- Did you expect to be fighting Mach Sakurai?
Not at all.
- When did you know about your match?
It was the day before the press conference. Mr. Saeki had forgotten to tell me till then.
- You said you heard about joining in "Yarennoka!" through the press and broadcasting in your blog.
That`s right. Mr. Saeki asked me if I would like to fight in "Yarennnoka!" before, but was not told after that. After training, a press guy told me that your name was in the list of fight in "Yarennoka!"
- How was your 2007? You became the DEEP champion and fought Kim Dong Hyung twice this year.
I don`t want to fight him again. I`m glad to be able to have a title match and be a champion. I have to do one more big fight left though.
- Are you thinking to do any performance on NYE?
I usually fight in smaller places and I do nothing but dashing in the ring.. I haven`t thought about yet but I should do something.
- You are going to fight as a DEEP champion on NYE. Do you feel any responsibility as a DEEP representative?
Mr. Saeki said he would send Mr.Hasegawa Mr. DEEP confidently. I think I don`t want to have a lot of pressure, but I will do my best and show the DEEP has higher level than when Mach was a part of us.
- I suppose the rule will be similar to the PRIDE rule. Can you adjust to the PRIDE rule?
My fight style will not be influenced by rules.
- What do you think about your opponent, Mach Sakurai?
He stays in the top of MMA for last 10 years. He has an amazing power to damage opponents. He said he would like to have a fight like playing a game, Final Fantasy. In the game, I`m the main person who started from 1st level and finally get a chance to fight a strong guy.
** Mr. Saeki interrupted and said you are not challenging him. You are the champion who is getting his challenge.
What? Don`t be like that. It is obvious I`m not taking his challenge but I`m getting this opportunity to fight him finally.
- Have you been depressed before the fight?
Yes, I have once in a while but it wastes of my time. I think positive and try to enjoy my fight. I like fighting and decided to come this far.
- You have a fight in Deep X on Dec 02.
I wonder if someone fights instead of me. My opponent is actually really good. This fight won`t affect to my fight on NYE. I`m sure I will win.
Mr. Saeki said this fight should not be arranged.
- Do you think the fight on NYE is important for your career as a fighter?
I am focusing on my fight and not thinking about my career after this fight.
- Are you going to use Sambo techniques?
- Any message to your fans?
I hope many fans come and see our fight on NYE. I can guarantee that watching the fight live is much more exciting than watching on TV.
- Any message to people who have never seen your fight?
I will show you my Sambo techniques which I brushed up in DEEP.
Translated from http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/other/column/200712/at00015481.html