Darrion Caldwell feels having his rematch with Kyoji Horiguchi on his turf at Bellator 222 will produce a different outcome. When they last fought at Rizin 14 in Japan, Caldwell did well but the time difference and recovery options took getting used to. He believes that is why he wound up getting submitted by Horiguchi.
"They didn't have like Gatorade," Caldwell said to Sherdog. "They had this thing called 'Squirt' and it was like carbonated water." Here at home, he has everything he needs to recover and be focused on Horiguchi Friday night. Both men were at open workouts and seemed ready to do it again as they open the main card of Bellator 222.
During the open workouts, Horiguchi did a lot of wrestling and while sometimes strategy can be given away in training footage like that, Caldwell is not worried about it. The Bellator MMA champion said, "If he wants to go out there and wrestle, that's cool. If he wants to go out there and keep it on his feet, that's cool. Somehow, somewhere, I'm going to get my hands on this guy."
Caldwell is originally from Rahway, New Jersey and the support from his family friends fighting in Madison Square Garden is likely helping with his focus. Even with that in mind, Caldwell respects Horiguchi and the way he responded to his offense in his last fight. He called Horiguchi an intelligent fighter, "I remember in my fight with Kyoji I hit him with a good shot and just the way he responded was different." But now that Caldwell has experienced Horiguchi he said, "Now it's time for me to go out there and shut his body off."
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.