Darrion Caldwell wanted his win back over Kyoji Horiguchi, and he was willing to but his Bellator Bantamweight Championship on the line to make it happen Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Less than six months after Horiguchi scored a come from behind win in his home country of Japan, Caldwell was afforded the same home-country advantage at Bellator 222. In a rare main card opener title fight, the two did battle.
Things looked promising for Caldwell early on, as he took down the much smaller Horiguchi and applied ground and pound in the first round. Caldwell would score several more takedowns along the way, but was unable to build upon them. Any time the fight was on the feet, Horiguchi got the best of the exchanges, and worked from the bottom offensively. This ultimately led to a unaimous decision win for Horiguchi.
Horiguchi's win gave him the Bellator Bantamweight Championship, and a 13-fight winning streak that now extends across UFC, Bellator MMA and Rizin. After making his name in the states at Flyweight, Horiguchi's bantamweight return in 2017 has led to a 9-0 run that includes a tournament win and two championships.
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