Thursday, July 31, 2008

WOWOW to broadcast the UFC again had an interview with a chief producer of WOWOW (PPV company in Japan). WOWOW restarts to air the UFC starting in October.
- WOWOW starts broadcasting the UFC.
We finally signed a contract with the UFC on July 11. I knew this news had been rumored before we officially announced it. We used to air the UFC. We wanted to maintain our contract, but unfortunately the negotiations were broken off and we stopped broadcasting after the UFC 70 in April, 2007.
- Dana White kept saying he had been negotiating with WOWOW for long time.
They approached us again in 2008. We were planning to show the UFC in HD starting April of 2007; although, the UFC terminated the contact. I remember we were very surprised and disappointed.
- PRIDE fighters started to fight in the UFC at that time.
We received much feedback from MMA fans asking us to broadcast the UFC again, yet our negotiation didn't go through. The UFC overrated the Japanese MMA market.
- Was their asking price an issue? I found out the price between the UFC and Korean PPV was very reasonable.
We had several issues including the price. Our economy has been very slow comparing to other Asian countries, such as India and Hong Kong. Regardless of the fact of our economy and the MMA market the UFC considered that they could get a better deal with us.
- Are you going to show only PPV events in the US or all the UFC events?
We are basically going to show all numbering events. Their PPV packages are 3 hours. We will condense into 2 hours by picking up 5 to 6 fights.
- Who do you think is viewers of the UFC?
Boxing is popular in 50 to 60 years old guys. MMA is popular in 20 to 40 years old guys. I want to drag boxing fans into MMA and also get female viewers.
- Don't you show TUF and WEC?
We don't for now. We will broadcast numbering events for a couple of years and will consider showing TUF and other events. I suppose TUF played an important role to make the UFC major in the US; however, now events are already popular in the world and I don't see any necessity to show TUF.
- Do you see any difference of the UFC fighters now comparing to fighters before?
I think so. It's hard to get a chance to fight in a title match now. We will show exciting fights in HD.
- We watched past good events on computer. We sometimes had bad Internet connections and missed moments which fighters finished their opponents.
I understand what you experienced. We are going to show good fights which we missed in August and September. We are going to pick only famous fighters and good fights, and so I'm sure everybody enjoy.

KID is ready for an operation.

KID Yamamoto updated his blog.

I went into a hospital to take an operation today. They are surgeons who take care of my knee. I'm getting nervous. This is the first step to come back to DREAM.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Joachim Hansen interview

DREAM official website posted an interview of Joachim Hansen on July 30. This interview was taken place on July 22.

- Congratulations! Now you are a DREAM lightweight champion as well as a winner of the tournament.
Thank you. I'm very happy and relaxed. I'm walking with light steps every day now.
- I suppose it was a great day for you yesterday.
My dream came true. By good luck, a favorable wind arose toward me and I didn't miss a chance. I'm appreciative of my teammates, fans and my family.
- You came here to fight in a reserved match.
I concentrated a fight with Black Mamba and didn't think about anything else when I was training. Frankly speaking, I had a slight hope to fight in the final somewhere in my mind.
- Is it hard to condition yourself mentally for the final?
No, I don't think so. I was fully relaxed after my fight with Mamba. A DREAM staff came in and told me that Eddy defeated Kawajiri but he was injured; therefore, I got a chance to fight in the final. As soon as I heard that, I was all pumped up for a fight with Aoki quickly. I believed in myself that I could get a belt and revenged Aoki.
- In front of the audience, Alvarez said you were the only fighter who could take his place in the final.
Eddy came to see me before the final and wished my luck. I received a positive spirit from him.
- You two get along with each other?
We are good friends outside of the ring. I didn't know him before we fought in DREAM.3. We had an opportunity to talk after our fight and became friends. We may hang out with when we both retire from being pro fighters.
- Did you talk to him after the final?
Yes. He congratulated me on defeating Aoki. He said that I deserved this belt. In response, I told him that I wanted to fight him first to defend my belt.
- What did you think about Aoki? You fought him in 2006.
He is a good fighter. He is a clever and dangerous fighter for others. I suppose he is one of the top grapplers in the lightweight. I didn't see how much he developed himself in last 2 years, to be honest. I improved myself a lot since we fought. Another reason I could defeat him was my second gave me proper advices.
- What do you use a prize for?
I haven't thought about it yet, but I want to make use of wisely.
- Tell me about your next goal.
I want to defend this title over and over again and keep this forever. See you in my next fight. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gomi is in an intensive training

