Former champion Darrion Caldwell drops back down to bantamweight at Bellator 259

Darrion Caldwell-Photo Courtesy: InterMat Wrestling

Next month’s stacked Bellator 259 card will also welcome back a former champion looking to make a statement in his old division. After a three-fight run in the featherweight division, former champion Darrion Caldwell is headed back to the bantamweight division and will have a rematch on tap for his return on May 21.

A rematch awaits at bantamweight

MMA Fighting was first to report that Caldwell will drop back down to 135 pounds and face Leandro Higo, a rematch from their 2018 fight at Bellator 195. In their first meeting, Caldwell was the then reigning bantamweight champion and defended his title with a first-round submission victory. Following the fight against Higo, Caldwell would go on to defend his title one more time and then challenged Kyoji Horiguchi for the RIZIN bantamweight title, where he came up short. The two would meet again for the Bellator bantamweight title, and Horiguchi would get a second straight win over Caldwell, who then made the jump up to featherweight to compete in the World Grand Prix.

Leandro Higo looking to extend winning streak

Following his loss to Caldwell at Bellator 195, Higo would lose a second straight fight, a first-round knockout against Aaron Pico, but has since bounced back nicely with two straight wins. Higo has gone on to compile two consecutive submission victories over opponents Shawn Bunch and most recently, Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 249 last October, although he did miss weight before the fight. A win over Caldwell would give Higo four victories in his Bellator career and would avenge his loss to Caldwell.

Complete Bellator 259 card

The fight between Darrion Caldwell and Leandro Higo will offer up a chance not only for revenge for Higo but also an opportunity for the former champion to quickly jump to the top of the bantamweight division’s rankings if he is victorious in the fight. With this fight set for the May 21 card, here’s a complete look at the Bellator 259 event, which features a women’s featherweight title fight.

Cris Cyborg (C) vs Leslie Smith (women’s featherweight title)

Brett Johns vs Matheus Mattos

Fabian Edwards vs Austin Vanderford

Grant Neal vs Tyree Fortune

Darrion Caldwell vs Leandro Higo

Christian Edwards vs Ben Parrish

Aviv Gozali vs Sean Felton

Saad Awad vs Nate Andrews

Valerie Loureda vs Hannah Guy

Davion Franklin vs Tyler King

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