Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (12-1) will head back to 145 lbs to take on Noad Lahat (12-3) in a non-title featherweight main event. The bout was revealed via the following press release from Bellator MMA.
LOS ANGELES – Bellator will hold its first-ever event in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Friday, Aug. 17 at Sanford Pentagon. Bellator 204 will be headlined by the promotion’s bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (12-1) testing himself against Noad Lahat (12-3) in a non-title featherweight matchup.
A welterweight bout will serve as the co-main event of the card, when South Dakota-native Logan Storley (8-0) takes on the always-dangerous A.J. Matthews (9-7).
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, June 28 at 10 a.m. CT. Tickets start at just $28 and will be available at the Sanford Pentagon box office, as well as Ticketmaster.
The event will be broadcast live and free on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Additional bouts will be announced in coming weeks.
“I’m excited to bring Bellator to Sioux Falls this summer with a great venue partner in the Sanford Pentagon,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “I always look forward to visiting a new market and having a crowd experience a live Bellator event for the first time. This is a great card with a lot of intriguing matchups that I know fans will enjoy. With this being such a strong wrestling community, I’m also excited to feature several former collegiate wrestlers on Aug. 17, including Darrion Caldwell and South Dakota’s Logan Storley.”
Caldwell, a 30-year-old Rahway, New Jersey native and the current Bellator bantamweight champion, will step up a weight class to take on Lahat in an exciting featherweight non-title affair on Aug. 17. Fighting out of San Diego, Calif., “The Wolf” has emerged as one of the most well-rounded fighters in the 135-pound class, collecting nine victories since signing with Bellator in 2013. The 2009 NCAA D1 National Champion wrestler from NC State boasts a resume that includes five first-round finishes, a 25-minute war against Eduardo Dantas for the world title and a textbook guillotine choke submission victory over Leandro Higo in his first career title defense earlier this year. Caldwell will look for his 13th professional and fourth consecutive win when he enters the cage as a 145-pounder for the first time since 2014.
A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu currently training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Lahat made his professional debut in 2008 where he began an impressive streak of seven consecutive victories. The 34-year-old hails from Alfei Menashe, Samaria, Israel, Lahat and served as a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces before transitioning to his MMA career. Lahat holds a 3-1 record in Bellator with his most recent win coming against Jeremiah Labiano this past November and now welcomes the Bellator bantamweight champion to his weight class when he enters the cage on Aug. 17.
Hailing from Webster, S.D., the 25-year-old Storley will fight in front of his hometown fans at Bellator 204 when he makes his fourth appearance for Bellator. The 4x NCAA All-American wrestler from the University of Minnesota has quickly climbed the ranks as one of the most dangerous welterweights in mixed martial arts, earning eight-straight victories to begin his career, including six knockouts and five first-round finishes. A win over the equally-dangerous Matthews on Aug. 17 would only further cement his name amongst the division’s best, as Storley hopes to protect his unblemished mark of 8-0.
Fighting out of Carlsbad, Calif., Matthews will be making his 11th appearance under the Bellator MMA umbrella; a seven-year stretch that has earned the promotional veteran five victories, including a pair of first-round knockouts and a highlight reel-soccer kick finish over Charlie Rader. The 30-year-old certainly knows how to put on a show, with nine of his 16 career fights ending in a knockout, including six in the first round. “Mercenary” will look to build on his recent win over Kendall Grove at Bellator 193, as he enters the cage against hometown favorite Storley in the co-main event.