Circling the Bantamweight Title at Bellator 184
A wolf has been circling the bantamweight title for a while at Bellator, his name’s Darrion Caldwell. The New Jersey native has been close for a while now, keeping himself in the title picture since his defeat of former champion, Joe Warren. When beating the “baddest man on the planet” the way he did, a title fight is not far from reach.
Caldwell when nine-straight fights before losing via submission to Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 154 via submission; a loss he avenged in his very next fight. If that is any indication of a hole in his game then the current champion he faces at Bellator 184 is a true challenge for the NCAA Division 1 wrestler. Eduardo Dantas’ jiu-jitsu game is at a high enough level he was able to avoid the submission attempts with Marcos Galvao at Bellator 156 to win the title he lost to Joe Warren in 2014.
Still, according to Jimmy Smith's break down this could be a striker vs. grappler match:
The Warren fights can be considered a significant measuring stick for this fight since Dantas and Caldwell both faced him. Outside of Warren being a multiple time and former champ of the division, for Dantas it shows he can adapt to the pressure fighters with a wrestling background bring to a fight. Warren beat Dantas with that in their first fight, then Dantas was able to adapt when they fought again after he won the title.
Caldwell was able to out grapple Warren in their fight and earn a first-round submission finish. This fight will be the chess match fighters refer to when talking about what happens when a round starts and ends. This particular fight is as unpredictable as it gets, which is usually potential for “fight of the year” candidacy.
Do not let this card pass you by as long-time Bellator fans and hardcore MMA fans have many of Bellator’s best on the card. See the broadcast main card listing below:
Main Card (Spike TV 9 p.m. ET)
Eduardo Dantas vs. Darrion Caldwell - for bantamweight title
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Straus
Pat Curran vs. John Teixeira
Leandro Higo vs. Joe Taimanglo