(You see, Shamar, MMA is a lot like dodgeball – the fat guys always get knocked out first.)
By Jared Jones
After the WEC merged with the UFC in early 2011, most MMA fans were quick to write off the competitors in its lightweight division, claiming that they would simply be outmatched by their UFC counterparts. The success of current lightweight champ Ben Henderson, along with that of guys like Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis quickly disproved this notion, but one fighter who has gone almost completely unnoticed at 155 has been that of Danny Castillo. The Team Alpha Male standout’s record currently stands at 3-1 in the UFC, including a win over former number one contender Joe Stevenson in his promotional debut. On the heels of a split decision victory over noted striker Anthony Njokuani at UFC 141 in December, Castillo will be looking to build on his current two-fight win streak against Strikeforce veteran and submission savant John Cholish on the preliminary card of next weekend’s UFC on FOX 3 event. We were recently able to snag an interview with “Last Call,” who dished on everything from TRT to his stance on teammates fighting teammates. Enjoy, and make sure to follow Danny and all his Alpha Male cohorts on Twitter.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: Thanks for interview opportunity, Danny. I was wondering if we could first talk about your UFC 141 victory over Anthony Njokuani. How would you assess your performance in that fight?
Danny Castillo: “I would rate my performance about a D+. It wasn’t the best fight of my career. I was able to get a victory on four weeks of training, and I had just fought prior to that in November against Shamar Bailey. I pretty much went in there with the gameplan to wrestle the whole time; I knew that that was one of the flaws in [Njokuani's] game. He’s a dangerous fighter. He was one of the most exciting fighters in the WEC, and he’s probably one of the top five strikers inside the UFC. On four weeks notice, I wasn’t prepared to necessarily stand with him or to sit in the pocket against his strengths. His ground game was greatly improved, and now that I’ve done some training with him I understand why; he’s got a phenomenal Jiu-Jitsu coach in Sergio Penha. As far as I’m concerned, I think I won the first and the third round. I probably had about six takedowns throughout the fight, and I think I did enough to win the fight.”
Follow us after the jump for Castillo’s thoughts on the TRT debate, the possibility of fighting a teammate, and more.