Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sakuraba missed a press conference on April 30

DREAM had a a press conference in Tokyo on April 30. All winners of the 1ST round showed up except Tamura and Sakuraba.

In spite of the very beginning of the tournament, all fighters fought very aggressively and had great fights. I am sure that this event will standout if we keep up our good job. Tamura injured his right hand and went to see a doctor today. As for Sakuraba, I suppose he is not here because he is hungover and sleeping now. He won yesterday and had a party after the fight. He must be KO'd by alcohol. I hope he attends the conference when we announce fight cards of the 2ND round.
- What do you think about Sakuraba?
Sakuraba can do anything he wants. He chose to sleep today because he drank too much last night. I don't drink and I believe this is a part of my job to attend this conference.
- Any thought about your fight?
I had a great experience fighting in DREAM yesterday. I felt like fans supported me. I don't know my next opponent yet. I will train hard and be ready for a fight with heart in my style next time. I believe I'm the one who wins at the end.
- What do you think about Sakuraba?
After the fight, I had fun having dinner with my teammates. I couldn't sleep well till morning and am kinda tired. Sakuraba can do whatever he wants to do. I like the way he is.
- Any thought about your fight?
I found a couple of things to improve myself from the fight yesterday. I will do my best next time by fighting aggressively. I will talk to Tanikawa about my participation in K-1 Japan GP and would like to fight in that event if I can. I put all I have in both events. I see many passive young fighters in K-1 Japan and they are just waiting chances. I would like to show them that they have to be aggressive to get chances.

- What do you think about Sakuraba?
I had a party with my teammates and drank a bit. My teammate woke me up this morning and I could come to this conference.
- Any thought about your fight?
I was glad to defeat Denis last night. I will go back training after taking a week break. I will train hard to win in the 2ND round.
- What do you think about Sakuraba?
Sakuraba is a great guy. He trains even if he is hungover. I cannot concentrate if I drink during my training and fighting though. I had Korean dinner and went to bed after the fight.
- Any thought about your fight?
I'm happy I could win last night. I could sleep well because the way I won was ideal. I can start training tomorrow if I want to because I didn't have any major damages. I stay in the good condition and show an exciting fight in the 2ND round.
- What do you think about Sakuraba?
Sakuraba must be good at partying. I hope he tells me how to party and enjoy a lot next time.
- Any thought about your fight?
I like the way I won yesterday. I'm happy to be here with other winners. I'm happy to win by submission quickly. I'm actually surprised. I will go back to my training and develop my ground techniques. I want to prepare for the 2ND round.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DREAM 2: post fight interview 2

** Kazushi Sakuraba **
- How do you feel now?
I'm tired. Nakahara was very well-balanced fighter. He is only 25 years old and he will be a strong fighter if he trains more. I had to give him a hard time as a senior fighter.
- You had his take downs.
He was good at using the ring and young.
- How did you like fighting in Saitama?
The traffic wasn't bad at all. Audience was great. I can feel sense of unity with my fans whenever I fight here.
- You fight in the 2ND Round, right?
I hope other fighter do their best in their next fight. I'm not in the tournament.
- Sasahara said you won't earn any prize money even if you win.
I'm not talking about money. I don't like the tournament and don't want to be involved in this. Please leave me alone.

** Andrews Nakahara **
- Your tackling and ground techniques were great for your first MMA fight. Did you train a lot?
I didn't have enough time to gain ground techniques. I trained a lot at cutting his tackles. I had a great fight though I lost.
- Are you going to fight in MMA again?
Yes. I learn that it is not easy to win in MMA. I'm appreciative of everybody who supported me, including Mr. Matsui and staff from Gokushin Kaikan, Francisco Filho, my colleagues who trained with me and my family.

DREAM 2: post fight interview 1

** Shinya Aoki **
- Tell me how you feel now.
I wanted to finish this battle smiling at the end. I had hard time and many things which I couldn't agree with last month. Now I'm happy thanks to support from my colleagues and staff.
- What do you think about your fight?
I enjoyed a lot dealing with his powerful punches. I really had fun fighting him and didn't even know what the result was going to be.
- What was your game plan?
I was going to take him on the ground. I believe I have the best guard skills on the ground in the world. I had confidence that I could win if I took him to the ground.
- Did Calvan move as you expected?
Yes. He fought as I thought. He was going to punch me, take down, and punch from the top position. He believed he could finish me by punching because I was not good at taking punches. Well, all he did was what exactly I expected though.
- What do you think about your opponent in 2R?
I cannot think about the 2R now. Please consider of my feeling. I just finish fighting.
- You got his leg in the 1ST round.
I thought I could finish him because I got his bad leg. He escaped and I missed his leg though.
- Calvan didn't stick with fighting in the standing position. Do you think because he was injured his knee?
Ask Calvan. I think he had pressure to fight in the standing position because he knew I was good in the standing from our last fight.
- Could you stay calm during your fight?
Yes. I'm a man who has a common sense and calm down.
- Did you feel any danger?
I got an extremely strong pounding when I tried to get his achilles tendon. I was dying at that moment.
- You had a face lock at the corner. What were you going to do after that?
I was going to finish him by that face lock to revenge what he did to my neck. I cannot survive if I got that, although he trains hard and that didn't work on him.
- You finally finished this business. At the same time, you defeated a HERO'S champion. What do you think?
It is 2 years since I started to live by fighting. I feel like I'm finally independent. Before this fight, I depend on Saeki and other Yarennoka staff, and Saeki helped me to live. All hardship I suffered was paid off today. I got an energy to survive no matter what difficulty I face in my future. I had a great fight. It was great day today. I'm happy and thank you for all of your support!

