UFC 172: Danny Castillo discusses bond with Duane Ludwig and plans for future

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

UFC lightweight staple, Danny Castillo discusses his outside ventures that will secure his future and the upcoming departure of friend and trainer Duane Ludwig.

It's been five months since UFC lightweight standout, Danny Castillo lost a super tough majority decision to Edson Barboza. While the contest ended up garnering a $50,000 fight of the night bonus for him, Castillo still feels the sting of a loss that many felt should have gone to Barboza. Rather than feel sorry for himself, Danny dusted off his shoulders and got right back to the grind.

Today he takes on Charlie Brenneman at UFC 172, but just a couple days ago, he sat down with MMA Sentinel for an interview and discussed his outside ventures that will one day secure his future and the upcoming departure of friend and trainer Duane Ludwig. Here's what he had to say:

Charlie Brenneman

I'm kind of glad I'm not fighting Ike (Vallie-Flagg). He's a good dude and who wants to fight a guy that makes you laugh and is really cool to you? I don't really know Charlie Brenneman so it won't be hard to fight him at all. He's really good at what he does, and that's making it an ugly fight. He's a great wrestler and knows how to use that perfectly for MMA. Even if he's able to execute that game plan. I'm still going to win, but it won't be an exciting fight like it would have been if it were Ike in there.

Duane Ludwig

He's leaving after TJ's (Dillashaw) title fight and going back to Colorado to pursue his lifelong dream. At first, I was a little heartbroken because you invest a lot of time and trust in your coach and we've done so well with him.

When I talked to him about it, I was a little bitter and was just like, ‘What the Hell, dude? I thought you were gonna be here for a long time. I thought we were gonna do this. I was gonna be a champ under you.'

When I talked to him about it, I was a little bitter and was just like, ‘What the Hell, dude? I thought you were gonna be here for a long time. I thought we were gonna do this. I was gonna be a champ under you.' So yeah, I was emotional, but when I talked to him, it was hard to stay upset. His dream has always been to have his own academy, and he's pursuing that.

He's moving back to Colorado to be close to his friends and family. Who am I to be upset with someone like that when it's basically what I did. I moved from the Bay area to be back home close to my friends and family and to pursue my dream of being a champion level athlete. If someone were pissed off at me for that, I'd be like, ‘To Hell with you.'

There's no hard feelings at all between Bang and me, but that's all I can speak for. As far as I can tell, there's no bitterness. We're still running it like he's our head coach and we have an open invite to go and train with him in Colorado. He said if we needed him to come out to train for specific camps, that option is open, too.

I'm close to him. He's not just a coach, he's a friend, a part of the family. Our team in general is like a big family. We're not just losing a coach, we're losing a member of the family. Believe it or not, the closest one to Bang isn't me, it's TJ. He's the one it's probably going to affect the most. I'm happy for him and his family. His wife and kids are great, so I'm happy for them to get to live out their dreams near loved ones and family.

The Future

I'm 34 years old. The reality of things is I don't have that many years left in the sport. I make good money, but it's not a huge amount. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, because I am a guy that started at 3 and 3 in the WEC and I make a lot more than that now.

I've grown up in the sport and I've seen what happens. Guys make a bunch of money and lose it. I don't want to call anyone's name, I just don't want to be one of those guys. I've decided to open a business. I have a hot pilates studio that I'm super proud of because in 10 months, we've become the Number 1 fitness/yoga/pilates studio in Sacramento.

I just closed on the lease for a 7200 square foot warehouse and am partnering up with a guy that has a business called Beast Metal and we'll be doing exercise equipment fabrication. It'll turn out some equipment for Crossfit and other gym styles.

I've learned a lot from Urijah (Faber), and am starting to become a bit of an entrepreneur. There's not a ton of money at stake here, but the money I have invested is already turning a profit. I want to invest in my future because when my fight career is over, I don't want to work a 9-5. I want to have it all laid out in advance and make sure I'm secure when it's all said and done.

You can follow Danny via his Twitter account, @LastCall155

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