Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tony Castillo Interview
Tony Castillo is determined to prove that the fighter you saw in what he says was his only legitimate loss, to Terry Blackwell, was not the real Tony Castillo. He gets to try and do that when he fights Kevin Rothacker at NAAFS Night of Champions. To improve his game he now trains with Blackwell at Instigator/Victory. With two guys known for being in exciting fights, this one could a highlight on a big show.
Q: Can you start out by talking about how you got started in the sport?
A: I started back in 2008, one of my buddies wrestled at Cleveland State, he said that a gym in Toledo was looking for fighters for the first MMA fights in Toledo. I went and checked it out and trained for I think it was two weeks. The guy who owned the gym said to fight on his card. It was short notice, and I went and did that and fought like 10 fights in eleven or twelve months.
Q: For someone who has never seen you fight before, how would you describe yourself?
A: Definitely my strong point is my wrestling background and ground and pound. Doesn't mean I won't stand and bang, it's just second nature to go to the ground. Coming up from where I came from, always getting in trouble, its not a big deal to stand and bang with someone. It depends on how it goes and who I am fighting. No matter what you are gonna get a fight out of me, on the ground or the feet.
Q: You are fighting Kevin Rothacker, what do you know about him?
A: From what I have heard and seen a couple times, he actually just fought one of my homeboys, Matt Montalvo at Rock-n-Rumble, and that was the first time I saw him in person. A lot of people respect his ground game and jiu-jitsu. After seeing that fight I was like, he beat my buddy, and it was on opportunity to fight at 145 and fight someone who has a lot of respect in the area.
Q: He has a reputation as someone who takes a lot of damage but people are not able to finish him. Does that give you incentive to not only with, but be the guy who is able to finish him?
A: Definitely. It's my goal to finish him. I am trying to make a statement in my weight class. Try and put him out and make a statement.
Q: What do you expect out of him?
A: I don't see him having a game plan. My personal opinion, I don't think he can stop my takedowns. My takedown defense is a big part of my game. So I don't see him going for a takedown and if he does its not in my worries. I see him just trying to grind it or stand and bang. I will work on my technique and finesse. I am not looking to get into a dirty fight, I am looking to use my ground and pound and bang away.
Q: What is they key for you to win this fight?
A: Really, I don't have too much respect for his cardio. Yeah he goes rounds, but I feel I just have to press him.
Q: A big show for a big organization, would this be your biggest fight?
A: I don't know if I would say its my biggest fight. As of right now, its an important fight. From lightweight to Featherweight, coming off my last fight for NAAFS which was a loss. The importance level, letting everyone know that this is now, and the best shape of my life.
Q: You are getting married at the end of the year. Has it been hard to block that out and focus on training?
A: Haha, to be honest Nichole (Long) has been very supportive. Twelve or thirteen weeks ago we kind of came to the decision that all wedding plans had to be handled cause my camp was gonna start. We ran a ten week camp and when it started it was time to focus. The last two weeks I have been in the gym seven days a week. So me and her handled it the best way we could and I am confident and glad the camp went the way it did.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I am definitely guaranteeing a W. Going in and fighting for Victory and Instigator. It's the way I am and Victory is. I went there after losing to Terry cause he is my only legitimate loss. I am going to come off of that and learn from that. I am gonna give even more, so whether it be knock-out, tap-out, whatever, I will win. I am coming out to represent Victory.
Q: Assuming you win, any idea what you want next?
A: Take it one step at a time. I liked my weight cut, wasn't as hard as I thought. I will see how it works, how I feel. See what my body is like. Definitely want the number one contender spot at 145 or 135 and making a statement.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Definitely my gym Victory/Instigator, my sponsors, the NAAFS and Greg (Kalikas) for letting me show everyone that the Tony they saw last time in Canton isn't the Tony they will see this time.