With one grudge down, Antonio Castillo Jr. sets his sights on rematch with Mark Cherico


Antonio Castillo vs. Mark Cherico?

Antonio Castillo vs. Mark Cherico?

In a rematch more than five years in the making, Antonio Castillo Jr. (10-7) defeated Frank Caraballo  (14-10) via split decision in the main event at IT Fight Series 78 on Saturday night.

But after one grudge was settled, Castillo now has his sights set on another former foe in one Mark Cherico (11-2).

Cherico and Castillo squared off in one of the most highly anticipated bouts of 2016, but the fight itself was a little anticlimactic after years of build up when Castillo suffered a leg injury in the first round.

Cherico went on to compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series over the summer, but he was unable to secure a UFC contract as he suffered a knockout loss against Mike Santiago.

Cherico told me after the fight that he had been dealing with some injuries and that he planned to take some time off. He also mentioned that he switched careers and even gave up control of his Pittsburgh gym to friend Khama Worthy earlier this month. To me, it seemed as though it would take something intriguing to get him back in the cage.

And then Castillo called him a “bitch” in his post-fight speech on Saturday night.

And just like that, it appears as though we could finally be seeing the grudge between the two fighters settled once and for all.

When I reached out to Cherico to ask how he felt about Castillo calling him out, his response, among other things, was “annoyed.” He admitted he has a lot going on including dealing with injuries and his wife expecting twins next year. So it’s still probably a long shot to even happen.

But who would host this fight?

Well, if you’ve had your ear to the ground, you’d probably have heard the rumors that Pinnacle FC may or may not be planning a comeback show in the Steel City on March 24. This year has been surprisingly void of events in Western Pennsylvania, with the fights all but drying up in Pittsburgh after Pinnacle FC’s most recent show last December.

Stay tuned.

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