Gomi udpated his blog.

It's summer! Beijing Olympic is starting shortly. We have a very hot summer here in Japan. I accidentally saw Olympians from Australia today and we had light workouts together. I wish I could participate in Olympics. They were very cheerful and cool guys. I heard Australia was in winter now. I didn't know Australia had the winter season.

I hadn't checked my weight for months. I checked my weight today and made sure if I stayed in 73kg or not. It's time for me to train hard with full of energy.

I always bring comic books and games to the intensive training.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gomi faces Seung Hwan Bang

SENGOKU had a press conference and announced fights in SENGOKU 4 on Aug 24. Takanori Gomi faces Seung Hwan Bang, who is a current DEEP lightweight champion.

I saw a couple of his fight videos. His fighting style reminds me of my style in SHOOTO. I consider that his weakness is a groundwork. I wonder what fans want to see in our fight. Do they enjoy if I take him down on the ground? I doubt it. I will built up my stamina to be able to fight in standing position all rounds. I'll train hard and I will be absolutely sure to win on Aug 24. I'm glad to fight my last fight in my 20's in the main event.

Seung Hwan Bang:
I'm very excited to fight Gomi. I'm a striker and will do my best to KO him.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gono called an ambulance.

Gono updated his blog.

I had a high fever last night when I came home from training. I couldn't sleep and walk straight. I didn't have anybody who I could ask to take care of me. I got nervous about my condition and didn't know what to do. So, I called an ambulance. I'm actually ashamed of what I did now. In the ambulance, my temperature was over 40.00 degrees (40C is about 104F.)

My tonsils are swollen very bad still. I took a picture of the tonsils. I think this pic is very gross, but I have been requested to post..........

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Aoki's column from

Aoki's column was updated on July 23.

I experienced a lot in this tournament. Even though I couldn't get a result I wanted, I have no regret about my performance because I did my best.

I lost because I was weaker than Hansen. All I can do now is to train hard and to be stronger. I cried after the fight because I knew my fans and supporters, who were looking forward to seeing me winning the tournament, were disappointed. In addition, when my teammates told me that I did my best, more tears came up to my eyes.

I couldn't achieve my goal this time; however, I definitely come back and get a title sometimes soon. I improve myself and I know I can be better fighter. No matter what other people say, I'm the one who represents DREAM!

~ He got a reward of $29K(JPY3000000) for his performance in the final. ~

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A reward of the lightweight tournament winner is...

I don't know Hansen's fight money but a reward which he received by winning the tournament was just JPY10000000, which is 94k in USD ($1=JPY107)

I'm not thinking about holding an event in the U.S. so far. I'm focusing on getting more MMA fans in Japan now. Our next event is on Sep and will try to announce details sometimes soon. I'm planning to hold another event on Oct or Nov. I will arrange a fight for Hansen this year.

We haven't decided yet but I want to offer Fedor a fight in Japan on NYE again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

DREAM.5: Post fight interview 2

** Caol Uno **
- How was your fight?
I wish I could win. I deeply regret that I was dragged into Aoki's pace.
- You were crying before the fight. Why?
I don't want to tell the reason. I was very emotional.
- Did you think about giving up during the fight?
Yes, a couple of time actually. I didn't give up, for I remember about my fans and a word from Moriyama, "A chance will come if I keep moving and avoid being submitted. "
- What do you think about a young fighter?
I admit he was strong.