** J.Z. Calvan **
- What do you think about your fight?
It was good fight. I could do my best.
- Was Fighting on the ground a part of your game plan?
Yes. I was going to do anything either on the ground or in the standing position.
- Why do you think you lost?
I thought I won.
- Do you disagree with the judge?
Aoki controlled the fight well today.
- He submitted your arms.
I have an excellent flexibility and didn't think he could submit me.
- Do you have any damage on your leg? Aoki said he heard the sound of breaking something.
I didn't hear anything. His grappling skills is the world top level.
- I saw you had a taping on your knee.
I don't want to say anything about my knee. Once I got in the ring, I forget about my knee.

** Taiei Kin **
- What do you think about your fight?
Minowaman was a real professional wrestler and good at handling my punches well.
- You had good control kicking him.
I could give kicks to his face, stomach and legs. I could only give 2 kicks in row and not more than that though I tired. I couldn't sleep well and I wasn't good at adjusting my weight this time.
- Why couldn't you sleep last night?
I was excited to see his entrance performance. I slept only 3 hours and I wasn't in a good condition at all.
- Who would you like to fight next?
I have no idea now.
- Do you still want to fight in K-1 Japan?
Yes. I want to fight in either Japan GP or Asia GP. Minowaman was an extraordinary fighter.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gono will come back in Sep or Oct

Akihiro Gono updated his blog and talked about his condition on April 26.

I woke up at 7:30 AM yesterday and went to see a doctor. As a result of an examination, my hand is 95% cured and I got a permission to do some light weight training and rope-jumping. I suppose my hand is healed 100% next month and will start training normally. I will start weight trainings gradually and come back fully in June. I will train 3 to 4 months and come back to fight in September or October. This is not more than my prediction though. I should be careful until I actually heal.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Aoki"s interview with GONKAKU

Shinya Aoki had an interview with Japanese MMA magazine, GONKAKU.

- How have you been since your last fight?

I felt very miserable for a week after that fight. Besides taking examinations, I did nothing really.
- Did you need time to change your feeling and face the reality?
It took a while to accept that result and have motivation to fight Calvan again.
- Did you avoid thinking about fights while you were taking your time?
No. MMA is a part of my life and cannot spend anytime without thinking. I thought things were getting complicated though.
- When did you start training?
Within a week after that fight, I guess. I knew people around me started talking about a rematch and I had to prepare for that.
- When did you get an offer of a rematch?
Right after that fight. I was surprised to hear that at first though.
- You wanted to fight him again someday?
I wanted only if my fans expected to see us. I also thought Calvan was selfish.
- Do you have any personal feeling to this fight?
Nothing emotional, but I'm kinda irritated to see the way Calvan is. I suppose he didn't care what happened.
- What do you think about the result of your last fight?
What he did was very painful for me. I'm not going to complain about the result my sponsor made though. I accept that.
- You have never had a situation like this before.
I'm not a type of person who gets emotional about my opponent. This maybe slightly different to call FATE, however, we should end this battle and have a conclusion this time for sure.
- I worry about your condition.
I do my best conditioning for my next fight.  No worries because I train normally every day.
- I'm glad to hear that. Did you watch your last fight?
Yes, many times. The way that fight developed was ideal. That was not what I expected, however, not bad.
- What kind of impression did you get from Calvan though you fought for a very short time.
I had thought that he was extremely strong and powerful, although, he wasn't really.
- Did you feel Calvan was cautious about your attack? I can tell he was trying to keep a distance.
Yes, I agree. I was also trying not to stay in his favorite distance.
- I've never seen him being so cautious like that. I suppose you could see his attack and I was impressed to see you avoid his high kick.
That kick freaked me out actually. He threw his right kick right after his right straight so that I could see it well.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aoki had Zazen training

Shinya Aoki had Zazen training in Shinjyuku Chuo Park in front of many press people. He sat down with folding his legs and hands, closed his eyes and started to meditate. Saeki was also there to supervise and told him to calm the body and the mind. 5 min. after he started, he opened his eyes and screamed that he was getting a good energy and ran around the park.

According to Saeki, Aoki started Zazen training since the press conference on April 4th. He does this for 30 min. everyday. Aoki said, "Many things happened, however, I started Zazen to calm down and remove my emotions. I did all I had to do and the only thing I have to do is adjustment." He was asked why he chose this park today and said, "The reason why I chose not a temple but this park is I will be a homeless if I lose. I have no schedule after April 29 so far. I don't even think about the 2R. I will have a good result on April 29 and clean up my past." He saw his fight video in DREAM 1 and was asked about his opinion. "Thought I look bad in the beginning, I was cool at the end. After this fight, I will be a God child. "

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kazushi Sakuraba Interview

Sakuraba who fights in the DREAM middle weight GP 1R had an interview with sportsnavi.

