Doflamingo needed someone who could control the fighting fish

Law and Baby 5 were both accepted into Doflamingo’s crew when they were kids, but that doesn’t explain Dellinger’s presence when he was a baby.

When I first saw this, I assumed Dellinger was born into the crew. I thought Jora was his mom, and she’d gotten pregnant with a fishman. But apparently she’s not. She just raised him.
And come to think of it, it’s way too convenient.

When I first started this theory, the title was going to be “Dellinger Called the Fighting Fish to Green Bit”. I had only just figured out that Dellinger could control the fighting fish, which was actually pretty mindblowing for me.

When Dellinger first revealed he was a fighting fish, I didn’t think there was any deeper meaning to that. In Alabasta, Chaka just happened to have a Zoan fruit that was also a sacred animal in Alabasta. It’s perfectly normal for stories to have contrived coincidences for no bigger reason than to follow a theme. Everyone in CP9 had an animal theme. *shrugs*.
But Jinbei proved that fishmen have a stronger connection to the fish they derive from, when he called a school of whale sharks to Impel Down. Dellinger is a fishman, not a merman, and only a halfblood at that, but he can still command the fighting fish.
He may have asked the fighting fish to guard the bridge to green bit. Because they attacked the moment Law and co stepped foot on the bridge, and if they’ve been that aggressive for twohundred years, there wouldn’t be a bridge anymore, and at some point they were peaceful enough that they allowed the iron reinforcements to be made. Barring devil fruit intervention, those iron reinforcements took at least a month to be made, and during that time there was a lot of human traffic on the bridge. Or maybe there were just less fighting fish back then, and it wasn’t their breeding season. I don’t know.
The strongest piece of evidence that Dellinger can control the fighting fish, are the fighting fish in the colloseum. Somebody had to put them there, and somebody had to tie the mera mera no mi to the body of a fighting fish.

AND IS THAT A NUMBER I SEE TATTOOED ON IT? I thought these fish were supposed to be tough, so who the heck is handling them? Doflamingo and his officers are definitely strong enough to beat up a fighting fish, but there’s no way they could tie the mera mera onto one of them without almost killing the fish first, and then it wouldn’t be much use in a fighting tournament, now would it?
So Dellinger can control the fighting fish, but he wasn’t the one to call the fighting fish to dressrosa in the first place. The fighting fish first appeared twohundred years ago. Isn’t it so funny that the place Doflamingo planned on conquering has a nasty little fighting fish infestation, and he just happens to have a halfblood fighting fish in his crew?He was one year old. Doflamingo doesn’t run an orphanage. The chance of Doflamingo coincidentally finding a baby of just the right bloodline is very low. Or is it?

Roger died around 22 years before the start of the story. His execution kickstarted the great pirate age, which resulted in a lot of mermaids and fishmen getting kidnapped. Dellinger is 16 years old. His mother or father was probably kidnapped during this time and sold as a slave. Dellinger was produced and his owner (and maybe father, ew) decides to sell the baby.

Doflamingo owned a slaveshop. Or perhaps he didn’t own one back then, and just asked the slavers to keep an eye out for what he needed. In any case, he immediately bought Dellinger when he appeared on the market. A mermaid or a fullblooded fishman would probably have been better, but a halfblood was cheaper, and a baby can be raised to be loyal.

And maybe he wasn’t the only one from a background of slavery. It never was explained why Sugar and Monet were so loyal to Doflamingo. Well, who knows.

Edit: I wanted to add one last thing. The tournament for the mera mera no mi was rather fair, actually. However, if things had gone according to Doflamingo’s plans, it wouldn’t have been. Dellinger was supposed to be in the final round, and the plan was probably for him to subtly control the fighting fish and keep the mera mera safe. But because Dellinger wasn’t there, Sabo had no trouble getting to the fruit, because the fighting fish stupidly jumped out of the water to attack him. Doflamingo was just using the fruit as bait, and almost definitely didn’t expect to actually lose it. He doesn’t run a charity after all.

 *Theory by Birdy

Oda drew genderswapped versions of the Straw Hats.