Monday, May 7, 2012

Tony Castillo Interview

Photo credit: Hex Linc Photos

One of the most anticipated fights at NAAFS Fight Night in the Flats is the title bout between champion Frank Caraballo and challenger Tony Castillo. If you have followed along with their feud you will notice the title almost seems secondary in this fight. There seems to be a lot of bad blood between the two, making an exciting fight even more exciting. Castillo is coming of back to back wins over a couple good opponents in Kevin Rothacker and Paul Compton. Here are his thoughts on the match-up.

Q: You are coming off wins over two good opponents. It seems your biggest advantage was their inability to stop the takedowns, is that accurate?
A: Definitely that's a factor. That's my home, my ground and pound. I don't think anyone in this weight class will be able to stop my takedowns. That is my base and my home. I know I can go there at any time without anyone giving me trouble.

Q: You have gotten better since going to Victory, how has that helped you?
A: That's the main key to my wins. Being around the people I am. Working with Terry (Blackwell) and Pat (Schottenheimer) and everyone. Its easier to advance your career when you have guys pushing you everyday. Yeah, I came from good camps before like USA Martial Arts, but as far as having the guys over there to train with every day, its not the same and plays a major part in what I have been doing lately.

Q: You have the wrestling background, but do people under estimate your stand-up?
A: Oh definitely. Nobody likes a wrestler. People think "oh that's all they can do". I grew up on the streets banging, where we weren't allowed to wrestle. So as far as my stand-up game, yeah they under estimate it. I look at it as if I wanna take it to the ground, I'm gonna take it to the ground, if I wanna stand on my feet, I will stand on my feet. So as far as people under estimating it, yeah its gonna be there, but it doesn't factor into my game plans.

Q: With all the talking back and forth with Frank Caraballo, does it make this fight about more than just the title?
A: Definitely! To be honest with you, and no disrespect to the NAAFS and anyone involved, but as far as the title goes, I wanna fight Frank regardless of the title. Even if he got his ass beat by Donny Walker, nothing would have changed. Me personally, I don't care about the title. Its not in my agenda to be the champion, I got bigger and better things. Its a good achievement and looked upon good by me and my team. Its an honor to fight for the title, but its not in my head, Frank's in my head. Like I told my team, I have never got to fight someone where I just don't like them. He thinks I like to talk, I think he likes to talk. That's what it is. We are both gonna talk and as far as the fight, I am just looking at him. All I cafe about is beating him.

Q: How did the bad blood start?
A: It really blew up over nothing. Online, someone said something that pissed me off. Like an idiot, I told myself to stay off line, but I didn't. Someone said something and I fired back. This is my lively hood, this is what I live. You cant call it a misunderstanding, cause its not a misunderstanding. He knows that I'm right and that's that.

Q: What did you think of his performance against Donny Walker?
A: I looked at it two ways. It was the best he's ever performed, but did I respect it? No! He was able to look good because Donny respected him too much. I said the same thing when Frank fought Terry. They showed too much respect, not to say neither deserved it. When you don't respect someones game you go in there thinking "I don't care what you do, I am trying to take your head off and work my game". As far as his last performance, good job, but I don't respect it at all.

Q: Can he have any more success than the last two opponents at stopping takedowns?
A: No, not at all. Honestly I am not even working ground for this fight, not working takedowns at all. He wont be able to stop them. That's not even on my mind right now. When I fought Compton, even in that fight, everyone talked about his wrestling pedigree. But these guys don't understand I am used to taking bigger guys down. I look at guys at 145LBS as being smaller than me and not being pound for pound at my level as far as stopping me. He isn't gonna stop nothing. His only chance is to keep it on the feet, but I got a chin and he ain't doing nothing to it.

Q: If it goes into the later rounds and is a fast paced fight, who does it favor?
A: It definitely favors me more. I always told everyone, when I get a five round fight, that's my fight. When we are in the gym and go ten rounds, my best rounds are three, four and five. I don't even get warmed up till the third round. So in the championship rounds, if it does make it out the first thirty seconds of the fight, its my advantage, those are my better rounds.

Q: With the emotion going into the fight, is it gonna be hard to keep the emotion in check and stick to a game plan?
A: I am gonna be honest. I have never trained for a fight to where I don't like him. When you go in there you always have the mentality of not liking the person, but its not as easy to say "I don't like the person". All my fights have been a sport, showing my skills. The fans are gonna get what they pay for, I am coming out swinging and trying to knock him out the first thirty seconds. If he can hang after that, it will settle down a little bit and we are gonna play a game. As far as emotions, I cant lie, its all about emotions in this one. I have never trained this hard to where I am constantly looking at him and not liking him every day I am in the gym. I think it will add to the fight and people will see why they call me Mexican Muscle.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I wont call it a prediction, I will call it what I wanna see happen. I wanna knock him out, I wanna see him leave on a stretcher and that's that. Call it a prediction, call it a want, necessary, that's what I call it.

Q: Anyone you wanna thank?
A: My gym, Victory MMA/Instigator, all my guys, my corners, Terry, Pat and Dustin (Kempf)and everyone. My sponsors, fans here and back home. I got a big group coming out to support me. I wanna say this is for them, but this is the first fight that's for me.

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