Caldwell vs. Lahat
17 August ,2018
Darrion Caldwell (born December 19, 1987) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the bantamweight division of Bellator MMA, where he is the current Bellator Bantamweight World Champion. A professional since 2012, he has also competed for Legacy FC. He was the 2009 NCAA national wrestling champion at 149 pounds.
Born and raised in Rahway, New Jersey, Caldwell competed in wrestling, football, and baseball at Rahway High School. Caldwell was a two-time All-Region football player, but had his most success on the wrestling mats; he had a record of 146-4 in high school, and was a three-time state champion.Caldwell continued wrestling at North Carolina State University, and during his true freshman season his record was 20-6. Caldwell missed becoming an All-American by one match, and had one of the best freshman seasons in the history of the school. In 2007-2008, Caldwell went 36-5 and finished in fifth place in the nation, earning All-American status. In 2008-2009, Caldwell went 38-1, and became national champion by defeating 2008 national champion and Dan Hodge Trophy winner, Brent Metcalf, 11-6. Caldwell was named most outstanding wrestler of the national championship tournament, and his only defeat was by injury default. Off the back of this performance, Caldwell was invited to attempt to join the senior-level Freestyle Wrestling world team, despite having little experience in the different style of wrestling. Caldwell finished in third place at the world team trials, and defeated the reigning Olympian at the weight class along the way. In the offseason Caldwell suffered a series of devastating shoulder injuries, which required surgery and forced him to redshirt the 2009-2010 season. Caldwell returned to action midway through the 10-11 year, and was undefeated in 15 matches. Caldwell was the number one seed for the 2011 national championships, but unfortunately suffered yet another shoulder injury in the second round match, which ended his college career. Caldwell finished his collegiate career with a 109-13 record, with 58 victories coming by a pin. Caldwell attempted to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, but the string of injuries left him outside of his top form. Caldwell was eliminated in round three of the final U.S. Olympic trials qualifier, and then decided to pursue a career in MMA. He is the current Bellator MMA bantamweight champion.
Championships and accomplishments:
-Bellator Bantamweight World Championship (One time, current)
-One successful title defense
-2009 NCAA Division I Champion (149 lb)
-NCAA All-American (2 times - 2008 149 lb, 2009 149 lb)
-NCAA Qualifier (4 times:2007 - 141 lb; 2008, 2009, 2011 - 149 lb)
-ACC Champion (4 times: 2007 - 141 lb; 2008, 2009, 2011 - 149 lb)