John Castaneda was honored to fight Eddie Wineland.
At UFC Vegas 19, Castaneda was set for his second UFC fight, and on the other end of his contract was Eddie Wineland. For Castaneda, he says it was surreal to get the chance to fight the former WEC champion.
“To be honest, it was super surreal. I truly thought of it as a blessing,” Castaneda said to BJPENN.com. “He is a big name and he’s a pioneer, he’s a legend and I think a Hall of Famer. It was a big opportunity for me to get a win over Wineland. It was surreal to fight him.”
Although Castaneda knew Wineland was a tough person to fight, he thought the veteran’s chin wasn’t fully healed. Last June, he was brutally knocked out by Sean O’Malley, and Castaneda says he didn’t think Wineland’s chin was fully healed.
“I hate to say it, but he got brutally knocked about seven months ago and people don’t make a full recovery that quickly,” Castaneda explained. “If he was willing to fight, I was willing to fight, and it worked to our advantage. Who knows if his jaw comes back.”
Although John Castaneda didn’t think Eddie Wineland’s chin was fully healed, he knew it was still a difficult fight. The former WEC champion has a unique style and a ton of power which did pose Castaneda problems early on.
“As soon as I got into the Octagon, I felt his power and timing, and I had never been hit like that,” Castaneda explained. “I got tagged right away and I was like ‘okay, just take this first round to find his timing.’ I was able to find that right hand which led to the barrage of punches to get the knockout win. But, yeah, his style was a difficult one to figure out.”
Following the win, John Castaneda is hoping to have a quick turnaround and make a move up the bantamweight rankings in 2021.
“I want to fight before June. I am trying to move out to Las Vegas this summer but before I make the move, I want to fight one more time under the academy and Greg Nelson. Hopefully April or May against whoever they give me,” Castaneda concluded.
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