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.
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.
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?
- 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.