** Tatsuya Kawajiri **
- How was your fight?
I'm not satisfied with my performance even though I did everything I could do. I let chances to win slip through my fingers because I couldn't do what I have to do. I lost because I was off my guard when I see a chance. That's why I'm not a top fighter now.
- What did you think about your opponent?
I had chances to win. I was attacked in the stand and got many punches and was pushed to the rope. I leaned what I'm lacking and what I need to improve to be a top fighter in this tournament.
- What do you think about your next fight?
I have no idea. I don't even know if I can fight in DREAM again even. I will take a break and start working on my weaknesses. I won't be come back before improving myself.
** Eddie Alvarez **
I'm disappointed that I couldn't fight in the final due to Dr. stop. I want to challenge Joachim for a title as soon as I recover from my injury.

** Shinya Aoki **
- How was your fight?
I lost. I accept this result and work on to be a better fighter.
- I think you were trying to do something before you were pounded.
I was so tired that I couldn't move as quick as I wanted.
- Tell me what you think about Uno.
I reconfirmed that he was a great fighter. I put everything I had in the semi final, and the final fight was something extra. My legs and my body were so sore after the fight with Uno. I had never said anything bad about Uno. I knew how good he was.
- You had fought Hansen before. How was your fight with him tonight?
I was so tired after 1R in the fight with Uno that I wanted to go home. I put everything I had in the semi final and didn't have any energy left for the final.
- Do you think you want to participate in the tournament?
I have no choice.
- How much could you recover physically and mentally before the final?
I was tired physically. This is not the reason why I lost. Everybody fought in the same condition. Hansen was a great fighter. I don't know about my mental condition. I think I adjusted and I ware ready for the final mentally.

** Joachim Hansen **
- You won this tournament.
Frankly speaking, I feel very strange. I came here to fight Black Mamba. I wasn't thinking about anything except fighting Mamba. I'm very happy.
- You didn't think about getting a chance to fight in the final?
My goal was to fight in the final when this tournament was started, but my dream was destroyed by being defeated by Alvarez. I knew I had a chance to fight in the final since my fight with Mamba was designated as a reserved match.
- What did you think when you knew you fought in the final.
I completely relaxed and was talking about which fighters would win this tournament with my teammates. When I was told I have one more fight, I reset and adjusted myself for my fight.
- You were defeated by Aoki once.
I followed advices which my trainer gave me, and everything went well. Aoki kicked me from the bottom when I was in the mount position. His kicks were very effective and I concentrated to find an unguarded moment. I caught him napping and won by throwing a good punch.

DREAM.5: Post fight interview 1

** Black Mamba **
Our fight was developed in my aggressive pace. I lost by tapping, but I don't regret anything about my fight. He was an excellent grappler. I am sure that he is a true top fighter. My trainer told me that I moved well and threw good punches.

** Joseph Benavidez **
- Tell me what you though about fighting in DREAM.
My dream came true. The atmosphere was awesome and it was totally different with what I saw on TV. I felt like being in a different world. Supported by many MMA fans, I enjoyed fighting.
- You fought in small events and now you could fight in DREAM.
I feel like my efforts such as hard trainings bore fruit. Small events I have fought were also good; however, I was so happy to fight in DREAM.
- What do you think about a change of your opponent at the last moment?
I felt strange when I heard about his cancellation. I had been asked so many question about KID since I arrived in Japan. In fact, I was confused because I trained so hard to fight him. I wanted to not only fight him but also fight in DREAM, so I'm glad that DREAM arranged my opponent and KODO agreed to fight me.
- DREAM may have a feather weight tournament someday.
If so, I would definitely like to participate in. I like fighting in a tournament and it would be wonderful if I can be a champion.
- Urijah Faber, what do you think about DREAM?
This event was cool and I felt a lot of potential to be better. This event has more top class 135lb fighters than other MMA events . I notice that stage effects were great too. I think Joseph did great job. I sent him to this event because I knew how strong he is and he could beat Kid.
- Don't you want to fight KID, Urijah?
I think it's not simple and easy to arrange our fight, and it will need more time. I want him to fight my teammates first. I think Joseph will prove that he is stronger than Kid. Thank you.

