- Why did you choose DREAM?
Because I want to have fights with top class fighters and be a top fighter in DREAM where the most high level fighters in the world gather around. I believe Japanese MMA is the best and would like to liven up MMA in Japan. I would like to be considered a No 1 fighter in Japan.
- What does DREAM mean to you?
DREAM is where the strongest fighter is decided, and I want to be the one.
- Now HERO'S and PRIDE where you fought before are united. What difference do you think HERO'S and PRIDE have?
I think all the lightweight fighters in both events are great. Although, PRIDE had top class fighters all over the world and a PRIDE champion meant to be a No.1 fighter in the world. I suppose our fans may look at this event from the viewpoint of PRIDE vs HERO'S. I definitely don't want to be defeated by HERO'S fighters.
- What kind of impression did you have for HERO'S fighters?
I thought they were in delicate positions.
- How come?
Well, I don't consider HERO'S an ideal MMA ring. This is my opinion and I know some people will disagree with me. PRIDE didn't try to attract people by inviting fighters who don't have skills but are just huge. Who have nothing but big impact and are just famous.
- PRIDE was united with HERO'S though.
The alliance of 2 events doesn't mean both fighters get along with each other. I think it works better to have a distance from HERO'S fighters to maintain a good fighting spirit.
- What do you think about your opponent, Black Mamba?
I wasn't expected to fight him though I had known he would fight in DREAM. Now, I'm very excited to fight him.
- Did you know him?
Yes. I have an impression that he is a dangerous fighter. He has a good kneeing technique and has long reaches and long legs, which are extraordinary in our weight class.
- Tell me about your fight plan.
I think he will attempt kneeing from the front. I'm going to avoid getting them. What I have to do to win is being aggressive, giving pressure and controlling the fight.
- Mamba is from HERO'S.
Yes. I want my audience to have a picture of PRIDE vs HERO'S. I want to defeat him but try not to get injured because this is the first round of the tournament. I want my audience enjoy watching my fight and feel how fun and exciting the MMA is.
- How would you like to finish?
I would like to win by KO or a submission. I'm particular about how I win. I always show my fans how good I am by defeating my opponent clearly. I want to be a fighter who fans can always expect my one side victory. I will condition well and fight with 100% confidence.
- Do you have any particular techniques you want to use when you finish?
Nothing. I will do anything to finish when I get a chance. I wouldn't mind KO by striking and will strike a lot in this fight.
- Do you have any theme in this fight?
Needless to say defeating him, I would like to impress my fans and other middleweight fighter by having a good fight and giving a strong impact. I focus on having a good mental condition though techniques are necessary. I would like to refresh by giving him lots of punches.
- Any message to your fans?
I will have an exciting fight and it would be nice everybody can come and see live. If you cannot, watch on TV.