Darrion Caldwell fought Kyoji Horiguchi on New Year’s Eve and lost. He had Horiguchi on his back most of the time, was able to secure the takedowns he wanted but got caught in a submission in the third round. With a clause in the contract that is the beginning of Bellator versus RIZIN matches, Caldwell was just waiting for a date.
Speaking with MyMMANews, Caldwell said the only thing he is doing differently is bringing more of the same from the first fight. “A little bit more ferociousness, a little bit more pressure and drop a few more elbows,” Caldwell said about facing Horiguchi on his turf in New York City. While he does admit that fighting in Japan, on New Year’s Eve could have been affected him in that fight, it was not enough to leave him feeling as if he was not winning that fight.
“Looking back at the fight, he had a little bit of offense back on his feet,” Caldwell reflected on when talking about the first fight, but he felt he was winning the first two rounds before he got caught with the submission in the third round.
One thing Caldwell will have motivating him is his strong, east coast fan base. Caldwell being originally from Rahway, New Jersey which is a short train ride from Madison Square Garden said. “I’m bringing the hood out!” While many fight fans from the area know he fights in the sport of mixed martial arts, Bellator making this fight near Caldwell’s home town will still bring something new to his career.
“I don’t even think they know what’s about to go down.” –Darrion Caldwell
Caldwell expects Bellator 222 and his match against Horiguchi to be like a wrestling match a home match, and said, “that energy that you feel off the crowd, that adrenaline is going to fuel you.” He believes the support he is getting fighting in New York City will have him at 150 percent on June 14.