- DREAM 2 is next week.
I haven't decided if I fight in the GP or not yet. I have been telling that I won't fight in the tournament for last several years.
- However, you fight in DREAM 2, right?
- Do you watch fight videos of your opponent, Nakahara? He has fought only in karate competitions before though.
Yes, of course. Unlike Jiujitsu, MMA fights always start from a standing position and I can learn something by watching videos.
- I heard you don't take too much time researching about your opponent though.
I just check his basic style and movements like a right handed or left, a couple of times.
- Nakahara is unexperienced in MMA fight and a young fighter, so he may have an aggressive fighting style. Are you afraid of?
Nope. I cannot determine if he will be aggressive or not based on his experiences and age. I adjust myself to his style.
- Do you think this will be an easy fight?
I don't think so. I'm kinda worried about karate kicks which I cannot expect where they come from.
- Have you fought anybody who had Karate background before?
I don't remember actually..... I think I fought someone from Israel when I belonged to UWF Inter. That guy thought I didn't know how to attack him. He looked very surprised when I gave him knee kicks to his face.
- Are you preparing for this fight? Sparring with fighters who have Karate background?
Not really.
- Why do you have a negative attitude toward fighting in tournaments in general? I remember you had the same attitude for the PRIDE GP.
I don't like it both mentally and physically. When I fight in a tournament, I think about my next fight and cannot focus on my current fight. I don't like this feeling.
- You pay attention to your next fight and that works bad for your upcoming fight?
Yes. I think the fight itself will be boring because I protect myself not to get injured. When I was an amateur wrestler, I fought with thinking about my next match.
- Do you mean you save your energy for your next fight unconsciously?
I think so. I had many matches in one day when I was an amateur wrestler. I always tried to save my energy for my next fight. I didn't feel satisfaction because I cannot do anything without being afraid of getting injured.
- Do you think DREAM shouldn't have any tournament?
Yes. I told them so many times.
- Do you any feeling about fighting in Saitama Super Arena? You haven't fought there quite a while though.
April 29 is the first day of Golden Week. I had a bad experience fighting in a holiday before. I was delayed because of the traffic. I was really tired before the fight started.
- The traffic affects your performance?
Yes, a lot! Sunday is fine because no traffic though.
- Why don't you stay around the arena then?
I live close by and it's not necessary to stay overnight. I like to start my fight day from home, then I can leave around noon.
- Any message to your fans?
I probably think about accidents etc if I fight in the GP. If my fight is one match, I will have a great fight.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Akiyama won't fight in DREAM2

Yoshihiro Akiyama had a press conference on Apr 21. In the conference, he said he was not able to participate in the middle weight tournament because he fractured his nose. Aikyama and Sasahara attended to this conference.

Akiyama won't fight in the tournament. I'm sorry to announce this especially to his fans because they must be excited see him in the middleweight GP. We discussed until the last minutes and had this conclusion. I hope everybody understand his condition.

Akiyama injured his knee and his nose in Yarennoka. After the fight on NYE, his doctor told his injuries would be cured by April, so he was training for the tournament. In April, he got a punch on his nose and bled a lot during a training even though he wore headgear and 16 oz gloves. As a result of an examination he found out his nose was fractured, however, he kept training. He believed he could fight in some way or other because the nose wasn't swollen and stopped bleeding. He was going to fight without telling about his nose if his doctor didn't stop him. Although, his doctor warned him that his fight would be stopped whenever he got a single punch and started bleeding. Akiyama showed press the diagnosis and his x-ray.

Sasahara was asked if he would fight from the 2ND round.
Sasahara: I am not thinking about that.
Akiyama: I'm not going to fight from the 2ND round. I won't take an offer even if I get.

My nose was almost healed from the damage from Yarennoka, then I got a punch to the exactly same spot. I am told it takes 3 weeks to be cured. I apologize to my fans, sponsors and all other people supporting me from the bottom of my heart. I really wanted to fight in GP. I have my goal and dream now and 3 fighters who I want to fight now fight in the GP. I will be ready to fight in June and won't show up in DREAM2.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sengoku press conference on Apr 18

Sengoku had a press conference about Sengoku 2 on May 18. Sengoku announced Yoshihiro "Kiss" Nakao vs Big Jim Yokr and Mike Pyle vs Dan Hornbuckle.

I'm glad to fight such a good looking guy. I'm not only nervous but excited because I haven't fought for a year. My opponent is good striker as well as has good ground techniques. I believe I can show how much I developed myself by training for a year. My fans will be impressed to see my performance and victory, and they will expect me to fight Fujita.

Kuniyasu(Sengoku PR):
We picked 1 Japanese and 1 foreign fighter for Roger Gracie, however, both of them were injured. He has requested us to notify him of his opponent soon and now we are negotiating with another guy. Though Kevin Randleman canceled fighting IGF, I believe he can fight in Sengoku and we will announce his opponent next week. We are negotiating with a famous heavy weight foreign fighter and may be able to give you a big surprise. If this fighter sign up with us, he will fight in a main event. As for Yoshida, I hope he is ready to fight in June though we are too busy working on our upcoming event to talk the detail about his next fight. Regarding Kazunori Yokota who is a DEEP lightweight champion and requests to fight Gomi, Gomi's manager said he is pleased to hear about Yokota. We will definitely work on arranging their fight.

DREAM announced 4 more fights in DREAM 2

DREAM announced additional fights in the middle weight tournament 1ST round on Apr 29. Fights announced were Taiei Kin vs Minowaman, Tanakhmadov vs Zelg Benkei Galesik, Dong Sik Yoon vs Syungo Oyama and Ronaldo Jacare vs Frank Trigg. Sasahara said, "I heard about Akiyama's injury. He went to see a doctor for an examination today. We are not going to let him fight in the 2ND round as a recommended fighter like we did in the light weight tournament." Dream will decide if he fights in the tournament or not after all things considered. Kin, Minowaman and Oyama appeared after Tanikawa's speech and had short interviews.

