Yoshihiro Akiyama interview was posted on DREAM official website on June 6. This interview was took place on June 5.
- Your participation to DREAM is official. How do you feel?
I finally got a chance to fight. I am nervous because I haven't fought for a while and I have an injured spot.
- How is your injury?
Getting better. I'm relieved to see I'm recovering.
- What kind of training are you doing since NYE?
I avoided putting any damage on my injured area. I'm doing the same except that. I injured my knee and didn't spent much time for ground trainings.
- How did you feel when you find out your participation in DREAM.5?
I was very happy because I haven't fought for last 7 months and DREAM. 5 is in Osaka. I don't know my opponent but I'm very excited to fight in a ring.
- You have fought in Osaka before. Do you feel any differences fighting in Osaka comparing to in Tokyo and in Yokohama?
I'm from Osaka and my friends will definitely come by. It's wonderful having many supporters including my family both in Japan and in Korea and friends.
- What do you think about DREAM?
I have no idea. I hope DREAM creates a new MMA style. I think DREAM is not attractive event to increase MMA fans yet. It's too early to judge based on 3 events, however, I want DREAM to evolve itself at the same time I want to brush up myself.
- How do you feel that HERO'S doesn't exist anymore?
I feel kinda sad because I fought there. I don't look back my past and keep moving.
- Do you feel you represent HERO'S?
Not at all. I don't have any hard feeling to PRIDE fighters. I want to see my friends and colleagues win even if they fought in PRIDE before.
- You couldn't participate in the middleweight tournament.
I'm very disappointed.
- Do you think you could make the tournament more exciting if you fight?
I guess. I believe I could have done something to make it better.
- Who do you think win in the tournament?
I want a Japanese fighter to win, or Sik Yoon Dong.
- How do you feel getting booed? I guess you don't get much in Osaka though.
- Nothing bothers you?
Have you been booed before? You will see when you are booed once. You don't feel anything. I accept other people's opinion, but I don't care what other people think of me. I don't think I'm neither a heel or a hero.
- You said you wanted to fight a lot this year in the conference.
Yes. What I have to do is to make MMA attractive to more people. As a fighter, I think that's my primal job. To get more attention, we have to create something new and I want to make it happen.
- What exactly are you talking about? Do you have anything new to do in your mind?
I will tell you later.
- Any message to fans?
I have more time to develop myself for my next fight. I want to have an exciting fight.