Darrion Caldwell
The Wolf

USA

Advances in Featherweight Grand Prix
FeatherweightBellator
January 26, 2020
Caldwell defeated Adam Borics via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:20 of Round 1 at Bellator 238 on Saturday, advancing to the next round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
ANALYSIS
With the convincing victory, Caldwell will advance and take on A.J. McKee, who defeated Derek Campos in December in the opening round of the tournament. This was a clinical effort from Caldwell, who is one step closer to getting back his belt. He opened the fight with a takedown and was offered little resistance in his effort to take the back of Borics. Eventually, Borics lifted his chin and Caldwell reacted quickly, locking in the fight-ending submission.
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Loses Bellator strap to Horiguchi
FeatherweightBellator
June 16, 2019
Caldwell lost to Kyoji Horiguchi via unanimous decision (46-49, 47-48, 46-49) at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden.
ANALYSIS
Caldwell had been on a run of four consecutive victories prior to this cross-promotional event. Last December, he received permission from Bellator president Scott Coker to go to Japan and face Horiguchi under the banner of Rizin FF, but he was bested via a guillotine choke in the third round. This time, Horiguchi had to come to the US, and while the early going looked to favor Caldwell, the outcome was ultimately the same in a fight that went to the judges. Caldwell had visible height and reach advantages, but the great majority of this fight was played out in grappling exchanges, negating those advantages. While it's an interesting matchup on paper, this fight turned out to be a difficult-to-score affair that the crowd did not enjoy. What's more important here is that it opens the door for future cross-promotional events.
Set for rematch with Horiguchi
FeatherweightBellator
April 29, 2019
Caldwell will face Kyoji Horiguchi at Bellator 222 on June 14.
ANALYSIS
The bout confirms a highly anticipated matchup between the two fighters, who last faced one another on New Year's Eve for the inaugural RIZIN bantamweight title. Caldwell had started well in that bout but eventually lost via submission, so he'll hope to get revenge at Madison Square Garden with his Bellator title up for grabs in June.
Runs through Noad Lahat on the ground at Bellator 204
FeatherweightBellator
August 17, 2018
Caldwell defeated Noad Lahat via TKO (punches) at 2:46 of Round 2 at Bellator 204 on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
ANALYSIS
The Bellator bantamweight champion moved up to featherweight for this fight. The higher weight class did not seem to slow him down at all. Lahat seemed interested in engaging the former NCAA champion in a grappling contest, which probably not the best idea. In the second round, Caldwell took the back and forced Lahat to scramble. From there, Caldwell landed hard shots that took Lahat out of the fight. It remains to be seen if Caldwell will continue to campaign at both bantamweight and featherweight, but he is one of the best fighters on the Bellator roster at this point.
Runs through Leandro Higo to defend bantamweight title at Bellator 195
FeatherweightBellator
March 2, 2018
Caldwell defeated Leandro Higo via submission (guillotine) at 2:36 of Round 1 at Bellator 195 on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.
ANALYSIS
It took Caldwell the full 25 minutes to win the title over Eduardo Dantas last October. He needed less than three minutes to make his title defense. He came out with a measured pace. After he determined the distance, he charged forward with a blast double. He scored it easily. Higo tried to escape, but Caldwell used that opportunity to lock in an extremely tight choke and finished the fight. It seems like the promotion was working toward a rubber match against Joe Taimanglo, but there are a host of contenders at 135 pounds. Caldwell also expressed interest in moving up to featherweight in the future.
To make first title defense at Bellator 195
FeatherweightBellator
December 19, 2017
Caldwell will face Leandro Higo in a bantamweight bout at Bellator 195 on March 2 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
ANALYSIS
Caldwell had been consistently moving up in the bantamweight division since joining Bellator three years ago. He finally claimed the belt earlier this year after taking down Eduardo Dantas. The win advanced his record to 11-1 overall. Caldwell will make his first title defense against Higo, who has won eight of his last nine outings, falling only to Eduardo Dantas this past April.