John Castaneda was hoping to fight a lot sooner.
Castaneda picked up his second win in the UFC – and second in a row – back in February as he scored a submission win over Miles Johns. After the win, he wanted a quick turnaround but the call never came which he says has been beneficial as he’s been in the gym getting better ahead of his UFC Vegas 61 scrap.
“Absolutely, we were trying to make a quick turnaround sometime in the summer and then sneak another one in at the end of the year,” Castaneda said to Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I just sit around and wait for the phone call, October 1 is the date and a solid opponent, and regardless of the outcome I’m hoping for one more.”
When the call finally came for Castaneda to get a fight, he admits he was a bit surprised when he found out he would be facing Daniel Santos. The Brazilian is 0-1 in the UFC and after back-to-back wins over Johns and Eddie Wineland, Castaneda thought he would get a higher-profile opponent but he is excited about this matchup.
“I figured I would get someone coming off of a win. But, at the end of the day that speaks volumes about Daniel, too and they see the potential in him,” Castaneda said. “He showed up in his last fight against Julio Arce and he put on a good fight. He pressured 15 minutes the whole fight and maybe the matchmakers saw someone with him who’s a pressure fighter against me and in my last showing who also came forward for 15 minutes straight and they think it will be an exciting fight.”
With John Castaneda expecting a high pace fight, he believes whoever is the one pressuring will have the most success. Although he doubts he will be the one on the front foot the entire 15 minutes, he is confident in his skill set to be able to piece up Santos.
Along with being the pressure fighter, Castaneda believes he has the power to end this fight as well as the wrestling advantage which is why he has so much confidence.
“I don’t expect to be leading the dance for the entire 15 minutes but my game plan is to pressure forward and mix in my wrestling if I have to,” Castaneda said. “I don’t think his level of wrestling is high at all. My pressure is on a different level… I don’t think he will be able to keep up with me and I know have power so once I find his chin, he won’t be a pressure fighter anymore. My goal is to get better every fight and I believe I have done that and am ready to prove it.”
If Castaneda gets his hand raised, he hopes he can get one more fight this year and hopes it is a ranked opponent.
“Three wins in a row, three finishes in a row I think that at least puts me in the talks to get a ranked opponent. At the end of the day, I’m just worried about this fight,” Castaneda concluded.
Do you think John Castaneda will beat Daniel Santos at UFC Vegas 61?