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Juan Archuleta says he would prefer Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi winner over Patricio Pitbull

if he gets past Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 222 on Friday, Juan Archuleta would certainly be close to a title shot. But the question is, what weight class would it be at?

Premiere Screening For DirecTV’s “Kingdom” - Red Carpet Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Juan Archuleta’s next fight may be at featherweight, but he still has his eyes on the winner of Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell vs. Rizin FF champ Kyoji Horiguchi.

Archuleta meets former bantamweight titleholder Eduardo Dantas in a 145-pound bout at Bellator 222 on Friday night at at Madison Square Garden in New York. Archuleta said in an ideal world, he beats Dantas and then fights the winner of Caldwell vs. Horiguchi, which opens the Bellator 222 main card.

“If Horiguchi wins, adding Horiguchi onto my resume of fighting is a huge milestone in itself,” Archuleta told Bloody Elbow. “If Caldwell wins, it’s more of an at-heart bragging right because of wrestling. So both of those fights excite me. And just the challenge of getting down to 135, it’s something that excites me.”

Archuleta, who is 4-0 in Bellator, would undoubtedly be close to a title shot if he wins this weekend. Archuleta, however, has a lot of options, because he is willing to fight in multiple weight classes. He’s open to competing in the upcoming featherweight grand prix, too, which could mean he fights 145-pound champ Patricio Freire before meeting the Caldwell vs. Horiguchi winner.

“If the tournament happens, it could be as soon as my next fight, because it’s the tournament setting where the champ has to put his title on the line,” Archuleta said of when his first Bellator title shot could take place. “If Caldwell [defeats Horiguchi], things get complicated if he goes into the tournament. I don’t know how close I am.”

Archuleta said he would definitely agree to be a participant in the featherweight tournament, but that he’s not dying to be involved.

“I’m not going to chase it, because when you chase something and you’re not in it, it kind of gets you disappointed,” Archuleta said. “But if they give me the invitation, you better believe it’s gonna be signed by me and sent right back that same day. That’s just the type of person I am. If it’s there, awesome, if it’s not, no worries.”

After one Bellator fight at 135 pounds, “Spaniard” is moving back up to featherweight for the Dantas fight. According to Archuleta, it was a decision made by Bellator brass because the bout was offered to both fighters on short notice.

“It was more of the organization’s call,” Archuleta said. “With it being short notice, I think they just wanted the most out of this fight.”

Archuleta said his days at bantamweight are far from over.

“Whatever the matchmaker thinks is the best match for the fans and what is gonna make the most out of each event is what I’m able to do,” Archuleta said. “If they told me they had a great matchup for me at 155, I’d do 155 — and 135, 145. It doesn’t matter for me at this point in my career.”

Archuleta said he has no plans to settle down in one weight class. He’ll always be open to fights at bantamweight, or featherweight, or possibly even lightweight, because that gives him more challenges. Plus, he can stay more active that way. He’s not worried he’ll spread himself too thin by competing in multiple divisions and never reach title contention in any of them. As is, he’s close already.

“Why try to go strike at one weight class?” Archuleta asked. “The best fighter at that time who has the most clout around him is the guy you want to fight. The belt is pretty much irrelevant to me. I’m a martial artist. I go out there and I attack any division that has the strongest guy in it.”

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