Both Danny Castillo and Michael Johnson have been diligently working their way towards the top of the heap in the 155-pound division, but something had to give in the final preliminary bout of the night.
Early on it looked like Team Alpha Male’s Castillo was going to get the job done.
“Last Call” landed a huge right hand early in the first round that sent Johnson flying to the mat.
Castillo followed up well and looked close to finishing the fight with both his ground and pound and a close submission attempt, but Johnson survived the round.
It was at this point that déjà vu must have kicked in for the fans in Minnesota.
Johnson came roaring back with a quick knockout win in the first minute of the second round, mirroring the bout between Mike Pierce and Aaron Simpson from just moments earlier.
What we learned about Danny Castillo
“Last Call” is a really good fighter at 155 pounds, and he had a really tough fighter on the ropes after landing that big punch.
The lightweight division is a really tough place to try and make your name, but Castillo is paying his dues and is slowly becoming a solid staple in the mid-tier of the division.
This isn’t to say that Castillo is destined to be a gatekeeper, but his overall game still needs some work before he can get a fight against a high profile opponent in the UFC’s deepest division.
What we learned about Michael Johnson
There’s been a lot of hype behind Michael Johnson since the day he became the top pick on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, and it seems like “The Menace” is finally putting it all together.
A rough first round showed that there is room for improvement, but Johnson showed a lot of heart and overcame the rough start to finish in exciting fashion.
What’s next for Danny Castillo
Castillo is still in a decent spot in the lightweight division, and he’ll get a decently ranked opponent in his next fight.
Fellow WEC veteran Jamie Varner has gone 1-1 since rejoining the UFC roster, but his win over Edson Barboza in May earned him a lot of good will with the UFC brass. A fight with Castillo would be a decent way for both guys to try and get back on track.
What’s next for Michael Johnson
“The Menace” asked for a step up in competition after his win, and I think Joe Silva is going to oblige him.
With a lot of the top fighters in the division already locked into fights, Johnson is going to have to settle for a fighter on the outside of the top ten, and a matchup with Matt Wiman could be a fight worth watching.
Wiman scored a huge win over undefeated prospect Paul Sass last weekend, and although Johnson fell short against Sass not too long ago, this would be a good fight for both guys to make a statement.