Danny Castillo Hopes Michael Johnson Remembers to Work Ground Game Ahead of UFC Bout


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When Danny Castillo heard that he’d been offered a fight against Michael Johnson at UFC 151, he didn’t hesitate to take it.

“The fight’s great,” Castillo told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “As soon as I heard of the fight, I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s sign the contract.’ I think Michael Johnson’s really talented. I think he’s fast and athletic. It’s going to be a good test for me.”

Of course the fight won’t be happening at UFC 151 due to the event’s cancellation. Instead, it has been rescheduled for Oct. 5 at UFC on FX 5.

“I just carried on, man,” Castillo said when asked how he reacted to the news that UFC 151 had been nixed. “I just kept working. I went and trained. It helped me get my mind off the situation instead of being all sad and bitter about it. … I’m glad I didn’t waste a bunch of negative energy flipping out about it.”

In Johnson, Castillo will face an opponent who has won two straight. After outpointing Shane Roller in January, he impressively outstruck “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 13 winner Tony Ferguson in May for a unanimous decision.

“I know he has a wrestling background, but he doesn’t really wrestle too much in any of his fights from what I’ve seen,” Castillo said. “He’s had 12, 14 weeks to prepare, so maybe he’s just been doing a ton of wrestling to tighten it up? The thing about this fight is, I feel comfortable wherever I’m going to be at.”

Castillo is also on a winning streak, having earned three straight victories. He stopped Shamar Bailey last November, edged Anthony Njokuani via split decision in December and outpointed John Cholish in May. From Johnson, he’s expecting an opponent who will likely look to strike. Castillo’s background is wrestling, but he said he’s not worried about Johnson’s standup.

“If it’s on our feet, yeah, he’s fast and his standup’s what he’s been working on, [but] I just hope he didn’t forget to work on his ground game as well,” Castillo said. “I’m not the best boxer, but my wrestling makes my boxing pretty dangerous. As a straight boxer, I get beat up all the time. But if some takedowns are involved, my boxing gets that much better.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:56:53).

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