Bellator 184: Darrion Caldwell Captures Bantamweight Title

Bellator 184: Darrion Caldwell Captures Bantamweight Title

In the night's co-main event.

A two-time bantamweight champ in Bellator, Dantas would be facing a motivated Darrion Caldwell, who came into the night having traded a win and a loss with Joe Taimanglo over his last two bouts.

The title shot was originally planned for April, but Caldwell suffered an undisclosed injury, which resulted in the five-month delay. They clinched again but separated shortly after that. While the fight won't likely make anyone's "Fight of the year" lists, Caldwell did what he needed to do in order to wear Dantas down and gain the unanimous decision victory.

At the weigh-ins, Dantas had hoisted the severed head of a "wolf" in front of Darrion "The Wolf" Caldwell, Game of Thrones style. A huge belly to back overhead suplex from Caldwell.

A jumping knee to the body was there for Caldwell early in the final round. Caldwell would look for a high single along the fence, only to be stuffed again. Caldwell responded with a left hand. The champion rallied late ni the round, however, scoring a late takedown and putting Caldwell on his back. Caldwell not only escaped, but landed elbows from inside the champ's guard. Caldwell clearly has been working n his striking because Dantas is a little thrown off it seems. In round 2, Taimanglo caught him with a right hand in the opening minute but High fired back with a running knee strike. With just over a minute to go, Dantas found himself rocked by an elbow from Caldwell. Dantas seems to have recovered but was definitely caught. Dantas doing a great job avoiding a lot of these takedowns. A unusual scramble takes place, looks like a possible illegal knee as well, but Jason Herzog lets it continue. Dantas managed to wrap Caldwell on body triangles twice, but, despite angling for it, he was never able to secure the challenger's neck. But the bell rang as soon as Dantas got the mount.

After dominating the first two rounds, Caldwell appeared to slow slightly in the third frame, allowing Dantas back into the fight. In round 3, the pace slowed down as both guys were getting exhausted. A tentative start for the first 45-seconds before Caldwell lands a takedown. After the long layoff, he was looking to get back into the cage again in the near future. Caldwell would then slip, but a scramble would lead to the challenger taking Dantas' back. The round ended with Dantas trying to climb on his opponent's back.

Darrion Caldwell had a gameplan and he stuck to it.

Dantas' aggression to kick off the second round backfired when Caldwell was once more able to grab him. Caldwell remaining patient, picking his shots.

Straus opened a gash over Sanchez's right eye early in the fight, but he kept battling back, attacking with submission after submission. A spinning back fist attempt from the champion as Caldwell returns to his standing back body lock position. They both head to the mat and Dantas ends up on top. Under a minute to go and "Dudu" needs a finish.

In the fifth and final round, there was a sense that there could be a new champion by the end of the round.



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