Monday, March 10, 2008

Tatsuya Mizuno challenges Mirko

DREAM finally announced an opponent for Mirko Crocop.

In the last press conference, Sasahara had told in front of press that he took applications from professional fighters who wanted to fight Mirko. Sasahara said in the press conference on Mar 11: I was contacted by approximately 10 fighters including foreign fighters. It was hard to pick a foreign fighter because DREAM has to manage a visa issue within a short amount of time. I chose Tetsuya Mizuno because I think he has a potential to be one of top MMA fighters in Japan. Mizuno doesn't have much fighting experiences in professional MMA events, however, he has a possibility to defeat Mirko and be a new start.

Tetsuya Mizuno was born on Jun 2nd, 1981. He is from Ibaragi, Japan. He started Judo when he was 13 years old. He won in the SHOOTO amateur event in Apr, 2005, won 4 times continuously in PANCRASE GATE, and debuted as a professional fighter on July, 2007 in PANCRASE. He has great striking techniques though Judo specialists usually don't have. He belongs to U-FILE CAMP which is operated by Kiyoshi Tamura.

Kiyoshi Tamura said, I suppose everybody think Mirko wins a fight when you heard of his opponent, Mizuno. I am very nervous but cannot wait to see how he handles this fight to defeat Mirko.

Mizuno said, I still cannot believe that I get this opportunity to fight in such a big event. I believe I have a chance to win and an equal chance to lose. I'll do my best to defeat him.

** After the conference, Mizuno answered questions by press **
- Did you apply for this fight by yourself?
Mizuno: Yes. I applied by myself because this is a great opportunity to fight Mirko. I probably cannot fight him if I miss this chance.

- You had a fight last month though?
Mizuno: I had a quick fight and had no physical damages. I have no problem fighting because I keep training after the last fight.

- Did you talk to Tamura before applying?
Mizuno: Yes. Mirko is a well-known strong fighter but I'm anonymous. I worried and felt fear fighting him. I consulted to Tamura and decided to apply.

Tamura: Mizuno talked to me about applying for this opportunity. I believe he wanted to fight but was nervous a lot. There is no reason to fight if he thinks he loses 100% for sure. I think this is a great opportunity for me to find out if he really has a potential to be a top fighter. I think he is not ready to be competitive for Mirko now, however, I have seen fighters who can do better in the ring. I hope he is the one of them and want to see how he fights. I hope he has a good fight and hopefully he brings us a big upset.

- What do you expect to see in this fight, Mr Sasahara?
: DREAM is a new MMA event and I would like to create a new value of Japanese MMA. I hope Mizuno shows us something which we have never seen. I chose him because I see his brilliant future. He will be a new hero immediately if he defeats Mirko, however, it's not that easy. I hope he shows us his passion to fight. He will prove that DREAM is the place everybody have chances to make their dream come true.

Other comment by Mizuno and Sasahar:
Mizuno said, I would like to exchange punches but I should take him down and work on ground if I want to win. Though Mirko is a great fighter, I think I have chance if he relaxes too much or makes mistakes. I'm aiming a big upset! Sasahara said, I think this fight won't be an easy fight for Mirko, because Mizuno has nothing to lose and do his best. If Mizuno wins, I will think about arranging a fight against Fedor for him.

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