** KODO **

I couldn't do anything. This was my first time to fight a foreign fighter. He was strong and I wasn't good enough. That's why I lost.

** Yoshihiro Akiyama **

I was in a good condition including my knee. (I suppose you enjoy being booed.) I think no one is happy to be booed. I think I'm the only one who is always booed in Japanese MMA event. I should just play a role in DREAM after understanding how MMA fans think about me.
(Who do you want to fight next?) I want to fight Tamura because he called me names in public.
I will shut his mouth in the ring.

** Alistair Overeem **

I'm happy to win. As a result of trained very hard for my last fight in DREAM.4, I could have a good fight and win. I was offered this fight when I was in Thailand for vacation. I would definitely like to fight in DREAM again if I'm offered. I want to be a champion and I actually have an illusion that I am a champion sometimes. I would like to fight Mirko someday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

KID apologized to his fans for canceling his fight

Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto updated his blog.

Much to my regret, I was unable to participate DREAM.5. My condition was excellent, so I had a confidence that I would show my fans fantastic and cool performances. Unfortunately, I don't think I can come back this year. I will recover completely and have a fight next year. I start my training tomorrow and do what I can do now for my next fight.

DREAM: pre fight interview 4

DREAM official website posted interviews of fighters who fight in DREAM.5.

** Eddie Alvarez **
I'm very excited to fight in the final round. I have mixed feelings: I'm nervous at the same time I'm excited. I train hard for this day and would like to give my best. My condition is just great as usual and I have no injuries. Kawajiri is a big and strong wrestler. All fighters who remain in this tournament are strong for sure. I do my best to have a great fight. I prepare for this fight by analyzing his strength and weakness. The most important thing is to show everything I have. He is a big fighter in our weight class. Smaller fighters may sometimes be intimidated by seeing his body. I'm as big as him and won't be threaten by his appearance and muscles. I have no problem fighting twice because I have good endurance. I think Uno will win by decision. Even Aoki, who submitted many fighters before, cannot submit an experienced fighter like Uno. I have prepared for my fight with Uno as well. I'm going to prove that I'm the most hungry fighter among finalists. This is the biggest time in my MMA career. I want to be a well-known fighter by wining this tournament.

** Tatsuya Kawajiri **
I'm nervous as well as excited. I'm sick of thinking about fighting 2 times a day; although, I train enough to fight twice. All I have to do is to adjust my mental condition. Alvarez is a fighter who I wanted to fight since I participated in DREAM. I think we have many similar things; aggressiveness, reaches, heights and orthodox stance. This will be a good fight. (Who do you think win, Uno or Aoki?) I think a stronger fighter win. I have no idea and I only think about my next fight. If I defeat Alvarez, I keep up my enthusiasm and I will win this tournament. I want to be the first lightweight champion of DREAM. I do my best, so that I celebrate my victory with my fans,

** Shinya Aoki **
I'm very honor to fight in the tournament. My condition is not bad and I don't worry about anything. Uno is a very strong fighter and I have to be careful about so many things. I trained as usual. I'm confident that our fight will be a very aggressive and good fight. (Who do you think win, Alvarez or Kawajiri?) I don't know and I'm not in a position forecasting that. I focus on my fight with Uno. (You told that you were interested in conquering 2 classes.) Well, I meant I like to keep challenging to different things. I'm not thinking about a belt and other things. I cannot wait fighting Uno. Please come to see our event. This is my 4th participation in DREAM, and I guarantee that you see exciting fights.

