Enrique Barzola breaks, stops Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 273

Photo courtesy Bellator MMA

Enrique Barzola breaks, stops Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 273

Live mixed martial arts action returns to us tonight from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona for Bellator 273.

Headlining the event is a heavyweight championship clash showcasing former Bellator light-heavyweight champion, and current heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, who faces interim champion Valentin Moldavsky in a title unification bout.

Co-headlining the event is former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who faces Islam Mamedov tonight for the supposed No. 1 contendership at 155 lbs.

Headlining the preliminary card was a bantamweight clash between former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell and Enrique Barzola, who at one point in time was the most prolific takedown artist in UFC featherweight history.

He only had eight bouts in the UFC’s featherweight division.

Meanwhile, Caldwell, not only is he a former world champion, he’s also an NCAA Division I national champion and two-time All-American as well. This has all the makings of a very competitive match up.

Continue reading to see how this epic bantamweight contest went down:

Official Result: Enrique Barzola def. Darrion Caldwell via TKO (punches and elbows) at 3:00 of round three

Caldwell controls the majority of round one with his wrestling, as well as the second. Barzola starts to really pressure the former champion in round two, but is getting picked apart on the feet. Caldwell’s wrestling is also working for him in this round as well, as he secures a number of takedowns throughout.

The former champion is starting to appear fatigued, though he’s incredibly sharp to start round three.

He tags Barzola coming in with a number of strikes, including a beautifully timed spinning back elbow that had the Peruvian quite rattled.

However, Barzola is able to get Caldwell down in a scramble, secure top turtle position, and reign down enough punches and elbows to get the stoppage victory.

This was an incredible display of mixed martial arts talent tonight.

Though Barzola is a takedown stud, most expected Caldwell to get the better of the wrestling exchanges.

Well, just as most expected that, most also expected Caldwell may fade, as he’s been known to do, especially with the pace of Barzola.

Barzola improves to 17-5-2, and Caldwell falls to 14-6 at Bellator 273.

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