In high school, Darrion Caldwell went 146-4, earning three state titles. At North Carolina State, Caldwell would be one match shy of All-American status in his freshman year, producing one of the best freshman campaigns in the school’s history. Caldwell went 36-5 the next year, earning All-America honors, and then went 38-1 while becoming the 2008-2009 NCAA Wrestling champion at his weight class.
Caldwell was invited to join the Freestyle Wrestling world team, as well as tried out for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2012. But his success in both was hampered by injuries.
Caldwell then turned to MMA, making his debut in September 2012. A little over a year later, Caldwell would sign with Bellator MMA, and would have a six-fight win streak before suffering the first loss in his MMA career. At Bellator 184 in October 2017, Caldwell defeated Eduardo Dantas to become Bellator Bantamweight Champion.
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