Syungo Oyama:
Yoon and I have the same Judo background and jumped into MMA. I imagine many people don't think I get the title at the end, however, I'm confident about myself and will stand out from the rest of the fighters.
- Have you seen Yoon's fights since his debut?
Yes. I was excited to see how he adjusted himself from Judo specialist to MMA fighter.
- Have you seen him in his judo period?
Never. He was famous and watched his games.
- Yoon improves himself with fast pace.
He makes good use of Judo techniques proves himself as a Judo specialist in MMA. I learn a lot from him.
- His specialty is an arm rock.
He won't miss a chance of arm rock. My strong point was an arm lock as well when I was a Judo player, and I can tell the excellence of his submission. We both shared an experience and struggled to prove ourselves. I'm very excited to show our growth in the ring.
- Why do you think you can win this competition?
I've had lots of experienced since I started MMA. I suppose other fighters did same though. This is my time to get everything I learned together and shine.

Taiei Kin:
I'm from a country, K. I have an impression our fight will be heterogeneous martial arts. I will do anything to win.
- Are you training MMA now?
Yes, very hard. I started MMA training 4 years ago. I have been focusing on ground techniques since the end of last year. Will see what happens!
- What do you think about your fight?
I don't know yet. He has a long career in MMA and is a very experienced guy. I usually study a character and techniques of my opponent before fight. I will be driving myself crazy if I try to analyze him. I will just learn his fighting style.
- Minowaman is good at locking legs though.
I'm a striker. Our fight will show our specialty clearly and everybody can see our backgrounds are different. I think I can escape from his locking though and he cannot finish me.
- You have fought fighters who are from pro wrestling before. Do you think your experiences will help?
Minowaman is a bit different from other pro wrestlers. I have to be fully ready for this fight to defeat him. I want to move on to the 2ND round. I'm also thinking to participate in K-1 Japan in June.
- Are you aiming for both titles?
Fighting in 2 tournaments in the same month has some problems, I guess. Although, I want other people to stop complaining, and I want to do whatever I want.
- Who do you want to fight in the 2ND round? Sakuraba?
Sakuraba is the only Japanese fighter who may submit me by grappling. Before Sakuraba, I want to fight Akiyama or Misaki who doesn't fight in this tournament though.
- Akiyama may not participate in this tournament because of his injury.
Really? I think all fighters always have injuries. He should fight no matter what, without thinking deeply. He has nothing to lose even if he loses.
- Do you want to fight him because you don't agree with the fight result when you fought him before?
Nope. My debut fight in MMA was against him. He is strong and I want to fight him because I lost last time.

- What do you think about your opponent?
He believes in Karate. He supported Kick and K-1 from the time it was founded.
- When did you know about him?
He was popular and saw him in a magazine when I was 18 or 19 years old.
- He fights pro wrestlers and has good results.
I have more experiences in MMA. I will stop him.
- Are you training for this fight?
What I have to do now is conditioning of my body.

- Did you know about Akiyama today?
Yes. I don't know anything about his condition except he was injured his knee during his training. I don't even know it's right knee or left. It was a big surprise.
- Have you picked his opponent yet?
Of course.
- You said you won't let him fight from the 2ND round?
I don't like to let one fighter start from 2ND round as a recommended fighter. As far as Uno, his achievement in the lightweight class is remarkable and has been fighting in MMA for long time. I think Uno should be OK to fight from the 2nd round.  Akiyama won't get the same with Uno, based on his experience and achievements.
- He is a champion of HERO'S though?
That's something he should be highly evaluated for. Although, it's too soon since he just started MMA and he only got one title. No matter what happens, I will have 9 fights including Aoki vs Calvan.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yoshida wants James Thompson on Jun 8

After a press conference of TV commercial for "DHC for MEN", he answered questions by press.

"I would like to build up myself to be ready to fight in Jun 8. My opponent? James Thompson is ideal. I will be sure to get even with him this time."

After fighting him in NYE, 2006, he found a part of his liver was necrosis. He is confident that he recovered fully by taking an examination after the fight with Josh. He will start training hard soon to raise the name value of Sengoku.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Katsuhiko Nagata Interview

Katsuhiko Nagata had an interview with DREAM. This interview was posted on Apr 11 in DREAM official website.
- DREAM announced that your opponent will be a winner of the fight, Aoki vs Calvan in DREAM2. What do you think?
After the first round, I switched my motivation to the next round, though I have to wait a little bit longer to find out my opponent. Be honest with you, I'm very honored to fight either Aoki or Calvan. I'm definitely excited about fighting either one. They have a very short time to prepare for my fight. I can tell the sponsor determined that I'm the easiest fighter for them and picked me up as their opponent. Don't be kidding me. I will prove myself!
- Are you upset?
Well, I'm glad to get this opportunity fighting such a tough oppornent. Although, I wish I could fight in the same condition. I mean they may be tired and have damages from their last fight.
- What do you think about their fighting schedule?
I cannot even imagine having such a hard schedule. I believe I will do what they do though.
- You think you cannot lose this fight?
Yes. Our fight won't be an easy fight. I understand how exhausted they are, however, this is my chance and use this advantage to win.
- How do you prepare for your next fight?
I learn about both of them. This is good to improve myself to be an all rounded fighter, because I got train both kicking and punching.
- you are very positive.
I think so. I cannot survive if i'm a negative thinker.
- Which fighter do you want to fight?
I want to fight both. If I fight Calvan, I want to be the fighter who defeats him. If I fight Aoki, my evaluation by others will be better if I have a good fight and result.
- Any message?
I really want to go on to the next round. I want to do all I can do in any position.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Aoki Interview with DREAM

DREAM official website posted Shinya Aoki's Interview on Apr 14.

