Former NCAA National Champion Wrestler Darrion Caldwell Joins Bellator Roster

By Tristen Critchfield Nov 27, 2013
Darrion Caldwell will attempt to make his mark in the Bellator cage in 2014. | Andy Hemingway/

Bellator MMA has inked another promising prospect.

The promotion announced on Wednesday that Darrion Caldwell, a 2009 NCAA national champion and two-time All-American wrestler at North Carolina State University, has signed a “long-term promotional agreement” with Bellator. Caldwell is expected to compete at 145 pounds.

“Everything just really fell into place for me to sign with a prestigious organization like Bellator. I’m really embracing this opportunity,” Caldwell stated in a release. “During our talks, the tournament format is something I thought about a lot, and that’s what I always grew up with being a Division I wrestler. I’m used to looking at a bracket and seeing my name against another fighter, so I’m absolutely looking forward to my first tournament run.”

According to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, Caldwell will be given plenty of time to develop before he is placed in a featherweight tournament. His course could mirror that of Bubba Jenkins, another celebrated wrestler on the promotion’s roster. Thus far, Jenkins’ first three Bellator appearances have come in preliminary bouts.

“Similar to what we’ve done with other top prospects, Darrion will be brought along slowly and given time to develop before facing many of the best featherweights in the world in our tournament. The sky is the limit for Darrion,” Rebney said.

Caldwell is 3-0 as a professional, with each of his fights coming under the Legacy Fighting Championship banner. In his most recent outing, the 25-year-old Power MMA Team representative outpointed Gerzan Chaw at LFC 21 in July.


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