WEC lightweight Danny Castillo (10-3) made a good impression at the promotion’s final event last night before the UFC merger, knocking out Will Kerr 1:25 into their bout with some nicely-placed ground-and-pound strikes.
Castillo told ProMMAnow.com that he thought Kerr might come out of the gates fast and that’s exactly what he did, throwing a flying knee from the start that Castillo managed to avoid.
“I had a feeling he was going to rush me,” Castillo said. “Against [Karen Darabedyan at WEC 49], he rushed in and had some success. But I didn’t expect a flying knee, so that caught me off guard a bit.”
Kerr needed only 1:20 to defeat Darabedyan with an armbar, and after the knee missed its mark, Kerr wasted no time looking for the guillotine to try to make Castillo tap.
However, Castillo mentioned he’d been tightening up his ground game in training for Kerr and he managed to fight off the guillotine attempt. Kerr went through a succession of moves, including a heelhook and ankle lock, but Castillo persevered and started dropping powerful shots that knocked Kerr out cold.
“Going into the UFC, I wanted to use some of my standup,” Castillo said. “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to since he came out of the gates so fast.”
With the WEC chapter of his career now closed, Castillo is looking forward to the chance to compete under the bright lights of the UFC.
“I think I’ll be able to fit in perfectly,” Castillo said. “It’s going to be added pressure, but its good pressure.”
A fan of MMA as much as he is a fighter, Castillo watched the rest of the evening’s bouts, including now-UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz’s end-to-end domination of Scott Jorgensen. Cruz and Urijah Faber, Castillo’s friend and teammate, could be on a collision course. Cruz has the belt, but Faber, coming off of a successful 135-pound debut, gave Cruz his only professional blemish.
“I think Dominick Cruz is a phenomenal fighter,” Castillo said. “He’s got great footwork and a different style that not too many fighters have or can emulate. But if there’s anyone in the world that can beat him, it’s Urijah.”