, United States
Loss 14–2 Michael Chandler KO (punches) Bellator 97 July 31, 2013 1 0:44 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States For the Bellator Lightweight World Championship.
Win 14–1 Saad Awad TKO (punches) Bellator 94 March 28, 2013 2 5:00 Tampa, Florida, United States Won the Bellator Season Eight Lightweight Tournament.
Win 13–1 Jason Fischer Decision (unanimous) Bellator 91 February 28, 2013 3 5:00 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States Bellator Season Eight Lightweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 12–1 Lloyd Woodard Decision (unanimous) Bellator 87 January 31, 2013 3 5:00 Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States Lightweight debut; Bellator Season Eight Lightweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 11–1 Jason Fischer Decision (unanimous) Bellator 82 November 30, 2012 3 5:00 Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States Catchweight (160 lbs) bout.
Loss 10–1 Karl Amoussou Decision (split) Bellator 69 May 18, 2012 3 5:00 Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 10–0 Jordan Smith KO (punches) Bellator 63 March 30, 2012 1 0:22 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Bellator Season Six Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 9–0 Levi Avera Submission (triangle choke) Bellator 53 October 8, 2011 2 1:06 Miami, Oklahoma, United States
Win 8–0 Kody Frank Decision (unanimous) SKC: Hotter than Hell Fight Night July 16, 2011 3 5:00 Wichita, Kansas, United States
Win 7–0 Richard Bouphanouvong Submission (triangle choke) Bellator 43 May 7, 2011 2 1:11 Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States Catchweight (179 lbs) bout.
Win 6–0 Dylan Smith Submission (triangle choke) Bellator 40 April 9, 2011 1 3:32 Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States
Win 5–0 Aaron Fondry Decision (split) Friday Night Fights New England: Burlington February 25, 2011 3 5:00 Burlington, Vermont, United States
Win 4–0 Charles Jones Submission (triangle choke) C3 Fights: Slammin Jammin Weekend 6 October 22, 2010 2 2:19 Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States
Win 3–0 Kelly Allen Submission (triangle choke) Eye Win: Showtime August 14, 2010 1 3:31 Wichita, Kansas, United States
Win 2–0 Michael Glenn Submission (armbar) Eye Win: Devastation June 19, 2010 1 2:15 Wichita, Kansas, United States
Win 1–0 Chris Evinger TKO (knees and punches) Eye Win: Valentine's Day Massacre February 13, 2010 1 2:40 Wichita, Kansas, United States


  1. ^ "Evolution Fighting Championship". Evolution Fighting Championship.
  2. ^ "David Rickels : Official MMA Fight Record (19-5-0)". The Underground.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-05-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/693476-bellator-43-live-results-and-reaction-from-newkirk-ok/entry/79150-bellator-43-results-david-rickles-submits-rich-bouphanouvong-in-second-round
  5. ^ "Dave Jansen off Bellator 96, David Rickels meets Michael Chandler at Bellator 97". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  6. ^ MMAjunkie Staff (September 30, 2014). "Emanuel Newton headlines Bellator 130 in title tilt with Linton Vassell". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (April 7, 2015). "Bellator 139 slated for June 26 in Kansas". mmafighting.com.
  8. ^ "Bellator 145 Fight Card". bellator.com. 2015-11-06.
  9. ^ "Melvin Guillard suspended one year, Bellator 159 bout with David Rickels ruled no contest after failed drug test". 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  10. ^ Mike Bohn (January 27, 2017). "Bellator 171 results: Chidi Njokuani dominates Melvin Guillard in lopsided main event". mmajunkie.com.
  11. ^ Mike Bohn (September 25, 2017). "David Rickels vs. Brennan Ward among new additions to Bellator 185 on Oct. 20". mmajunkie.com.
  12. ^ Dann Stupp and Matt Erickson (October 16, 2017). "Friday's Bellator 185 lineup loses 2 main-card bouts". mmajunkie.com.
  13. ^ Marc Raimondi (November 22, 2017). "David Rickels replaces injured Derek Anderson, faces Adam Piccolotti at Bellator 189". mmafighting.com.
  14. ^ Steve Juon (December 1, 2017). "Bellator 189 results: Live 'Budd vs Blencowe 2' streaming play-by-play updates TONIGHT on Spike". mmamania.com.
  15. ^ "Bellator To Host 200th Event In London". fightsports.tv. 26 February 2018.
  16. ^ Malata, Chisanga (2018-05-25). "Bellator 200 Results: Michael Page beats Rickels into verbal submission in MMA return". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-05-26.

External links[edit]