** Caol Uno **
I cannot wait fighting Aoki. I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm excited mostly. My next fight is a part of the tournament, but I feel like fighting in one match. I'm in the best condition and try to keep this good condition until the last minute. Aoki is a very good grappler and I shouldn't be dragged into his pace. I will win by pulling all my techniques out no matter how our fight develops. Needless to say that I don't want to lose, I'm looking forward to fighting a young fighter. I suppose he will see my experiences in our fight. (Who do you think win, Alvarez or Kawajiri?) I don't know. I can move on to the next fight only if I defeat Aoki. I try not to think about other than Aoki. I want to have an enjoyable yet great fight.

DREAM.5: Pre fight interview 3

DREAM official website posted interviews of fighters who fight in DREAM.5.
*** Katsuyori Shibata ***
I'm very relaxed and ready to fight. This is an important fight in my life. (Akiyama seems to being very optimistic.) I don't mind how he considers about me. I'm the one who wins. Funaki didn't give me much technical advices. He believes my ability and my victory. I don't have any good impression to Akiyama actually. I think he has a lot of confidence to win and believe his abilities. I suppose everybody don't even think about I have a chance to win. I admit he is at an advantage, but we will see what happens. I imagine I can win. I have no game plan. I believe myself and follow my instinct to win.

*** Yoshihiro Akiyama ***
I'm glad to fight in Osaka and I cannot wait fighting because I haven't fought for a while. My condition is fine. I saw Shibata's fight video. I cannot analyze him by watching one fight; although, I think he is very aggressive and his straight punch is very good. I didn't have any special training for this fight. I trained to improve myself and to raise my potential. I have no idea what happens in our fight, yet I don't think our fight will end by decision. Shibata is showing his fighting spirit a lot. I don't think I relax too much. I felt blue when I heard about KID. He had a very important role in this event. I'm so disappointed because I wanted to see his fight like other fans. I'm excited to show my performance to my fans in Japan and Korea who have been looking forward patiently to seeing me.

*** Black Mamba ***
My condition is 100%. I'm glad that our fight is designated as a reserved fight. Our fight will be as fantastic as fireworks. I'm not satisfied with a decision judges made in my fight with Kawajiri. Although, I cannot change that decision now. Kawajiri obviously took damages more than I got. Hansen is very tough and one of the world top fighters. I prepare well for this fight. This is a war. I learned what improvement I needed by fighting Kawajiri. We cannot predict what happens in the tournament; therefore, I think one of us still have a possibility to fight in the final. I guarantee our fight will be the best bout in DREAM.

*** Joachim Hansen ***
My condition is good. I'm very glad to fight in a reserved match. My opponent is a very tough fighter. I was impressed to see his strength by watching his previous fight. I have to be cautious of his kicks and long reaches. I don't know how our fight develops; although, I have some tricks I want to use. MMA fights never go as we expect. I'm not thinking about a possibility to fight in the final. I focus on defeating him. I suppose this fight will be the hardest fight for him.

DREAM.5: Pre fight interview 2

DREAM official website posted interviews of fighters who fight in DREAM.5.

** Mark Hunt **
I haven't fought in MMA since I fought Fedor in 2006. I was disappointed see PRIDE lapsed. I wanted to fight in Japanese MMA again and accepted this offer. DREAM has superior qualities comparing to other MMA events; especially, its stage effects are tremendous and the best in the world. I think new great fighters will be discovered in DREAM. PRIDE was considered as the best MMA event, and I hope DREAM establish itself as one of the best event as well. I want DREAM survives and success in MMA. Alistair is one of the top fighters in the world and he is famous about his guillotine choke. I'm sure I win. I actually knew my opponent a short while ago. I have never had such a short notice before. My fight against Wandalei Silva was also announced in last minutes, yet I was notified 3 days prior to the fight. I just fight no matter who my opponent is. I want to get a heavy weight title in DREAM; in addition, I want to fight Fedor again if possible. I cannot wait fighting you, Alistair. Our fight will be an exciting fight which Japanese fans love.

