In preparation for his fight this weekend, Castillo needed some assistance to face a southpaw fighter like Bailey, and while he always has great training partners at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, he needed a little extra help for this camp.
Luckily for Castillo, 20 minutes down the road is a gym housing two of the best boxers in MMA in Nick and Nate Diaz.
Castillo spent several days traveling to Team Cesar Gracie to work with the Diaz brothers, who he says were more than happy to welcome him to the gym to help him with his stand-up.
“Nick and Nate they’re sort of misunderstood, but the thing is they don’t really care about people’s view of them. So they sort of come off not the best of guys, but they are the nicest guys. They’ve done nothing but offer help, they offered me to come in there. If I wanted to train in there everyday I could,” Castillo said about the Diaz brothers when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
The Diaz brothers are great at fighting and not too bad when it comes to a little in-fight trash talk when necessary. It looked like Castillo might have picked up some of that as well when he took to Twitter a couple of weeks ago.
Castillo sent a message out about the work he had been doing with the Diaz brothers, and while it did mention his opponent by name, he says it honestly wasn’t done with any intent of talking trash or starting a beef with Shamar Bailey.
“I don’t have anything against the guy,” said Castillo. “I had tweeted, we don’t have too many southpaws in our gym, so I went to Cesar Gracie’s and got some work with Nate Diaz and the tweet that I sent was ‘Shamar Bailey’s a southpaw, but I spar with southpaws 10 times better than him, bring that (expletive)’. It got back to him.
“I wasn’t trying to be a jerk about it, I was just stating a fact. Nate Diaz is 10 times the fighter as Shamar Bailey. He got hurt about it and tweeted me, and been tweeting me this whole time.”
The two lightweights went back and forth on Twitter for that day, and it seemed to spark a little heat between them, but Castillo still maintains he’s taking the high road.
“I’m not a (expletive) talker, I’m not that type of dude. I respect the guy, he’s a firefighter and a fighter at the same time. That’s a noble profession and I don’t have anything against the guy, but he is standing in the way of the advancement of my career,” Castillo stated. “So, I hope he has a terrible weight cut, I hope he’s terribly tired in the fight, I hope I come away with the knockout or the submission. I want to finish the fight, that’s what I’m looking for.”
If Castillo did manage to get in Shamar Bailey’s head it may not be the worst of ideas.
Prior to his last fight against Evan Dunham, Bailey had been accused of being a wrestler who simply held opponents down without much of a striking game to back it up. In response, Bailey went out and had a three round stand-up fight with Dunham, but the end result was a loss.
Castillo admits he wasn’t trying to get in Bailey’s head, but if that’s what happened, then all the much better for him.
“It does appear that I did get in his head, which wasn’t necessarily the fact, my tweet was to the people that follow me and the people around me, and also for me. I just went 4 or 5 rounds with Nate Diaz and I felt good about it. I was excited about it,” said Castillo.
“I’m just looking forward to the fight, I need a win bad, he needs a win bad, so you’re going to see two guys out there that are motivated to win, and it should be a good fight.”
Castillo and Bailey kick off the Facebook prelims for UFC 139, starting at 5:45pm ET on Saturday night.