His fight against Antonio Castillo Jr. was perhaps the most hyped of his career, and it was a big enough fight that Mark Cherico earned the main event slot at Pinnacle FC 15 over a title fight featuring Dominic Mazzotta defending against Solon Staley.
The fight had a big fight feel, but an unsatisfying finish as Castillo lost via TKO after a nasty ankle injury resulting from a Cherico takedown early in the first round.
“I can’t really put into words how I feel about the fight,” Cherico told BluegrassMMA. “I guess it’s a lot like blue balls because I didn’t get to finish. Tony came out of the gate fast. I expected to move around a little and set a different pace than what we’ve seen. He clipped me but I was able to pop right back up and secure the ankle pick takedown. When Tony got up I used that to transition to take his back and drag him to the floor. Sadly I didn’t get to attack with such a good position after that because of the unfortunate injury. I wish Tony a full and speedy recovery from the injury.”
So after a long training camp where he traveled to California to train with Team Alpha Male, Cherico doesn’t feel satisfied with the win over Castillo. He hopes to stay busy to capitalize on his 11-1 record and current hot streak.
“I plan to hit the ground running in 2017,” Cherico said. “I’m hoping to lock up a couple fights for late January or early February and early March. I want my shot in the UFC, and I think staying active is gonna help that cause.”
Mark also knows that to prove he’s ready for the next level, he’ll need to continue to face the best.
“I wanna face stiff competition,” Cherico said. “I want to continue to test myself. I want to fight guys so when the UFC Matchmakers look at my record they can see I’ve been tested & passed with flying colors.”
So after a 2-0 year, Mark plans to stay even busier heading into the new year.
“I seen a few things from this past fight I need to fix,” Cherico said. “So it’s back to the lab already to get to work. I enjoyed a couple days of junk food but now it’s time to get back to work.”
Check out full results from Pinnacle FC 15 here.