Looking back on his first round TKO of Alton Meeks at Dana White’s Contender Series this past June, heavyweight Yorgan De Castro feels like the fight couldn’t have gone any more to plan.
According to De Castro, everything he and his team worked on prior to the bout paid off, and in the process he earned a UFC contract with his performance.
“Everything went perfectly,” De Castro told MMAWeekly.com. “We were supposed to stop the takedown, and if (Meeks took) me down then get up and get him tired, break his confidence. That’s how he beat people, take them and ground and pound.
“The game plan was to tie him up a little bit in the first round and then finish him in the second, but everything went perfect and we ended up finishing him in the first round.”
De Castro admits that there was some pressure on him in the Meeks fight, but as he puts it, there is always pressure when it comes to fighting in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“The (goal) is to get into the UFC and fight in front of a really big crowd, this is the top of MMA, so you’re always going to have a little bit of pressure, but I love MMA and I enjoy this, so I prepared myself very well and am going to do my thing,” said De Castro.
“You’ve always got to prove you belong in the UFC. I’m 5-0 and don’t have that much fight so some people are always going to have in the back of their heads that I’m too green for the UFC but that’s what I’m working for to prove them wrong. I’m going to be ready.”
On October 5 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, De Castro (5-0) will make his proper promotional debut versus Justin Tafa (3-0) in a preliminary heavyweight bout at UFC 243.
“That was quick, right after the Contender Series they give us Justin Tafa,” De Castro said. “We know he’s a striker with heavy hands. We’re getting ready for a stand-up fight.
“If he thinks he can take me down, let him try to do it. If he takes me down he can’t keep me down. We’ve been sharpening all the tools.”
For De Castro, being as active as he can be is not just about building his career up, but it is also important to help support his family and make to so he can provide for them as a full time fighter.
“I hope I can fight within three months so I can make money for my family and do this full time,” said De Castro. “As I’m speaking I’m working; I’m working eight hours a day, train for three hours, it’s been crazy.
“I want to get this one done then I hope to fight again in December and keep fighting.”