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Darrion Caldwell returns to bantamweight for Leandro Higo rematch at Bellator 259

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Darrion Caldwell and Leandro Higo
Darrion Caldwell and Leandro Higo
Bellator MMA

Darrion Caldwell’s first fight at 135 pounds in two years will be against a familiar foe.

Bellator officials told MMA Fighting on Tuesday that Caldwell (15-4) will fight Leandro Higo (20-5) in a bantamweight bout at Bellator 259 in Uncasville, Conn., on May 21. This is a rematch from Bellator 195 in March 2018, where Caldwell successfully defended a Bellator title with a first-round submission of Higo.

After losing his title to Kyoji Horiguchi, Caldwell took part in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. He advanced past the first two rounds with wins over Henry Corrales and Adam Borics, but was submitted by A.J. McKee in the semifinals. Prior to his loss to Horiguchi, Caldwell won four straight fights at bantamweight.

Higo is coming off of back-to-back second-round submissions of Ricky Bandejas and Shawn Bunch. The Brazilian fighter missed weight for his most recent fight with Bandejas, coming in at 139 pounds for the bantamweight contest. His Bellator record stands at 3-3.

Bellator 259 is headlined by a featherweight title bout between champion Cris Cyborg and challenger Leslie Smith. The bout is a rematch of a 2016 UFC meeting that Cyborg won via first-round TKO.