Rising bantamweight prospect Darrion Caldwell will remain a staple of Bellator’s 135 lb. division for the foreseeable future, as it was announced on Monday that he’s signed a new multi-fight, multi-year extension with the organization.
“Darrion is a fighter who I really think has that x-factor,” said President Scott Coker in a press release to announce the signing. “After his last fight, I looked at our matchmaker and I just said, ‘Wow, this is kid is exploding with talent.’ I’m very happy we were able to get this deal done and I look forward to seeing this star rise for years to come.”
Caldwell, 28, is a former NCAA D-1 wrestling national champion, and has put together a 9-0 run in MMA to date. Six of those wins thus far have come in the Bellator MMA cage, including a main event win in March over Joe Warren at Bellator 151. That win came in an immensely impressive performance, complete with a massive suplex before he choked Warren unconscious.
“Bellator has been nothing but good to me,” Caldwell said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, shared via press release. “They saw my talent early on in my career and they came after me… I’m here to let everyone know I’m going to continue my talents at Bellator MMA… With Bellator Jumping on board, it’s time to get married. I’m in it for the long run.”
Penick’s Analysis: Caldwell is a potentially elite competitor in this division, and he stands to be the future for Bellator in this weight class. He’s at least as good if not better than the field currently on Bellator’s roster, and I’d expect him to be getting a title fight relatively soon with this re-signing. Though with all elite talent one would like to see them fighting the best of the best, Caldwell can continue to establish himself as the guy to beat in the Bellator cage by taking out the rest of the top competitors currently competing there.
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