Darrion Caldwell will make his first bantamweight title defense against Leandro Higo in the main event of Bellator 195.
The California-based promotion announced the matchup on Tuesday. Bellator 195 takes place at the Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., on March 2. The card will be televised on the Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Caldwell, 30, claimed the 135-pound belt with a five-round verdict over Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184 on Oct. 6. “The Wolf” has lost just once in 12 professional appearances – a third-round submission defeat to Joe Taimanglo at Bellator 159. The former national champion wrestler avenged that loss with a decision victory in their rematch at Bellator 167.
A former Legacy Fighting Alliance titlist, Higo dropped a split verdict to Dantas in his Bellator debut before outpointing Taimanglo in his second outing at Bellator 184. The 28-year-old Brazilian owns an 18-3 career mark, with 10 wins via submission and three by KO/TKO.
“Darrion Caldwell is an exciting young fighter that has worked his way to the top of a very competitive bantamweight division to become a world champion,” Bellator President Scott Coker said in a release. “I’m excited to see what he can do in his first title defense against Leandro Higo, who is an incredibly tough competitor with the ability to submit his opponent at any time. The fans are in for a great matchup between these two grapplers.”