Having been two years since he last fought in a full-on MMA event, former Ultimate Fighter 13 cast member Keon “Black Assassin” Caldwell is eager to eager to return to action at the World Series of Fighting 4 and showoff the complete overhaul he’s given his game.
“My trainer and I looked at everything and decided to start over from scratch,” said Caldwell. “We redid everything, so I’ll be a whole different fighter coming out on Aug. 10.
“All aspects of my game have changed since the last time people saw me leaving TUF 13. I’ve put that behind me.”
Already known for an exceptional striking game, which has helped him finish eight of his nine wins (with one loss), Caldwell has worked hard to add the ground game to his style to become a complete fighter.
“My jiu-jitsu game has come a long way,” said Caldwell. “You’ve got to have a whole well-rounded package to be anybody. You can’t just be one-sided. If you’re going to be in the game with the top competitors and top organizations, you’ve got to have it all.”
The opportunity to step onto the big stage that the WSOF represents is a chance for Caldwell to get redemption in the eyes of the fans after he left TUF 13 due to family issues early in the show’s season.
“It’s a big motivation for me because I have a big point to prove to the world,” he said. “I’m not just some guy to leave somewhere. I’m focusing on this fight and show everybody that I’m the real deal and it’s nothing like they saw a few years ago.”
When Caldwell steps into the WSOF cage live on NBC Sports Network, he’ll be facing another promotional newcomer and top prospect in former XFC lightweight champion “Notorious” Nick Newell.
“I respect the guy,” Caldwell said of Newell. “He’s tough and he’s got heart. He’s 9-0. He’s undefeated. So it’s going to be an exciting fight.
“It’s two strikers going at it. It’s going to be who slips up (that determines who wins or loses). It’s going to be fireworks.”
When asked if the fact that Newell has only one hand plays into his game plan, Caldwell told MMAWeekly.com, “I look at Nick like any other guy I’ve fought.
“I don’t worry about what’s going on with him, I just worry about what I’m going to do and what I’m going to accomplish. I’m going to fight him just like a normal guy.”
Now back to full-time fighting, Caldwell wants to make a run in the WSOF at lightweight and exorcize any ghosts of his past in the process.
“I want to go to the top and fight the best guys,” he said. “There’s not going to be any easy fights. I’m in the WSOF to get some respect and whatever they want me to do, I’m all for it.”