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?
- 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.