Saturday marks one of the most anticipated UFC events of all time as the main event features Jon Jones defending his Light Heavyweight Championship against undefeated challenger and former olympian Daniel Cormier. However, before that championship matchup, there are many great fights preceding it. One of those fights is the preliminary main event featuring veteran Danny “Last Call” Castillo taking on the unbeaten Paul Felder. Castillo is looking to get back on the winning track as he looks to bounce back from a controversial split decision at UFC 177 against Tony Ferguson. In that close fight in August, both fighters landed 23 strikes, while Castillo completed two takedowns to Ferguson’s zero. Although many people thought he won the fight, Castillo is never one to make excuses and is looking to improve on his last performance as he told UFC.com, “I’m kind of disappointed in my last fight, so I have a lot to prove. I was entrusted with the huge responsibility of being co-main event of a PPV and I feel like not only did I let myself down, but I feel like I let a lot of the fans down.”
The lightweight division is the deepest gauntlet of a division in the UFC, so every win is crucial when climbing to the top of the mountain. Thus a win over Felder would be big for Castillo, but he isn’t feeling any pressure as he explained, “I just want to enjoy it. I want to be in the moment, I want to feel it, I don’t want any pressure – pressure to lose, pressure to win, pressure of money. I just want to go out there, have a great time, and enjoy myself.”
Just because Castillo’s mindset is pressure free doesn’t mean he’s looking to become complacent as a fighter. The dream is always the same: to become the champion. That is what fighters work their whole lives for. “The ultimate goal is to be the best in the world and it doesn’t matter who I’m fighting,” he said. “You still need to win, and you still need to rack up a winning streak in order to make those jumps and get that shot at the title. Regardless if it’s Khabilov or Felder, I still have to work to do.”
Watch Castillo go to work on Saturday at UFC 182 live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as he fights in the main event of the preliminary card live on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. EST/ 5 p.m. PST!
Follow Danny on Twitter – https://twitter.com/lastcall155
** Light blue text color in honor of the UNC Jordan 11s that Danny wore during weigh-in!!
Written by Mike Solano