In a recent interview, longtime MMA fighter Danny Castillo recalled how he knew his time in the sport is almost up.
Castillo knew what news he would be getting when he saw who’s calling. He knew this guy wouldn’t give any good news, and being fully aware of that didn’t make things go easier.
“I got the phone call, and I looked at my phone, and the Caller ID said, ‘Joe Silva’. My heart dropped a little bit, and I knew exactly what was going on. He called me, and he was like, ‘Hey man, this is never easy for me. I’m sure you know why I’m calling,'” Castillo recalled.
Castillo, who is holding a record of 17-10 MMA and 7-7 UFC, knew exactly what Silva would be telling him. After a 22-fight under the wings of Zuffa, with some gigs in the UFC and WEC, Castillo’s time with the UFC has come to an end.
Losing to Nik Lentz back in December 2015 was Castillo’s fourth straight loss inside the cage. So Silva, who is the matchmaker of the promotion company, had to do something. “Last Call” was actually thankful that he was given a bit more time to in the promotion company compared to others.
“I thought I was going to get the pink slip after the Jim Miller fight. It’s a competitive sport, and no one has that many losses and sticks around. I was waiting for the call for a couple of weeks. It’s a performance-based sport, and I just haven’t been performing my last few fights. There’s not really any hard feelings,” Castillo revealed.
Silva told Castillo that the UFC had around a hundred lightweight MMA fighters in the company, and they needed to make some room. However, a few victories in another cage could pave way for Castillo to get back in the promotion. Castillo, on the other hand, isn’t too thrilled that he is going to need to start again from scratch somewhere. After more than seven years under Zuffa, it’s indeed a bit scary for any fighter to start over.
“I just don’t know if I can see myself doing that. This is my home This is my family. This is what I know. I don’t know if I want to do that,” Castillo said.
After talking to Silva about his career in the UFC, Castillo had the chance to think about his next move. Fortunately, Castillo thought of sustaining himself well beyond his career by putting up a business three years ago. He founded a successful fitness studio named Sacramento’s P2O Hot Pilates & Fitness.
Castillo is very thankful that he was able to prepare way ahead before this career milestone happened. He revealed that putting up a business made this change less difficult, at least in terms of money. However, he also acknowledged the fact that being a businessman may have contributed to the fact that his journey of being an MMA fighter may need to eventually come to an end.
“To be perfectly honest, I dropped a few tears, and then it was like, ‘F-ck, where do I go from here?’ When I first came in the sport, I had something to prove. I lost my last wrestling match in college. I took second in the NAIA national finals, and it was just, I had something to prove – and not to mention, my livelihood pretty much depended on it because I didn’t have any money. After the sad part, I went back, and I just started to think about things. When I first came into the sport, I didn’t really have anything. I wasn’t making money or anything. I was actually taking the bus to practice, which was only like nine miles, but because of the bus stops and all that sh-t would take like 50 minutes to get to the gym. Then I started to get a little bit of money, and I got a little bit comfortable. I lost a little bit of fire. I lost a little bit of passion. I’m not sure where, but somewhere between a few split-decision losses and having money and bringing in money without the fight game, it just kind of got comfortable, and I know if I have that fight and that drive in me anymore,” Castillo shared.