Darrion Caldwell isn’t short on confidence going into his rematch with Kyoji Horiguchi.
Caldwell and Horiguchi are both bantamweight champions. Caldwell holds Bellator gold, while Horiguchi rules the roost in Rizin’s 135-pound division. Caldwell attempted to add the Rizin gold to his mantle against Horiguchi back in Dec. 2018, but was submitted in the third round via guillotine choke.
Caldwell Believes He’ll Make Short Work Of Horiguchi
MMA News spoke to “The Wolf” during the Bellator 222 media day session. Caldwell said he’s taking things easy during fight week, but he’s ready to explode on Friday night (June 14):
“Absolutely. I’m always feeling relaxed, I’m always ready to go and when those lights turn on you’re gonna see me shine.”
The Bellator bantamweight champion took the time to reflect on his loss to Horiguchi and explained why he thinks the outcome will be different this time:
“Yeah it was unfortunate, it was definitely embarrassing because I trained to stay out of that position. I lost in that position, I should’ve known where I was in that match but pretty much gave him the position. So [this time] it won’t be a loss in focus. Look for it to be an early night for him.”
As far as his game plan is concerned, Caldwell broke things down in no uncertain terms:
“There is no deciding factor. The only thing that’s gonna happen is me going in there and beating him up. This is just another fight. I’m gonna go in there, beat him up and go home.”
Caldwell was all smiles when talking about the opportunity to compete inside Madison Square Garden in New York City:
“Man I’m excited, it’s right next to my home state. I grew up in New Jersey, so for me to be able to come out to Madison Square Garden, the biggest arena in the world it’s everything I wanted. My friends and family are gonna be here, so I’m excited.”
Caldwell has expressed his confidence in being able to dethrone top UFC bantamweights such as the “champ-champ” Henry Cejudo. “The Wolf” sent a message to those 135-pounders:
“Well I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. Whenever you’re doing it at every level, nothing changes. The confidence grows. But that’s a question you ask Henry Cejudo, you ask Aljamain Sterling. You ask those guys if they can compete with me. They’ll tell you what’s up.”
MMA News is on the scene in New York City for Bellator 222 coverage. Join us tomorrow for live results, highlights, and post-fight content.