Fight Farm winner Jiar Castillo out to prove he's deserving of a URCC championship
"Alam ko kasi na nasa top level na ako eh, hindi lang ako nakakalaro sa pro, pero alam ko yung level ko." - URCC flyweight contender Jiar "The Twister" Castillo
Jiar Castillo isn't one to lack confidence.
When he took home the inaugural URCC/AFC Fight Farm championship back in November, he made it clear that was ready to take his game to the professional level.
He got the chance to prove that against argueably one of the toughest flyweights in the country in former title challenger Alvin Ramirez, a Filipino MMA icon and someone who had not been finished in his career.
In his first big test, Castillo passed with flying colors, becoming the first man to beat Ramirez via stoppage, something that even former champions CJ De Tomas and Hideo Morikawa couldn't do.
Now, less than a year after his Fight Farm run, Castillo gets set for the biggest fight of his life when he challenges reigning champion Derrick Easterling for the URCC flyweight championship.
"Masaya ako na nasa championship na, championship fight na, masaya syempre." Castillo told ABS-CBN Sports following Friday's official weigh-ins. "Bawat fighter pinapangarap yung maging champion eh. Kahit naging champion na ako [sa Fight Farm], syempre gusto ko maging champion ako sa pro level."
While Easterling has more wins than Castillo has fights, the level of experience isn't an issue for the Pinoy, who believes that he can compete at the top levels of the division.
"Alam ko kasi na nasa top level na ako eh, hindi lang ako nakakalaro sa pro, pero alam ko yung level ko."
Getting to train with the likes of ONE Championship bantamweight Burn Soriano and famed MMA coach George Castro at Hitman MMA, Castillo believes that he's already getting a wealth of experience under his belt, so the quick rise to title challenger status no longer a surprise.
"Alam ko yung level ko kasi yung mga kasama ko nasa top level na rin ng fighting sa international, kaya yung ibang fighter na nasa UFC, nakakasabay ako sa kanila, kaya ineexpect ko talaga na mabilis agad talaga yung pag-angat ko."
Believing that he has the edge when it comes to the striking aspect of the game, Castillo says that he doesn't see this fight going the distance.
"Tingin ko matatapos ‘to, hindi aabot ng five rounds."
Jiar Castillo challenges reigning champion Derrick Easterling for the URCC flyweight championship at URCC XXX this Saturday, August 12th at the Araneta Coliseum. Catch the exciting MMA action LIVE starting at 8:00 PM on S+A channel 23, S+A HD channel 166, and LIVE STREAMING on http://sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/urcc