Danny Castillo may not believe in superstitions, but when there is a winning streak involved, he can’t strip away tradition.
Team Alpha Male member, Castillo (Twitter: @lastcall155), has been a staple with the Zuffa organization since 2008. Compiling 9-4 record since starting with the WEC, Castillo successfully joined the UFC with the merger and has produced four wins and one loss, which was by the hands of Jacob Volkmann.
Castillo recently extended his win streak to three in a row when he silenced John Cholish at “UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller.” Even though it was a 15-minute brawl, the battered Castillo is having trouble staying out of the gym, days after the fight.
“Winning that fight definitely motivates me more,” Castillo said with MMA Beatdown on the MMADieHards Radio Network. “So I’m trying to stay out of the gym, but I was already back in there today. I’ve got a few bumps and bruises, but I think I find more motivation with wins than I do with losses sometimes. I’m already thinking about new things I want to do, new camps I want to visit and I just want to get better; I’m constantly thinking about fighting.”
Where most fighters have a pecking order of who they want to fight next, “Last Call” is keeping a wide outlook on the situation and not getting ahead of himself. With the personal goals already set for the year, Castillo is going to leave the fight picks to the pros.
“I want to try and crack that top ten in the next year or come close to it,” said Castillo. That’s been my goal and I’m looking for a big fight here the next fight or the fight after. It doesn’t really matter to me; I think that Joe Silva has done a great job in match making for me. It seems like he is picking the fights for me to win, so whatever he has for me I’m confident that I’m going to keep the win streak going.”
While assisting with the training on one half of “The Ultimate Fighter: Live” with Team Faber, Castillo has had the opportunity of exploring new ventures and experiences training in Las Vegas. Since his last victory in New Jersey, Castillo is back home in Sacramento, but still yearns for the guidance of a different coaching.
Finding it beneficial training with Sergio Penha in Vegas, Castillo wants to make a trip back, but he has also found some help more close to home.
“I’m just trying to find the best guys I can,” admitted Castillo. “Caesar Gracie’s is not too far, so I wouldn’t mind cross training with them. There are a couple of different coaches that I want to work with; I still want to be going to Vegas and try to get out there for two week training camps every now and then.”
It may not be well known because of the strength of his wrestling, but Castillo has been an avid boxing fan from his childhood days and is appreciating the art even more so today. In an effort to expand his skillset, Castillo visited the Mayweather Boxing Club to sharpen his tools.
“I was able to hit mitts with Jeff (Mayweather) and work my boxing there, sparring with a few pro boxers,” Castillo said. “To improve on my boxing is definitely a confidence builder and is making me feel really comfortable out there. Once I put everything together, I’m going to be making a run at that title.”
Putting everything together is one thing for Castillo, but the other has a little bit more to do with habit. The California native is admittedly not superstitious, but has noticed a continuing trend that may be the key to his success.
When most fighters are sweating and putting their bodies through the torments of cutting weight the night before weigh-ins, Castillo finds another way of passing the time.
“I used to be really superstitious, but not so much lately. I don’t really believe in that, but I do have some fun rituals. This fight was the seventh fight that I’ve won where I went to the strip club the night before the weigh-ins.
“My girlfriend isn’t too hot about it, but 7-0, that’s pretty crazy. For some reason, I win when I go.”