- You fight J.Z.Calvan in DREAM 2. Tell me what you think.
Nothing. I just fight him. This is a decisive battle for me and do my best with my strong motivation.
- How's your neck?
I fight within a month after having a terrible injury which forced me to stop fighting. This fight has a lot of meaning and I want to be ready 100%. My time has been stopping since that night. I'm the only one who can start my time again to move on. I didn't do anything wrong last 2 times. I wonder why we have troubles like this. I'm going to finish this business.
- What do you think about your fight in DREAM1?
I would say that was obviously his foul play. I'm not going to complain about the decision DREAM made now. I and my fans still don't understand why that result turned out like this. It's wasting of my time thinking about my past. Next fight is all I care about.
- How did you spent your time after that fight?
I met many fantastic people including my fans and got many warm messages. Those made me smile when I woke up in the morning. I should be positive. I believe my experience will be a big plus in my career someday.
- I heard your fans requested to see your fight against Calvan.
I'm glad to hear that. No matter what other people think, I want to fight him for myself and that's my dream. If my fans like to see my fight with him, that means they share my dream and fan.
- You have 3 weeks before your fight.
I do my best, so that I won't complain about my performance later. That's all I'm thinking about. I show all I have now and will burn in the ring. I'm not saying I want to win. Please see how I win.
- Are you thinking about fighting on May 11 in DREAM 3?
I win on Apr 29, but not fight on May 11. That's their business and not me. I'm not well-considered person to agree with fighting on May 11. I'm not thinking about a fight after Apr 29. I may fight if I had an easy fight on Apr 29.
- Don't you want a belt?
Not interested in. My next fight has more meaning than a belt.
- Do you have the confidence to win?
Not confidence. I win for sure.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yoshida Interview with Kamipro

Hidehiko Yoshida's interview from Kamipro 121.

- 1 week past after the debut event of Sengoku. How's your condition now?
I feel fine. I have pain on my ankle though.
- Did you start your training yet?
Not yet. I want to take a break.
- You lost by his submission. This is your first loss by submission. Did you get any mental damage?
I admit he was strong.
- You trained with him. Did you feel something different?
Yes. It was 6 years ago when we trained together. He was definitely much more powerful than before. I was also tired because I wore the gi.
- Were you really tired?
Yes. I feel so sorry for my fans though. I wish I could do better and have more exciting fight. I tried to escape from his last submission, however, my gi bothered me and I couldn't get out. I was so frustrated. I don't complain about wearing gi because that's what I decided.
- You chose to wear Gi by knowing a merit and demerit.
When I wear gi, it's hard to get out once I was caught. I actually didn't train wearing gi. I was exhausted. I think I made a good decision because I have a pride as a Judo specialist and I knew everybody expected me to wear the gi.
- Josh said this fight was Catch Wrestling vs Judo and Pro Wrestling vs Judo.
Does Catch Wrestling mean Pro Wrestling in English?
- I don't think so, but Josh made a pro wrestling technique called back drop.
I jumped for him. I didn't get much damage from that action. The weight difference worked good for him.
- Your team, J-Rock, supports Sengoku. I guess you felt like a part of this event.
Yes. We created this event all together. I was worried about how much attention we could get. I was glad to see many people came to watch this event though it was weekday night.
- Whose fight impressed you?
I think everybody did good job. I didn't watch Gomi's fight which was right before my fight though.
- Before your opponent was announced, there was a rumor that you fight Roger Gracie.
I heard of that rumor. To be honest with you, I had never heard of him. I heard he was a champion of ADCC.
- You chose Josh. Why?
I picked Josh because he was famous here in Japan. My fight was a main event of the debut event. I needed someone who gets attention.
- Any thought about your next fight?  You continue fighting, right?
We have to create a hero in this event. I will do anything to support a new star. I hope young fighters like Gomi have exciting fight for fans.
- What do you think about DREAM?
Both events do well for Japanese MMA. I wonder why Josh fights in both Pro Wrestling and MMA.
- I guess he sees benefits fighting in both.
I like pro wrestling. Since I started Judo, I put myself in not an entertainment but in a real fight. I don't like when people consider these two as the same. When I retire from MMA and get an offer from pro wrestling events, I will definitely think positive though.
- You were laughing when Fujita and Graham started to fight in the press conference. Why?
I wasn't going to. I didn't know what to do because nobody stop them!
- When is your next fight? in May or in June?
I cannot be ready in May. I guess in June. I don't want to fight anybody now.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ryo Chonan Interview with Kamipro 121

Ryo Chonan had an interview with the Japanese MMA magazine, Kamipro.

