Darrion Caldwell is not a big fan of the UFC’s 135-pound champion.
Turns out, the newly crowned Bellator bantamweight champ has some history with Cody Garbrandt. Caldwell, who captured Bellator gold on Oct. 6 by outpointing Eduardo Dantas in the main event of Bellator 184, revealed on a recent edition of The MMA Hour that he was involved in a confrontation with Garbrandt back at UFC 207 last December.
According to Caldwell, Garbrandt, who was set to fight his Alliance MMA teammate Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of the card, was trying to stir the pot with Cruz prior to their weigh-ins. The encounter with Garbrandt left Caldwell with no love for the Team Alpha Male fighter.
“He just rubs me the wrong way, I don’t like his vibes,” Caldwell told Ariel Helwani. “There was a little run-in when he was fighting Dominick Cruz. When you’re in fight camp, or fight day, or weigh-ins, you’re really feeling yourself, you feel me? You feel like you can beat anyone and I think that day he was barking at the wrong tree.
“He was just… I just had to calm him down because he was doing too much with my teammates. He was just bickering at this one, yelling at this one, and I just had to let him know that this is not the time, ‘look, we got a fight down tomorrow. So if you want to fight tomorrow, stop the bullshit or you’re not going to be fighting tomorrow and it’s going to be a TKO right here.’ Then UFC people got into it and I don’t know.”
Although they’re in two different promotions, Caldwell doesn’t think it’s impossible that he may one day be staring at Garbrandt across the cage. And despite holding a belt in Bellator, who most consider to be second to the UFC, Caldwell doesn’t think there is a gap in skill between him and Garbrandt and believes he could beat the UFC champ.
“The gap is already closed,” Caldwell explained. “Cody don’t want these problems. If we were to have an intertwined match, where UFC fights Bellator, I’m taking his head off either way. Either way, he’s going to get the business. He can’t deal with my pressure, you know. If I were to get on top of this guy, he’s either going to sleep or he’s tapping. However he wants it.”