MMA veterans Scott Thometz and David Castillo know each other well, but have never faced off in the cage. That changes tonight at CenturyLink Arena with Front Street Fights 9, presented by BodyBuilding.com, and with the first FSF Lightweight Title belt on the line.
Thometz, a Boise native, enters the match-up in familiar territory. He called it an honor to fight for the belt in his fourth FSF appearance. Four of his last five fights have come at CenturyLink Arena, and he’s coming off an impressive victory at Bellator 155 in May over Josh Tyler.
Castillo will fight for the first time in downtown Boise. He intends to reverse his recent fortunes to capture the belt in Thometz’s backyard and bring it back to Salt Lake City.
“Once we’re in the cage, it’s just another cage and another guy standing in front of me. It doesn’t matter if the crowd boos or cheers,” said Castillo, shrugging off the venue where Thometz should have a strong following. “When it’s all said and done, it’s him against me, we’re in there alone and may the best man win.”
“The W is going to look good on my resume. I’m looking to get the belt, bring it home, and keep moving forward with my career.”
Castillo carries considerable experience into the ring with a 19-8-0 career record. Those 19 wins alone exceed Thometz’s (10-5-0) 15 career total pro fights. Yet Castillo doesn’t expect that math to necessarily translate to an advantage for him, saying Thometz’s career totals give him plenty of veteran experience. Rather, it is Castillo’s background fighting against opponents of varying weight-classes that he believes will help him succeed.
“I’ve fought in a few different weight classes and I’ve fought some bigger guys and some smaller guys,” said Castillo, who believes fighting at 155 pounds is where he performs best. “I think being able to hang with those bigger guys will be beneficial for me, seeing as Thometz is a bit smaller.”
Thometz will come in with momentum on his side, winning four of his last five fights and facing an opponent with one win in his previous four outings. For Thometz, momentum is a real thing.
“There is definitely momentum, I think, especially when people are looking at who they’re fighting. It’s less about records and more about win streaks,” said Thometz. “Win streaks get you into the UFC and losing streaks take you out of the UFC.”
Four of Thometz’s last five fights have also gone the distance. While both he and Castillo say they have conditioned themselves to go 25 minutes in tonight’s main event, Thometz said he was well-aware of Castillo’s quick hands and the importance of keeping his own hands up and his chin down. Thometz has been successful in his fights that go to the card, but that’s not the plan.
“I’m really trying to give myself a chance to look for the finish a bit more. Some of the dudes I fought were just tough dudes who could take a shot, and it was impressive,” said Thometz. “I don’t try to go the distance and I will try to put David away, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I want to finish it as quickly as possible, quickly and violently.”
Every fight is important to a professional MMA competitor and tonight’s championship implications only heighten the stakes for both these fighters as they continue their climb in the sport.
“A good solid performance tonight can open the door to any promotion in the world. There’s a lot on the line and it’s a big fight for both me and Dave,” said Thometz.
”He’s in the same boat because we’re both getting a little bit older and our window is shrinking. It’s a big fight for both of us.”