DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Once the king of the Bellator bantamweight division, Darrion Caldwell’s recent featherweight stint is over. Caldwell said his focus is back on the 135-pound division, and he’s motivated to reoccupy the throne.

In order to do so, Caldwell (15-4 MMA, 12-3 BMMA) packed up shop in January and moved to Sanford MMA in South Florida after years of training in Southern California.

“Coast-to-coast, I love the beach, so you can always find me at a beach somewhere,” Caldwell recently told MMA Junkie. “More importantly, I got with the best coaches in the world (and) best gym in the world, you know? The best training partners in the world. I’m here to just continue to grind. I think I’ll be here to finish out my career. I really feel like I’ve already been growing since January. I’m just ready to show the world what we’ve been doing out here, you know?”

Why Sanford MMA? He said his reasoning is two-fold. Caldwell is originally an East-coaster, despite his previous MMA association being West Coast. He also has long-admired his new coaches Henri Hooft and Greg Jones from afar, so the move just made sense.

“I was born in Jersey, but you always hear about the Southern Florida training,” Caldwell said. “It’s always been a myth to me. I just wanted to get out here and get a good feel of it. I feel like out here, I guess, when I first got into MMA, everything was on the West Coast. The West Coast was the years ahead of the sport. I feel like that’s the transition here. It’s like, I’m learning so much new sh*t out here. Out here is just on another level.”

Caldwell, 33, had a two-fight winning streak snapped in November when he was submitted by A.J. McKee in the Bellator featherweight grand prix semifinal. Six months later, he awaits his next assignment.

Regardless of who’s next or when the fight happens, Caldwell is excited about the prospect of returning to 135 pounds. He credits Bellator with filling up the bantamweight division in his absence and he said no longer feels like he’s the only top talent there.

“Juan Archuleta, he’s the champion,” Caldwell said. “He’s a great fighter. I think Bellator has done a great job with filling out that pool, you know? There are a lot of great fighters now in Bellator at bantamweight. When I was there, I felt like it was just me. I felt like I was the only guy and they were pulling guys from other organizations to come fight me. It’s cool to see the organization or the weight classes fill out with a lot of talent. I’m going to test myself back at bantamweight. We already know what’s up when I get back down there. It’s no questions.”