Darrion Caldwell has unseated the greatest Bellator Bantamweight in history on his way to becoming the division's new champion.
The 29-year old wrestling specialist with an almost unrealistic frame was able to grind out champion Eduardo "Dudu" Dantas at Bellator 184 in Thackerville, Oklahoma. 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.
You can see an excerpt from our Fightful.com live coverage below.
Round Five: The round begins with Caldwell attacking Dantas with some leg kicks, Caldwell then attacks Dantas with a flying knee strike. Dantas tries attacking Caldwell with punching combinations, Caldwell then cracks Dantas with a kick to the midsection. Caldwell then nails Dantas with a straight left, Dantas responds by nailing Caldwell with a spinning back fist. Caldwell grabs Dantas and he holds him against the cage wall, Caldwell falls to his back while holding Dantas from behind. Caldwell scrambles to his feet and he separates from Dantas, Dantas gets Caldwell to the ground and he maintains back control as the round ends.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for Caldwell (Final Score: 50-45 for Caldwell)
Official Result: #1 Darrion Caldwell def. Eduardo Dantas (48-47, 48-47, 50-45) to win the Bellator MMA Bantamweight Title
In between takedown attempts, Caldwell was able to find success with elbows to the face of Dantas both on the feet and the ground. Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz cornered Caldwell, in what could be seen as the greatest UFC Bantamweight of all-time coaching against the best Bellator Bantamweight of all-time.
Dantas is thus far the only person to ever successfully defend the Bellator Bantamweight Championship, as he was able to reel off two defenses in his first run between 2012 and 2014, and once before facing Caldwell in his most recent reign. Caldwell moves to 11-1 for his career, while Dantas falls to 20-5.
Darrion Caldwell also spoke to Fightful.com earlier this week for an exclusive interview. We'll discuss the Bellator 184 highlights Saturday night immediately following UFC 216 on the Fightful.com Podcast.