- Welcome back!
Yes, I'm back.
- How was your fight in Japan?
I felt good walking the passage to the ring, it felt like I knew what my fans were saying. I had never felt this way before though. It had a totally different atmosphere from the UFC, which everybody was united.
- Different from the UFC?
Yes. Japan is my second home as I told you many times. I think Japanese fans are the best who respect and support fighters. I'm appreciative.
- I suppose fans of DREAM are great because they are the former PRIDE fans.
Yes. Former PRIDE staff created this great event without resting. Fans who supported PRIDE gathered to this event to support and participate in this event, share laugh and booing... PRIDE was the best.
- Now PRIDE was started again as DREAM.
I lost consecutively in the UFC, was devastated mentally and physically. When I was wondering if I could get out from this, I felt like going home. I insisted to go back to Japan to get back my pride which I lost. Do you remember the gold medalist of the girl's wrestling of Athens Olympic?
- Are you talking about Saori Yoshida?
She had been an undefeated for a long time. At the time she had a record of 119-0, she lost by decision. I remember she has the same last name with my friend, Yoshida.
- Do you know her?
I saw her documentary which started from the day she lost. She broke down crying and couldn't even answer any questions. After that, she decided to go home and trained in her dad's wrestling gym to recover from her shock. My manager, Ken, recommended this video. Although I couldn't understand its narration in Japanese, I could tell that she realized where she came from through training with kids.... I really understood how she felt. Ken helped me to realize what I should do to recover. I realized that PRIDE was my roots as a fighter. PRIDE brought me lots of pleasure, pain, worries, fear and tears. I was supported by thousands of fans who gather and support me. That event was miracle.
- Miracle? I agree with you.
Yes. I felt this way not because the event was MMA and was produced in Japan. It's very hard to explain.
continue to Kakutogitsushin No.443