Yorgan de Castro knows he has a lot of work to do if he wants to bounce back from his first professional loss.
The Fall River, Mass. resident and Cape Verde native lost to Greg Hardy at UFC 249 via unanimous decision to fall to 6-1 in his pro career and 1-1 in the UFC. de Castro started off strong early with leg kicks that appeared to rattle Hardy, but the former NFL star made key adjustments and started checking de Castro’s kicks, which caused an injury.
“I kicked him right in the knee (with the top of my foot), so I hurt my foot and my ankle,” de Castro told NESN’s Michaela Vernava. “I already got the X-ray. Nothing’s broke. I just strained a couple things in my foot so I’m going to be out for a couple of months.”
After landing 15 significant strikes in the first round, de Castro only landed nine in the final 10 minutes, according to FightMetric, as Hardy took over the fight and won.
“There were two options. Either I stop and lose by injury or I’m going to sit around and if he comes forward I will try to knock him out … He didn’t push, he was just controlling the cage.”
With de Castro sidelined for a while, he acknowledged there were some adjustments he can make with his physical condition that will help him back into the win column.
“I’m going to focus on my fitness especially,” de Castro said. “I should’ve been dropping a lot of body fat. I always use the excuse that I know I’m fast, and I have technique. I use that (excuse) to not lose weight and say, ‘Oh I’m fat, but I can fight.’ I’m going to take that out of the equation. I have to focus, drop some body fat, put some muscle and come different.
“Instead of weighing 265, I should be weighing 245. Better fitness, more muscle. Bottom line, I know how to fight. I will take care of my nutrition and focus more on my strength and conditioning and the next guy is in for trouble.”
Listen to de Castro’s full interview in the video above.
Thumbnail photo via Jasmin Frank/USA TODAY Sports Images