Bellator 222: Eduardo Dantas Rooting for Caldwell, Wants Rematch

Former Bellator bantamweight champ Eduardo Dantas is rooting for Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222 on Friday, as he wants a rematch with the man who took his title.

New York, NY — When Eduardo Dantas returns at tonight’s Bellator 222 card, it will not be in the division he twice reigned over as champion, bantamweight. Instead, he’s jumping up to 145lbs, and will take on a fighter on nothing short of an incredible streak — Juan Archuleta. ‘The Spaniard’ has won 17 straight fights, dating back to 2015. He’s knocking on the door of a title shot, at either 135 or 145.

Dantas, who was notified about this featherweight contest with about a month to prepare, would no doubt love to play spoiler. Fighting at 66kg, he’s “feeling very strong,” he told Cageside Press in advance of the fight.

As to how it came together, “they proposed it, and [I] said let’s fight,” Dantas explained via translator. No fuss, no muss.

Despite the pending featherweight grand prix, which has peaked the interest of some fellow bantamweights, Eduardo Dantas “doesn’t think about the tournament, he wants just the belt.”

He will have an eye on Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi, however. The bantamweight title fight is set to open the Bellator 222 card. His thoughts on the bout were simple: If “Darrion maintains his distance, if he manages distance, he has a big advantage over [Horiguchi].” And in case you were wondering, he’s rooting for Darrion.

In doing so, he’s hoping a win over Archuleta will earn him a title shot, back down at bantamweight. Caldwell, after all, is the man who took his title the last time. It’s why he’s rooting for his old foe Friday. “It is my dream,” he said of the title shot.

Fighting at the fabled Madison Square Garden, meanwhile, is another dream realized. “I feel very, very, very good. This is my dream, fighting in Madison Square Garden.” Even the media duties don’t get the former champion down. He’s very used to it, and this time, he “doesn’t have to beat the weight that he used to.”

Bellator 222 from New York, New York airs exclusively on streaming service DAZN in North America.