Cesar Augusto Castillo is in good spirits ahead of his third amateur contest at Rise and Conquer 11 on October 1st.
Cesar is no stranger to Rise and Conquer, having previously competed on the show twice before. On October 1st, he looks to attain his first victory inside the Octagon when met with Matt Crooks.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Cesar Augusto Castillo ahead of fight night at the Rainton Arena. Read the full interview below.
Interview With Cesar Augusto Castillo
Firstly Cesar, let us know a bit about your background and journey into the sport. Why was MMA a path you decided to pursue?
I’m originally from Honduras but moved to the UK when I was very young.
The first MMA fight I witnessed was Jones vs Gustaffson 1, and I have loved watching combat sports ever since.
A few years later, in 2018, I saw they were doing the first Ultra MMA charity event in Newcastle and decided to sign up to raise money for charity and fitness purposes. I did the eight weeks of training at MTK,
fought and found that I enjoyed it immensely! I’ve been training consistently ever since, mainly at MTK Newcastle.
Cesar Augusto Castillo Talks Preparation
Talk to me about your preparation ahead of October 1st and your training routine. Have you added anything new to your typical camp this time round?
To prepare for this fight, I’ve moved permanently now to TFT in Seaham to train under Andrew Fisher and the heavyweights there. The whole training camp and style of training is completely different to what I’m used to at MTK since I’m now training consistently with heavyweights. I was the only MMA heavyweight at MTK, so when training, I would often feel like I was doing well, but I found that wasn’t the case.
Now training with the best heavyweights in Europe at TFT, they point
out my mistakes constantly, and I feel like I’ve been rebuilt from the ground up. I can’t just brute strength anything anymore and have to focus on technique. I’ll probably never forget the word “POSTURE”.
I’ve also learnt plenty about my strengths and weaknesses being a shorter heavyweight, and so I’ve incorporated drills into my training routine that would benefit a shorter, stockier heavyweight.
Getting rounds in with guys like Michael Parkin, Phil Fries and Tom Aspinall must do levels for your confidence stepping inside the cage. How much of an influence have those men been on you? Any advice they’ve given you that has stuck with you?
I can’t put into words how much help Phil and Mick have helped me since joining TFT. The only thing I regret is not joining TFT sooner! They’ve taken time out of their busy schedules to give me advice, drill and spar with me. I learn something new every time I’m at TFT with them. Regarding advice, they continue to polish my game by pointing out mistakes I’ve picked up, sparring smaller folk for years. Things I thought I was doing well actually don’t work at all against heavyweights.
Also, shoutout to Tony, Bull and Cal, who have helped me so much with their invaluable experience and by doing rounds with me. My confidence is currently extremely high!
I didn’t actually get to do rounds with Aspinall either, but I did get to watch him and Phil spar and was in a class with him.
Having seen someone like Michael Parkin fight regular on Rise and Conquer and push through the ranks in the UK, to then earning a UFC contract. Is that a path you can look at for yourself and aim to find yourself on?
Even before joining TFT, I had heard of Mick, but it’s not until you get to train with him that you realise how deep his knowledge and skillset actually are. A very intelligent guy! He’s a credit to the UK. I’ll perform to the best of my ability and hope I can just win some fights for now!
On October 1st, you’ll stand toe-to-toe with Matt Crooks. Talk me through your thoughts on him and the fight as a whole?
I don’t really know much about Matt since it’s his debut. I know his head coach is the pride of Sunderland, Davey Grant, so he can’t be half bad. I’m just looking forward to it.
Keys to Victory
In your mind, what are the keys to defeating Matt Crooks on fight night?
I have more experience than him in the cage and at a competitive level. Other than that, I don’t know about his style, but if I have to, I’ll bring him into deep waters and force him to quit. However, I’d prefer the quick finish!
For those who have never seen you fight before, sell it to us. What happens when Cesar Castillo steps foot inside the Octagon?
My name has a nice ring to it, so the “Cesar” chants are awesome for both myself and the crowd. I’m always game, and I NEVER give up.
Can we get an official fight prediction from you?
First-round knockout or submission. I’d rather have a KO for sure, though!
Featured image credits to Rise and Conquer