- Your fight in UFC 85 and your opponent, Roan "Jucao" Carneiro, is announced. You fought him in DEEP 3 years ago.
Yes. I guess Joe Silva liked our fight in DEEP. I'm excited to fight him again because he improved himself and does good in the UFC now. He even had a chance to defeat Jon Fitch.
- Do you go to the US for half a year to prepare for your next fight?
Yes. I will train at Team Quest again. I'm not sure yet if I stay with Henderson's house or his manager, Ryan's house. When I trained there before, they supported me for everything. I'm going to stay there for half a year this time and would like to be independent financially.
- I heard you just got a baby. What does your wife say?
She understands about MMA and that the US is the better place to train.
- She used to work for a public relations department in PRIDE.
Yes, that's why she gives me permission to do this.
- She is very supportive. I have never heard of other fighters do this.
I guess. Kosaka had trained in the US when he was a single.
- Why don't you train in Japan?
I see more things I want to learn in the US. It's wrestling. I want to brush up by training with fighters who fight in cage. I guess I can have similar training in Japan if I try, however, I don't feel right training in Tokyo.
- That's all?
It's hard to pull up my motivation in Japan. MMA is an individual contest, although, Ryan says one unmotivated teammate destroys other fighters. This is my personal opinion, but fighters in Japan have different goals. I want to train with fighters who have good results in MMA.
- I have an impression many fighters in the US tend to workout individually and go their ways.
I only know about Team Quest which fighters are united all together when they train. Their attitude is very professional and different with fighters who I saw in Japan. I don't belong to any gym and would like to workout in my ideal place.
- Now 2 new events started in Japan. Do you think you should have waited?
Not at all, because the UFC is the best MMA event all over the world. I'm not talking about the fight money. Fighters there are the top level and I have never regretted about my decision which I chose the UFC.
- Other MMA events in the US will be broadcasted by 3 major TV networks.
Yes, I heard about that. When Ryan came to see Sengoku, he talked about Oscar De La Hoya who is interested in promoting MMA.
- MMA may become a bit softer because some event broadcast on cable TV.
I don't think everything will be softer. Although, I felt weird watching the fight of Liddell vs Silva. That fight is not the UFC style. That was exciting fight, however, other fighters also agreed with me.
- I think that's a part of their business. I think the UFC considers having a Japanese fighter in the championship fight won't attract their fans. Okami wins many times, however, he hasn't gotten any chance for a belt.
I think we can change the sponsors mind if we prove ourselves. Look at Anderson Silva. It was regrettable to see Henderson was defeated by him. Although, his performance encourages me because he is one year older than me and shows we can still develop. He is a real top fighter.
- The UFC is not more popular than Japanese MMA events though.
I know. I wonder why the UFC doesn't broadcast in Japan. That's not my business though.
- Do you think more Japanese fighters fight in the UFC in the future?
I don't think so. I heard the UFC has enough fighters. So, now I have to prove myself, otherwise I won't get any call from them. I believe MMA in the US will expand their market more and more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kawajiri Interview

Tatsuya Kawajiri's Interview from the DREAM official website.

- Your opponent is Luis Buscape.  What do you think?
I have fought him before and know his style and skills.  We will show each other how much we improved since last fight.  I don't want to lose.
- You defeated him by decision in PRIDE BUSHIDO 8 in July 2005.  Tell me about the last fight?
He was a good wrestler, powerful and insistent on tackling me.  He wanted to put me on the ground, however, I preferred the standing position.  He never gave up taking me down and he was good at handling my punches.  It was a very tough fight.
- Did you like the way you won?
No.  I never felt good whenever I won by decision.  I'm disappointed about winning by decision and my fight in the 1R of this tournament.  This time, I want to win by a submission or KO by all means.
- Did you watch his fight against Miyata yet?
Yes, a little.  He hasn't changed.  He is powerful and definitely he improved his skills.
- I heard Buscape was very excited fighting you because he lost last time.
I guess so.  He got a chance to take revenge on me.  I won't be dominated by his power and high motivation.  I cannot lose this fight since I won before.
- How do you fight?
I fought him before and I already have an image of my next fight.  I should believe in the strength of my punches and do my best.  My fight in the 1R was criticized a lot by people.  I want to shut their mouth and show my ability.  I'm not only talking about my next fight, although, I want to have a good fight.
-  This is your 1st fight in your 30's.  
Yes.  I want to leave a ring with a smile on my face.
- You told me you have a lot to say about a recommended fighter by DREAM.
Yes.  I'm not in the position to argue about the decision made by a sponsor.  I don't like it but I'm going to leave my feeling to Ishida.  I wish I could fight him though.
- You heard about a rematch of Aoki vs Calvan.
I'm excited to watch their fight as a MMA fan.  However, I worry about their conditioning and injury.  It's fantastic if the winner of them can continue to fight in the 2R, however, it's hard for fighters to prepare for their next fight in 10 days.  Ideally, a winner fights in the 2R and I win this tournament at the end.
- Anything you want to say?
Winning this competition is the only way I can wipe out all my concern and unpleasant feeling. Whoever I fight, I win and want to get a belt.  It's very honorable to be the first champion of the very 1st tournament.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mitsuhiro Ishida interview

Mitsuhiro Ishida had an interview with DREAM posted on April 08.

