Former Bellator champion Darrion Caldwell is making his bantamweight return to face Leandro Higo again but this time at Bellator 259.
News of the fight announcement was first reported by Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting. The fight is scheduled for April 15 in Uncasville, Conn. In addition, the card will be headlined by featherweight champion Cris Cyborg looking to defend her title against Leslie Smith.
Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo II – Preview: Grappler’s Delight
The two athletes have a history, as Darrion Caldwell met Higo in 2018 where he quickly dispatched of him with a guillotine choke in the first round. Three years later, Higo will have to opportunity to avenge his loss and also beat a big name in the process to set him up for future endeavors. Specifically, what made the first fight so important is that the bantamweight belt was on the line, and Caldwell seized the moment. Then, Caldwell would go on to lose his title to Kyoji Horiguchi.
Following his title loss, Darrion Caldwell tried the featherweight Bellator grand prix and he advanced in the first two rounds but ran into A.J. McKee in the semi-finals, who ended up submitting Caldwell with an unorthodox modified neck crank from guard. Prior to his loss to Horiguchi, Caldwell was on a four-fight win streak in the bantamweight division.
Recently, Higo’s ground game has looked outstanding, and that will be a much-needed tool against a grappler of Caldwell’s pedigree. Specifically, the 32-year old Brazilian took out the formidable Ricky Bandejas in round two with a rear-naked choke, so he’s certainly a threat on the ground nowadays. It will be interesting to see how the fight plays out considering the two have some traits in common, like relying on their ground game.
Let us know at MMANews who you are predicting to get the win at Bellator 259, will it be Darrion Caldwell once again, or will Leandro Higo realize his vengeance?