Ultimate still thrills Castillo | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ultimate still thrills Castillo

Gil Castillo is quickly becoming one of the most decorated men on the South Shore.

The ultimate fighter recently captured his third title belt in the welterweight division when he defeated Nathan Marquart in Fresno, Calif.

Castillo took on Marquart, the Japanese Prancras welterweight titleholder, in a newly created weight class for the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Table Mountain Casino and Bingo.

He already held belts from the King of the Cage and International Fighting Championship.

The bout deemed as “The Fight of the Year” lived up to the hype as it went the entire 25 minutes.

“The crowd said it was the most technical fight they saw,” Castillo said. “It was the first time I’ve gone the distance in a fight.”

Castillo won the title by unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 4 to 1 in favor of Castillo and the other scoring 3 to 2 for Castillo.

Castillo easily won the first round and was on his way to winning the second as well when Marquart caught him with a flurry of kicks and punches to close the round.

Castillo pinned Marquart on his back as time was running down when the Japanese champion caught Castillo in the face with a kick while he was still on the mat. Marquart then followed with a combination to close the round.

“When he kicked me in the face I flew five feet in the air,” Castillo said. “Then he stumbled me with a knee and a punch.”

Castillo, however, recovered between rounds and won the final two to take the title.

His third championship has opened many doors for Castillo’s career. Both Pancras and Japan’s other premier fighting organization, Pride, were on hand to offer contracts to the winner.

“I found afterwards that Pancras was going to give him another belt declaring him the undisputed welterweight champion,” Castillo said.

But with Castillo beating Marquart, both Pride and Pancras are set to offer him a contract as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The UFC is offering a title shot at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas against the No. 1-ranked middleweight in the world. However, if Castillo takes the fight he will be fighting a man almost 20 pounds heavier. At 170, he would have to gain at least 10 pounds to take on the 190-pound Dave Menne.

At this point he is still weighing his options. Pride is reportedly close to offering a contract as is Pancras. It’s just a matter of figuring out the next best move for his career.

“We’re just waiting to see what happens,” Castillo said. “We kind of hold the cards right now.”

The fight at the Mandalay Bay, which just became sanctioned in Nevada, is very appealing to Castillo because it will be on Pay-per-view and in one of the biggest casinos in the world.

“It would be great to fight down there, but we’re just trading calls right now,” he said.

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