- Your opponent is Caol Uno in the Light tournament 2ND round.  What do you think?
Well... He is a strong fighter and I just do my best.
- What did you think when you found out about Uno?
I was like "Does he fight?  Really?"  I thought he wasn't going to fight in the tournament because he didn't fight in the 1st round.  When he said he wanted to fight in May, I though he was talking about one match.  I'm not in the position to say anything about the decision the promoter made, although, all other fighters fought in the 1st round and advanced to the 2ND round.  Aoki and Calvan fight in Apr and one of them may fight in May as well.  It's not fair to start from the 2ND round.  I wonder how he could accept this offer.  I cannot believe him.
- I heard he was chosen based on his experiences in HERO'S.  He will represent HERO'S...
Then, why didn't he start form the 1st round?  Calvan is the one who represents HERO'S because he is a champion, but not Uno.  A represenative of HERO'S, J.Z.Calvan, fights Aoki!
- So, you can't agree with?
Not at all!  Only his supporters and his fans are happy about this decision.  I don't know what other fighters think, but I cannot accept this decision.
- Kawajiri said "I have lots to say.  I entrust Ishida in the role to show our feelings."
Yes.  I was entrusted by Kawajiri.  This feeling will be a good pressure and enhance my motivation.  I will change my disgust into the energy.
- You cannot let him fight in the final?
Yes.  I think so.
- What do you think about him as a fighter?
He is good at controlling his fight.  He put pressure on his opponent in the second half.  I think it's dangerous if I was put in his pace.  He is mentally strong and has strong passion to MMA.  That's what I have to be afraid of and he is a tough opponent for sure.
- What do you think you are better than him? 
I have stronger motivation to this fight.  I know he also has competitive spirit though.  This fight will be all about pride.  
- What do expect about your fight?
We will have a lot of movements.
- What is the turning point of wining and losing?
I think the concentration is a key.  If I lose my attention, I will be put into his pace.  He is an all round fighter and it is essential for me to keep my concentration, motivation and stamina to win. 
- Everybody is excited to see your fight.
I should stay focused on my training without thinking about what everybody expects from me.
- Do you think you will definitely win? or it will be a big upset if you win?
I don't think my win will be a big upset.  He has longer career in MMA and had good results in HERO'S, however, I fought in PRIDE.  I don't think I'm in lower level than him, however, he could be stronger than I imagine.
- Any message?
I think there are many people who have same feeling about Uno with me.  I will do my best to respond to their expectation.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Uno appeared at "CAGE FORCE 06"

Uno told about his next fight in "CAGE FORCE 06" which was on Apr 5.  He is an adviser to this event and made a speech in the ring before the event.  

Everybody expected him to say  something about his fight because other fighters who fight in the 2R complain about they way he is treated by DREAM.  He just said, "I will have a good fight with Ishida.  Thank you for your support."

In the press conference of DREAM on Apr 4, Sasahara said "I will set up an opportunity for him to speak up what he thinks"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another fight in Sengoku 2 announced

Sengoku announced about participation of Kevin Randleman and Big Jim York on Apr 3.  Today, Apr 4, Sengoku announced a fight of Yuki Sasaki vs Jorge Santiago in GRABAKA gym.  In this press conference, Kikuta, Gono, Yokota and Fukuda showed up.

Sasaki is one of great fighters who supported GRABAKA since being founded.  He has leadership and is very cool guy.  He is one of the top middleweight fighters in Japan who fought in SHOOTO, PANCRASE and the UFC.  Sasaki was supposed to fight Santiago last Nov in the middleweight tournament of StrikeForce, although, he couldn't pass a medical check by California Athletic Commission and its fight was canceled.    

Sasaki: When I first saw Santiago, I had an instinct of fighting him someday.  I was disappointed that I couldn't fight him in StrikeForce last year, although, I'm glad to have this opportunity in Sengoku.  I don't want to be defeated by anybody, especially a fighter who belongs to a big team such as American Top Team.  

Kikuta:  Sasaki is a total fighter who has good ground and standing techniques.  He hadn't had chances fighting in any big events in Japan before.  I'm appreciative of getting an offer from Sengoku.  I hope he does his best.

Gono:  He is a guy who everybody rely on, and gives us good advice.  He is like Bustamante in BTT.  He didn't have good chances in his past.  He has a lot of potential and I hope he will be a top fighter starting from this event.

Fukuda:  I have my fight in May and train together.  I hope he has his fight.  

Yokota:  His ground technique is the top level in GRABAKA.  I hope he prove himself and win.

DREAM: announced 4 fights in the Lightweight GP 2R

After announcing about Aoki vs Calvan, Kwajiri, Ishida and Nagata showed up, and 4 fights in the Lightweight tournament 2R was announced.  

Sasahara: We had Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro, Kazunori Yokota , Caol Uno and Gilbert Melendez in our mind as a recommended fighter by DREAM.  Ribeiro has a full schedule as a champion in another event.  Yokota is in injury.  Based of the past records and achievements of Melendez and Uno, we chose Uno.  

Ishida:  I cannot understand about a frame of a recommended fighter to be honest.  I don't even see Uno here today.  I wanted to fight someone who won 1R and advanced to the 2R though.  I wonder why one person can start from the 2R.  (To a question what he thinks about Uno) He was a champion of SHOOTO when I was a trainee in Takada Dojo.  I respected him at that time, however, I don't know now.

Kawajiri:  I'm very disappointed of my fight in the 1R.  I trust my ability next time and prove myself.

Nagata:  I will fight anybody.  To get this title, I will do my best.

