"Throughout the whole process, it seems like the attention has been on Nick a little more than Keon," Caldwell's trainer, Richard Cox, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "(WSOF is) a great company – I just think they're on the Nick Newell hype train.
"(Newell's) people have done a good job of marketing him, so the spotlight's on him, and that's cool. That's the best for us. We're some south Georgia guys and we're not used to the glitz and glamour, so being the underdog is the best spot for us. I just hope they give us that tournament slot if we get the win over Newell."
As of now, Caldwell's camp is unsure of whether the stakes are equal.
"My understanding is that Keon is a WSOF fighter," said Caldwell manager Jason Ellis. "We still have some fights left on our deal. When I asked them if he would get the opportunity, it was more or less explained to me that they're unsure at this point. I think if he does come in and do what he needs to do and gets the win over Nick, he deserves the opportunity to compete with the other athletes in the WSOF."
WSOF 4 takes place Saturday at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. The event's main card airs live on NBC Sports Network. Prelims stream at MMAjunkie.com.
WSOF matchmaker and Executive Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz told MMAjunkie.com "You never know" when asked via text if Caldwell would get a tournament spot if victorious over Newell.
Newell, who signed with the promotion earlier this year, said he wasn't concerned about the relative attention he and his opponent are getting prior to the event. But he said Caldwell should have the same opportunity to enter the tournament.
"I would give it to him if he beats me, but I don't make the rules," Newell said. "At this point, I think maybe they want me because I've accomplished more with my career, but it really means nothing when we both step into the cage. The better man is going to win on Saturday night."
Newell, who is missing his left hand and most of his left arm below the elbow due to congenital amputation, began fighting in 2009 and attracted a tremendous amount of attention in his quest to become an MMA fighter despite his disability. Although he struggled to find willing opponents, he built an undefeated record and this past December won a title with Xtreme Fighting Championships. After leaving the promotion earlier this year, he signed with WSOF.
Caldwell signed with WSOF earlier this year after nearly two years away from professional fighting. A cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 13," he was forced to leave the show due to family issues.
Caldwell's trainer said the fighter isn't taking WSOF's offer to Newell personally and is focused on winning at Saturday's event.
"He's putting the work in," said Cox. "He's just in that mentality; he's ready. He'll tell me little things. People talking crap bothers him, but his response is just to put the work in, and 'I'm going to let my cagework do the talking.'"