Darrion Caldwell talks upcoming Bellator 290 fight and NC State wrestling days

Darrion Caldwell hasn’t fought in over a year and he used his lay off too mentally refocus himself on his career.

Following his outstanding wrestling career at NC Sate where he won a national championship, Caldwell immediately transitioned into MMA and quickly became a standout as he went on to capture the Bellator bantamweight title.

At some point following his title reign, Caldwell admits he lost something.

Instead of showing up at the gym with passion, he would often coast his way through practice. For some reason something was just off.

Rather than trying to fight through his feelings and force himself him his same everyday rut, Caldwell took a break to think about his career.

As he thought about, he realized that the passion he once had was still there, he just had to find it.

Once his mind was recharged, he knew it was time to return and rather than returning and worrying about outside forces, he’s just focusing on himself throughout his comeback.

On Feb. 4, Caldwell makes his highly anticipated return to the Bellator cage when he takes om Nikita Mikhailov at Bellator 290.

Prior to the event, Caldwell spoke with MyMMANews to discuss his matchup with Mikhailov, refocusing on his career during his 13 month layoff and he looked back on winning his national title at NC State.

You can watch his full interview in the video above.

A list of fights scheduled for Bellator 290 are listed below:

Ryan Bader (C) (31-7) vs. Fedor Emelianenko (40-6) – for the Bellator heavyweight title
Johnny Eblen (C) (12-0) vs Anatoly Tokov (31-3) – for the Bellator middleweight title
Sabah Homasi (17-10) vs. Brennan Ward (16-6)
Darrion Caldwell (14-6) vs. Nikita Mikhailov (9-2)
Neiman Gracie (11-4) vs. Dante Schiro (9-4)
Ethan Hughes (3-0) vs. Yusuf Karakaya (1-0)
Grant Neal (6-1) vs. Karl Albrektsson (13-4)
Chris Gonzalez (7-2) vs. Max Rohskopf (7-1)
Jornel Lugo (8-1) vs. Jaylon Bates (6-0)
Alejandra Lara (9-6) vs. Diana Avsaragova (5-0)
Lorenz Larkin (24-7) vs. Mukhamed Berkhamov (15-1)
Henry Corrales (20-6) vs. Akhmedov Magomedov (15-1)
Steve Mowry (10-0) vs. Ali Isaev (9-0)
Isaiah Hokit (2-1) vs. Peter Ishiguro (2-1)

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John Eric Poli