**Alistair Overeem **
My last fight was ideal for me. I could express speediness and sharpness. Despite the fact that I fought about a month ago, my manager asked me if I was interested in fighting Mark Hunt. I accepted because I had an intensive training for 6 months before my last fight and I believed I still in a good condition. Moreover, I wanted to fight this guy, who is a former K-1 champion. I'm better than him overall. I'm quicker, stronger and well experienced. I guess he cannot keep getting my punches, but I know his head is as strong as a rock. I wish I had more time to prepare for this fight, but I have a confidence to win. I think my dream, fighting Mirko, will come closer by winning this fight.

** Joseph Benavidez **
I couldn't believe when I heard about KID. I was very motivated to fight a top fighter in the world and now I'm very disappointed. I definitely want to fight him when he recovers. My preparation for this event went very well, so that I can fight anybody. I don't think a change of my opponent works better, but I can adjust myself to any opponent. I was looking to forward to fighting in DREAM. My debut as an MMA fighter was in 2006. I used to be a wrestler and I was a champion in New Mexico. I fight at PFC in CA now. I have several excellent skills such as choking, boxing and kickboxing. My goal was to show that I was the best feather weight fighter by defeating KID. Now my goal is to win by submission or KO. I want to impress Japanese fans by having an exciting and a fast pace fight. I don't think I have any fans in Japan. Please expect to see my good performance.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

DREAM.5: Pre fight interview 1

DREAM official website posted interviews of fighters who participate in DREAM.5.

** Motoki Miyazawa **
I still cannot believe that I fight in DREAM. I think I'm in a good condition because I'm not nervous as usual and have no injuries. This is the first time I fight wearing short pants. Since my participation to DREAM was announced, many people who I don't often talk such as some of my friends and my dad have contacted me and cheered me. I received advices from Uno and Kadoma, who have fought in DREAM before. My impression about Hironaka by watching his fight video is that his style is similar to foreign fighters. He is a grappler who has both power and techniques. I don't have any fight plan. I want to have an exciting fight. My fighting spirit is gradually raised since my fight was announced and I really want to win this fight now. To fight in DREAM again, I have to win for sure. I want to get a chance to fight Mach Sakurai and Nick Diaz someday. I will have an aggressive fight.

** Kuniyoshi Hironaka **
I need to lose more weight. I concern about my weight more than my fight now. I couldn't get Miyazawa's fight video. I believe I will win if I carry out my fighting style. I trained a lot for this fight. I will take down and punch him from side and mount positions. If he is good at avoiding my punches, I will choke or submit him. We have trained together before and I remember he was a good grappler. My goal is to get a welterweight champion belt in DREAM. I want to fight anybody including Marcelo Garcia in MMA rules. I respect Mach Sakurai and would be fantastic if I can fight him. I will fight very offensively.

** Takeshi Yamazaki **
I'm excited to fight in Osaka. In my last fight, my opponent was stronger than I expected. I am not happy with my last performance and result. I regret that I couldn't submit or KO him, and so I want to have a KO or submission victory this time. I think my condition is not bad. I was surprised to hear Tokoro's accident. I'm relieved to hear that he can fight. Tokoro is very aggressive both on the ground and in the standing position. He is doing good lately by fighting very aggressively. I shouldn't forget that his striking skills are improved. I have never fought someone who I go out with. I think our fight will be the best bout of the day.

** Hideo Tokoro **
When I was stopping at a signal, someone ran into my car from behind. I didn't get any damage on my neck; however, I felt something wrong around my back. I'm afraid many people worried about my condition. I feel fine now and am ready to fight. I have no problem adjusting my weight. Yamazaki is a member of the best grappler team, GRABAKA. I respect his persistent fighting style. The most important thing is to give my best, regardless who I fight. It's not fun fighting someone who I know, but I have to win because I want to move up to the next level.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gono comes back in UFC89

Gono updated his blog.

I suppose everyone already knows... I make a comeback to the UFC on Oct 18. I signed on the contract last weekend.

