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Sass: I can't afford to lose to Castillo

ESPN staff
February 12, 2013 « Thompson vowing to halt Price march | Chartbeat test »
Paul Sass holds a victory over Jacob Volkmann © Getty Images
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Paul Sass claims he cannot even remember his first career loss to Matt Wiman, and insists back-to-back defeats this weekend is simply not an option at UFC London.

Sass became a headline-maker in an impressive start to his UFC career, submitting his first three opponents including Jacob Volkmann and Michael Johnson. However, the run was halted when Wiman gave him a dose of his own medicine back in September.

Now the Team Kaobon man has the chance to erase the memory of that loss when he meets Castillo at Wembley Arena this weekend, although he insists the Wiman defeat has been blocked from his memory.

"Honestly, I don't remember," Sass told the UFC's official website. "And I don't really want to relive that either. I'm trying to put that behind me, put that away with this fight now."

Castillo is certainly not an easy route back to the winner's enclosure. A Team Alpha Male member, he holds wins over the likes of Dustin Poirier, Joe Stevenson, Ricardo Lamas and Anthony Njokuani.

However, his last outing ended in defeat to a man Sass has beaten - Michael Johnson, and he has been submitted by the likes of Donald Cerrone and Shane Roller. Sass insists victory simply has to go his way this weekend.

"My coach told me I was fighting at Wembley against Danny, and I just said, `Yeah.' I couldn't say no; I want to get back to my winning ways," the Liverpudlian said.

"I know he's a good wrestler and he's got a powerful right hand, and that's all I need to know really. Either it goes my way, and I get a submission win or - well, I can't afford to lose, really."

Sass predicts he will be helped by the fact he is no longer unbeaten, insisting the pressure of protecting that record grew with every fight.

"It put sort of pressure on me - trying to keep the winning streak - so that's gone now," Sass said. "I'm going to come back ten times stronger now, and I have that defeat out the way. I can put that behind me, and just get back to my winning ways; make my way back up."

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