Bellator In The 2010s: Looking Back At The Bantamweight Division

Kyoji Horiguchi

Zach Makovsky was the first-ever Bellator bantamweight champion, a title currently held by no one.

Kyoji Horiguchi upset Darrion Caldwell for the title last year, but was forced to vacate it due to injury.

Caldwell, Eduardo Dantas, Joe Warren and others have held it over the decade.

Kyoji Horiguchi

At Bellator 222, Rizin champion Kyoji Horiguchi stunned Darrion Caldwell and won the Bellator bantamweight title.

Horiguchi, a former UFC title contender, held it for 166 days before an injury forced him to vacate the strap.

Darrion Caldwell

What seemed likely to be a long run as champion was just that for Darrion Caldwell.

The former N.C. State wrestling standout downed Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 184 on October 6, 2017 to win his first title. He would hold it for 617 days, the second-longest reign in the division.

During that time, Caldwell topped Leandro Higo in a successful title defense in 2018.

Eduardo Dantas

The only two-time champion in the division for Bellator, Eduardo Dantas won his first title in 2012.

Dantas topped Zach Makovsky to become the second champion, holding the belt for 911 days – the longest reign in the division – with defenses over Marcos Galvao and Anthony Leone.

In 2016, Dantas would top Galvao again, this time winning the title back and holding it for 477 days. He defeated Joe Warren during that span.

Marcos Galvao

After failing in 2013 to win gold, Marcos Galvao topped Joe Warren at Bellator 135 in 2015 for his first championship.

Galvao would hold the belt for 448 days before losing it to rival Eduardo Dantas.

Joe Warren

A two-division champion in Bellator, wrestling phenom Joe Warren won the bantamweight title at Bellator 128 on October 10, 2014.

He would hold the belt for 169 days before a loss to Marcos Galvao.

Warren also held the interim strap when he topped Rafael Silva in 2014.

Zach Makovsky

The first-ever Bellator bantamweight champion, Zach Makovsky made a name for himself with a victory over Ed West in 2010 at Bellator 32.

Along with Makovsky and West, the tourney field featured Jose Vega, Danny Tims, Bryan Goldsby, Nick Mamalis, Ulysses Gomez and Travis Reddinger.

Makovsky held the title for 547 days but did not defend it once.

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