For Bellator 293, the promotion’s hottest new prospect has made his way onto the main card March 31 in Temecula, Calif.
Douglas County native Sullivan Cauley is 5-0 with five first-round knockouts since joining Bellator and he will be looking for number six in a little over a week’s time.
“These are all exciting. Each professional fight you have is a major life event,” said Cauley. “This one is definitely special, it’s my first one on the main card and on Showtime. It’s a big moment for my career.”
This is what Cauley’s been waiting for.
When he first started with the promotion, the Reno High School alum was looking for more activity in the ring.
Debuting in the Bellator light heavyweight rankings for the first time, Cauley is getting what he asked for. The card is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Showtime.
BREAKING INTO THE TOP 10
Cauley currently ranks No. 9 in the Bellator light heavyweight rankings, but any result can cause those rankings to shift drastically.
If his next bout goes like his first five, Cauley’s stock will continue its rise.
“All around, this is exactly what I was asking for. If I can keep on this pace of three fights a year and keep moving my career forward … that’s just perfect,” said Cauley.
At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Cauley will be up against a bit of a size disadvantage as his opponent, Luke Trainer, checks in at 6-5 with a 80-inch reach.
It’s no matter for the Arizona resident as his last opponent, who had a similar advantage, lasted 61 seconds in the cage with Cauley.
“It changes things in a sense that we’ve been sparring with tall guys. You do have to fight a little differently,” said Cauley. “That’s kind of the way I fight anyway. I move around a lot; I move in and out well. I change levels. I really have not done too much tailoring my style specifically to Luke. I’m going to fight how I always fight.”
Preparations for the fight have led to some big names coming into the gym, such as former UFC middleweight turned light heavyweight Paulo Costa.
The last two weeks of camp have been the toughest as the undefeated pro starts to dial back the volume prior to his next fight.
“I basically had a couple of fights with him (Costa). When all my professional fights have been on the easier side, you have to seek out tough sparring. … This has been eight weeks of grinding it out,” said Cauley. “I’ve really made an effort to dial in my conditioning. I’m mixing together my striking and wrestling better than I have before.”
‘RIGHT FOR THE THROAT’
Trainer boasts a 6-1 record with three wins by knockout and three wins by submission.
His lone professional loss came at Bellator 281 by unanimous decision.
“His height, that’s the best thing he’s got going for him. He’s a decent striker, but he’s no master-level striker. He’s showy and thinks he’s sweet,” said Cauley. “He doesn’t move his head like a boxer and he doesn’t have wicked power or speed. … He’s not on my level as a striker.”
Cauley’s five first-round knockouts might fool some into thinking he’s not as advanced in the grappling department. His collegiate wrestling background at Arizona State would disagree.
“I would love another first-round KO,” Cauley said. “This is kind of a byproduct of the way I fight. I don’t waste half-a-round feeling a guy out. I kind of go right for the throat. I’m going to try to jump on this guy and we will see if he can take it.”
Cauley hasn’t fought in Temecula before, but says his girlfriend’s family is from the area and he anticipates it’ll feel a bit like a home fight.
Those interested in following Cauley can find him on Instagram @SullyCauley.
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