Juan “The Spaniard” Archuleta (22-1) has resigned with MMA promotion Bellator and could be fighting for the Bellator Bantamweight World Championship with a match against current champ Darrion Caldwell (13-2).
Archuleta completed a four fight deal contract with his last fight at Bellator 214 when he defeated Frank Trigg via unanimous decision on January 26, 2019. He was 4-0 during his time at Bellator so it only makes sense that the company would want to try and keep him on the roster. Juan fought for the organization 3 times in 2018 defeating Jeremy Spoon and William Joplin via unanimous decision while he scored a knockout victory over Robbie Peralta.
The only loss that Archuleta has on his record was way back on March 28, 2015 when he was submitted via triangle choke by Andres Ponce. Since that loss he has won 17 consecutive fights, seven of which of come as a result of knockout.
No official match has been announced against Caldwell but both fighters have discussed it through social media so it appears it will just be a matter of time before that happens. Caldwell was rumored to be discussing a rematch against Rizin Bantamweight Champ Kyoji Horiguchi (26-2), who he fought at Rizin 14 for the inagural championship on December 31, 2018.
Horiguchi was able to submit Caldwell with a guillotine choke in the third round on the same card that say Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeat Tenshin Nasukawa in the first round.
Caldwell’s last fight in Bellator was a featherweight bout at Bellator 204 in August of last year against Noad Lahat. He scored a knockout victory in the second round. Caldwell won the Bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184 and successfully defended it against Leandro Higo at Bellator 195.
Archuleta has plans beyond his rumored title match against Caldwell. He also plans on fighting in Bellator’s 145lb tournament. He told Cageside Press;
“The reason it’s a little bit of a hiccup is because I am both getting the title fight at 135lbs and then doing the 145lbs tournament.”
There is a “verbal agreement” in place so the bout is most likely to happen unless one team backs out. Archuleta has stated in interviews that he is ready to go and wants to fight so the only reason the fight won’t happen is if Caldwell’s camp backs out.
The winner of the Archuleta vs Caldwell fight may have another huge opportunity presented to them as they could potentially fight whoever is the winner of the title match at Rizin 15. Rizin champ Kyoji Horiguchi will be fighting Ben Nguyen on April 21, 2019 at Rizin 15 for the Rizin title.