Aoki:  Has my opponent in the 2R been announced yet?  I haven't heard  about it.  However, that's the promoter's business and not my business.  I will show 120% of myself to my fans on Apr 29.  I will prove myself.  

Sasahara:  I hope we are able to have a fight of Nagata vs a winner of Aoki and Calvan in DREAM 3.  I understand the possibility that a winner is not ready to fight in DREAM 3.  I offer a fight in such a short notice and they may get injury.  I offer this fight not as a part of the tournament but as one match.  

DREAM: Announced the rematch of Aoki vs Calvan

DREAM had a press conference to announce 4 fights in the Lightweight tournament 2ND Round and the official result of Aoki vs Calvan on Mar 15.  DREAM decided to do their fight over on Apr 29 and the winner will fight Katsuhiko Nagata in DREAM 3 

Sasahara:  We inspected their fight video with a rule director.  Aoki complained of getting Calvan's elbow to his neck.  As a result of watching their fight carefully again and again, we couldn't tell exactly what happened.  From one side we say Calvan's elbow hit Aoki's neck, and from another side we didn't see that happened.  We also have been requested to have a rematch by the fans.  So we asked both fighters to fight again in DREAM 2 and they consented to our offer.  

Aoki:  I couldn't fight him in NYE and I had a result like that on Mar 15.  I'm so mad and want to complain about many things.  I will put all my anger into my next fight and definitely win.  I will show what I want to say in the ring.  (To a question about his condition) I will be 100% ready in the very day of my fight.  It doesn't matter if I'm training now or not.  I have to be ready for my fight no matter what.  
** He looked like very unpleasant and being irritated, and didn't talk much.  He left after the conference immediately and didn't have an interview with press.

Aoki seems to close his blog?

Aoki updated his blog on April 04.

I fight on Apr 29.  It's time for me to come back to the ring.  I'm sure I will win.

In next few hours, he got many nasty comments.  There are some comments supporting him, although, he never explained to his fans about his condition or anything.  That's one of reasons he got many nasty comments by fans and anti Aoki fans.  It would seem that he closed or moved his site without saying anything.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gono updated about his condition

Akihiro Gono updated his blog and talked about his condition.

My routine is training and taking English classes recently. At first, I'm going to talk about training. I had a good result when I took an examination last week. My doctor said I could run with swinging my arms finally. I started to run yesterday, although, I'm going to run every other day not to put too much stress for a while. My legs are sore today but not too bad. I guess because O2 chamber treatment in my place worked efficiently. I ride my bike everyday and I feel fine with my lungs. After running, I had shadow kicking training, sit-ups and etc.

As for English classes, which I take 3 times a week, I'm very into studying English. I had a class today and cannot wait next time. I really enjoy learning through fun conversations with my classmates. I think I increased my vocabulary in a month. Today my teacher said, "Your pronunciation is improved!" Awesome! Though I was told that I need to work on vocabularies at the same time. My classmates are mostly cute girls and a beautiful girl like her in my pic. I'm not saying I cannot wait a next class because of missing them.

My life is much better these days. I enjoy everyday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kazushi Sakuraba Interview

DREAM official website posted an interview with Sakuraba.

- DREAM announced that your participation in the middleweight GP officially. How's the right leg?
My right leg? It's healed. I don't think I can fight in the tournament because my left leg is now injured.
- Your fight was announced in the conference though?
I came here to open the door for Funaki's interview, and somehow my fight was announced.
- Your opponent is Andrews Nakahara from Kyokushin Kaikan in Brazil.
I heard he was a champion of Kyokushin. I suppose submissions by Karate fighters are painful.
- In his profile, he knows Brazilian kicks.
I throw Brazilian punches trained in Chute Boxe Academy.
- Have you fought a Karate professional?
Never. As usual, I cannot expect what he does and that makes me nervous. All I can do is to watch his Karate video. I don't want to get his kicks. Well, I haven't decided if I fight or not yet anyway!
- Tell me why you don't like the tournament?
I want to concentrate on my upcoming fight and put everything into the fight. I don't want to worry about the next. I also have a problem with my legs.
- Are you talking about your NEW injury on your left leg???
Yes. Look, swollen, right?
- A bit though.
Look, one more time from the side! You know what, I have been telling not to fight in the tournament since I spoke in the ring in DREAM 1.
- Yeah right, your injury was switched from the right to the left though.
My left was in a serious condition. I doubt if I'm ready for the tournament.
- Now you represent "Laughter 7". Do you feel anything different?
Not at all. I'm not 100% sure if I fight yet. I always don't get excited when my fight is announced. I'm finally stimulated on the very day of my fight.
- If you fight in DREAM 2, it was long time since you fought in Saitama Super Arena. Do you like fighting in Saitama?
Yes, Saitama! I'm not excited yet, however, I like there. It' right across the highway exit. That's what I like about the most. I felt awesome driving the highway which had no traffic every time. I got off and arrived in a second. I have had a miserable fight before. I was exhausted that day because of the traffic.
- Really?
That traffic congestion made me super tired. I ran into the opening right after arriving in the parking.
- I hope no traffic on April 29.
What day is April 29?
- It's a National holiday.
Is it the fist day of long national holidays? It's dangerous. I guess I should take a train if I can get seated. I cannot fight if someone kicks my leg in a train!
- I hope the traffic is not bad. Any message to your fans?
Thank you to your support. I will probably fight.