Yorgan de Castro knows there’s a chance he gets knocked out by Greg Hardy at UFC 249 and he’s okay with that.
De Castro will return to the Octagon to take on Hardy on the main card of the stacked UFC 249 card. For the undefeated prospect, to be on this card is surreal and something he’s not taking for granted.
“It’s an honor. I feel blessed to be on a card like this,” de Castro said to MMANews. “Like I tell everyone else, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the main card or first fight of the prelims. I’d be honored and blessed to be on such a historic card.”
Entering the fight, de Castro is undefeated while Hardy had an up and down debut year in the UFC. Yet, for the 33-year-old he says the fight just makes sense and believes he’s getting the former NFL star at a good time as he knows Hardy will only get better.
“The fight makes sense. I’m 6-0, he’s 5-2. He’s a big draw, he’s got a big name and not ranked. I think he’s one of the top fighters and will only get better,” he explained. “The matchup style, I’m coming forward, I’m looking to strike. I’m not looking for takedowns, I don’t think he can take me down either. Two guys who are going to throw and see who has a better chin and who hits harder is a good matchup.
“We begged for this fight, I begged my management for this fight,” de Castro added. “They asked me if I was sure I wanted it and they can get a different fight but this is the fight I want and the time for it. If I want to take a risk I want to fight a big name.”
De Castro knows this will be a tough fight but is confident in his skill set. Yet, the oddsmakers don’t agree with the undefeated prospect. The Cape Verde-native is a sizeable underdog at +165. For the 33-year-old, he isn’t paying attention to odds as he knows he’s always overlooked as he was an underdog in his Contender Series fight and in his UFC debut.
“People are going to overlook me and underestimate me. I was 205 before, I’m not big or tall, I don’t have abs, you don’t know my gym,” he said. “You are going to underestimate me… Plus everyone that I fight comes from a big gym and a big name. They are going to underestimate me.”
In the fight, many believe one of them will earn a knockout win. Yorgan de Castro feels the same way as he’s confident he has more power and a better chin than Hardy and plans on proving that.
“One of us is going down and I’m okay with that. We are heavyweights, everyone has power and he’s fast also. I’m going to take my chances,” he explained. “I’m going to close the distance and exchange punches. I always say I’m willing to take one if I can land one and this fight is no different.”
In the end, should de Castro get his hand raised, he knows he’ll gain a ton of fans and hopefully have a number beside his name.
“Talking about rankings and my position in the UFC, I really don’t know. He’s 5-2, he fought five times last year and one was a DQ, no-contest, and he’s still not ranked,” he concluded. “When was the last time a heavyweight fought five times and still not ranked? I don’t know what it’ll do for me but I know fans will love me and I like the matchup.”