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.



Crazy that Ryo's wife worked at Pride. Interesting that he says that the US is a much better place to train.

Stephen said...

It's not surprising cuz he worked there and he prolly swooned her by doing that awesome scissor leg lock XP. Ryo's an interesting guy, but one thing i don't get is when he said UFC has enough fighters at the moment. Sure, Joe constantly says they have over 200 fighters in their roster, but I hardly see them. And their HW and MW divisions are really shallow. Joe Silva either needs to use all of their 200+ rostered fighters or recruit some better one.

patiwat said...

That's a great interview, thanks for translating it. The most interesting points in it were his comments on how Liddell v Silva wasn't a UFC-style fight and about the attitude of some of his team-mates in Japan.