In a recent interview, MMA veteran Danny Castillo shared what he felt when got the call from Joe Silva telling him that his time in the UFC is up.
Unlike most fighters, Castillo discussed his career with none other than his mom. He revealed that he initially thought that it was indeed time to move forward and call it a career. However, after talking to his mom, Castillo decided not to make any rash decisions about his career in the MMA sport for now.
“I told her that I don’t know if I’m ever going to fight again. She said, ‘Well, right now is not the right time to make the decision.'” Castillo shared.
Castillo decided that it might be time to reevaluate his choices and come up with another plan. With his home in Team Alpha Male getting a revamp of the organization itself, Castillo made a deal to be one of the head wrestling coaches of the team. Along with him are fellow UFC veterans Chris Holdsworth and Justin Buchholz who are coaching the team as well.
The MMA veteran also revealed that being one of the coaches in Team Alpha Male has renewed his passion for the MMA sport. With that, Castillo is wondering if whether being a teacher is his destiny after all.
“Being an athlete has been my identity since I was 8 years old. I’ve thought of myself as an athlete, and now that’s all gone. It’s hard for me to deal with. But the coaching keeps me in the sport. I’m still going to be going on trips. I’m still training. I’m still in the game, and that’s what I really love about the sport: The team is what love about the sport. Team Alpha Male – training until I’m going to puke and then laughing about it and having a great time. Getting socked super hard but then smiling about it when the round is done,” Castillo said.
Castillo’s stint as a cornerman will start this coming March 5th, where he assist Darren Elkins in his UFC 196 MMA fight against Chas Skelly in Las Vegas. The event will be held at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
As soon as that’s done, Castillo revealed that he will give himself time to reevaluate his career and finally make the decision.
“I’m just going to coach for six months, and then if I have that fire after the end of coaching, then I’ll make a few calls and see if Bellator wants me, if WSOF wants me. Maybe I’ll make my way back. The only thing that makes me think I’ll fight again was that my last fight was the worst performance of my professional career. And that’s something that bothers me. Had I performed a little bit better, maybe I would have been OK with just saying, ‘You know what? I’m done. F-ck it.’ But because of that, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m bitter toward the sport. I’m bitter about a lot of things, and I don’t like to have any bitterness in me about anything. But it still bothers me,” Castillo admitted.
“If I never fight again, I just want people to appreciate what I did in the sport. I never pulled out of a fight. I worked my ass off. Out of those 22 fights, I think I took five of those fights on less than four weeks’ notice. And it’s not an easy feat in the lightweight division in the UFC. I’ve had three fighters come in overweight. I still took the fights anyway. I was a company man for a long time. I never disrespected anyone. I’ve always been positive in the sport. I’ve never been in trouble in or out of the cage for any reason at all. MMA changed my life and made me better person. I just want people to know I’ve worked hard. If it was just up to hard work, I’d be a world champion with 15 title defenses. But it’s not just about hard work, and it didn’t work out for me. I’m staying optimistic. If I do fight again. I’ll get back to the UFC. I have no doubt in my mind, as long as I still have that fire in me. If not, then I’m happy with my career,” he added.