UFC On FX 5 will mark the occurrence of a rarity tomorrow night with it's Friday night fights edition. While the card is not saturated with big names, it is rife with talent, and the match-ups are designed to make one really put some time and effort into picking winners beforehand. It would appear that Joe Silva is due for a bonus, because he's definitely done his job in exemplary fashion. Most of the bouts are pick em fights, and I'll be flipping a coin on more than one occasion when I go to make my staff picks.
One bout that stood out to me was the one between Danny Castillo and Michael Johnson. Castillo has only dropped one loss in his last seven outings, and is on a three fight win streak. Johnson has won three of his five UFC fights and is on a two fight win streak. It's fairly safe to say that both men present a heavy challenge to one another.
Johnson, one of the first members of the talent heavy Blackzilian camp, seems to be realizing his potential and has visibly improved. With world class coaches like Alistair Overeem, Tyrone Spong, and Henry Hooft at his disposal for training, his striking has also shown marked improvement. In a recent interview, Michael discussed his fast approaching meeting with 'Last Call', and the expectations he has for the fight.
I would like to go in there and get a knockout. It's something I'm definitely going to search for, but he's a real tough opponent, and I know his style. I'm well prepared for it to go the distance. We've been training specifically for a three round war, so I'm ready for it if it goes that way. Ideally, an early knockout is good, but a three rounder is not so bad either.
Castillo has taken heat in the past, with fans voicing disappointment in the arena, due to what they deemed a lack of excitement or action. Michael isn't too worried about any fan fallout from this bout, and promised to keep it exciting.
Oh, I'll make sure it's not boring. That's not my style, and it's not how I like to fight. I like to give the fans a good performance, and for everybody; the UFC, my family. You have to make it well worth everybody's hard earned money. Boring fights are no good [laughs], so I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure it's not a boring fight.
There's no secret that he's going to come in here and try to wrestle me. He knows that. I know that. Everybody knows that. That's just the type of fighter he is. I came from a wrestling background, so this is nothing new to me. I'm prepared for anything he's got. I've fought plenty of wrestlers before, and I'm looking at this as him being just another wrestler I've got to fight.
Sometimes, when two wrestlers get thrown in a cage for 15 minutes, something amazing happens. They notice they have these extensions at the end of their arms called fists. On these occasions, when wrestlers decide to stand and bang, an expected chess match can turn into a very fun brawl. Michael doesn't really feel this will be the case with Castillo, though.
That can happen, because guys will end up being kind of tentative about shooting in on each other. I don't think that matters to him much. He's one of the guys that's gonna shoot, no matter what. I would hope that he would try to strike with me, and make it a stand-up fight, but we'll just have to see how that goes.
You can follow Michael via his Twitter account, @FollowTheMenace