Following a first round TKO victory in his first bout as a pro back in November of 2020, light-heavyweight Sullivan Cauley was eager to keep his momentum going in 2021 only to have to sit out an entire year before having his follow-up bout.
It wasn’t just one thing keeping Cauley from fighting, but multiple issues which has kept him waiting on the sidelines to return to action.
“We were really hoping we’d get back quickly (after that first fight), and it turned out to not be like that,” Cauley told MMAWeekly.com. “We had a break from not having events for a while, we were trying to fight on other shows, but it’s always hard for me to get opponents, and then I had a couple of injuries.
“It was just a whole slew of things that kind of put this off as long as it was, but here we are, we’re finally coming back, and it’s awesome that it’s going to be in my home town. I couldn’t be more excited or more ready.”
While Cauley is primarily known for his grappling skills, he feels like this last year he’s further developed a skill that is often overlooked by many when it comes to him.
“People don’t realize yet that my striking is very good for MMA, especially when you consider my wrestling,” said Cauley. “There’s nobody really except maybe the guys at the very top of the Bellator (light-heavyweight) division that can wrestle and strike like me.”
This Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona, Cauley (1-0) will finally return to action when he takes on Deon Clash (1-0) in a 205-pound preliminary bout at Bellator 268.
“Deon’s a pretty good Jiu-Jitsu guy, but I think I’m better than him pretty much everywhere, without sounding too arrogant,” Cauley said. “The skills are there, the preparation is there, and it’s just a matter of doing it at this point.
“I’m a better wrestler than he is; I really doubt he’ll be able to take me down. I think I’m a better striker than he is. We have what we want to do, but we’ve got to take what he gives us and see what kind of look he gives us and see where the fight goes, but I trust myself to be able to fight and win this fight wherever it ends up.”
Should he come out of Saturday’s bout healthy, Cauley would prefer to get back into the cage sooner than later wherever he ends up.
“After this one I’d like to fight as soon as possible,” said Cauley. “I’m hoping a dominant win here will kind of open Bellator’s eyes a little bit. I’d like to get a development deal or get a real contract with them and be able to come back quickly and regularly with Bellator.
“If that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen I’ll try to fight as soon as possible and keep it rolling.”