The UFC told me that I could announce my fight schedule anytime in Japan last time; although, they asked me to wait this time until they made an official announcement. I asked them when they were going to announce and I was waiting to hear from them. I found out that my fight schedule was official in the UFC website when I read comments from my fans in my blog. Japanese MMA news sites already posted articles about my next fight before I announced in this blog. I regret very much that I couldn't let my blog readers know first about my comeback.

I received many warm comments, so I decided to train hard yesterday. Preparing to run on a treadmill, I was scratched on the back by a sharp edge of the metal fittings. It takes longer than 30 min. to stop bleeding. Sweat smarts when it is put on a cut. I also have a symptom similar to an asthma with coughing.

My next fight is a complete away game, for I fight a British guy in England. There is no direct flights from Tokyo to Birmingham, which means I have to layover somewhere in Europe. I wonder how long it will take to get there. Flights will be longer than flights to New York for sure.

Though it seems like things go against me, I actually do better in unfavorable circumstances. I could win last 2 fights even though I broke my fist in the early phase of the fight. I think mental and physical conditionings are the key to win. So, I train hard next 3 months to show you a good fight.

KID canceled his fight in DREAM.5.

DREAM had a press conference on July 18 and announced that Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto canceled his fight in DREAM.5.

KID canceled his fight unfortunately, because he got injured during his training. He teared a ligament in his right knee. I was on the way going to Osaka when I heard this news. I turned back to Tokyo immediately and I was reported his condition. I'm sorry about the fact he cannot fight in DREAM.5. I assume many people were looking forward to seeing his fight on July 21. I hope everybody understand that hard trainings come together with risks of getting injured.

I'm very disappointed. I have been eager to participate in DREAM since I saw the event. I finally got a chance to fight and I was fully ready for my debut fight. I sparred a lot of every day and I was sparring when I got injured last night. I heard a sound which something was broken when I threw a flying knee to a sparring partner and my right leg landed on the ground. I fell with screaming at that moment. I don't remember what happened after that. I regret that I cannot fight in DREAM 5. I knew my fans expected to see my performance and I had a confidence to have a great fight. My doctor told me it would take 6 months to heal completely; although, I believe I will recover sooner than 6 months. I would like to apologize to Joseph Benavidez, because I will be mad if my opponent cancels right before our fight. If he thinks that I'm running away from him, that gets on my nerves. I definitely fight him at first when I come back. I'm not sure if I take an operation or not yet. I honestly don't want to take a surgery with some reason but I will decide after a close examination.

Sasahara also talked about Tokoro:
I'm waiting to hear from him, but I think he will have a press conference in Osaka tomorrow. He goes to Osaka, which means there is a strong likelihood that he will fight.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shinya Aoki column at

~ He updated his column on July 15. ~

I watched "FURY FC" on Sherdog this morning. I believe this event is promoted by Victor Costa who owns Koral. I remember he is a Jujitsu black belt holder and won Pan American Jujitsu Championship. I'm such an MMA geek that I was excited when I found him in a DREAM event. I was so happy when he told me my Ju-Jitsu was good and asked me to fight in Brazil.

Fighting in Brazil is very romantic. Brazil locates in the opposite side of the earth from Japan; therefore, it takes a full day to get there. I liked the event because they have similar stage effects with DREAM. The audience was very enthusiastic and nice as well! I enjoyed watching 2 Japanese fighters who fought in the main and the semi event. Yoshitomo Watanabe, who belongs to AACC and fights in club DEEP, faced Fabricio Monteiro. Monteiro defeated him by choking. I'm impressed to see Monteiro's brilliant submission techniques, and I notice that he belongs not Gracie Fusion but Gordo JJ now. Did anybody else notice that?

The main event was a fighter of Gracie Academy vs Takashi Otsuka, who also belongs to AACC and fights in club DEEP. Otuka seemed very popular in Brazil. I think the light weight class is 70kg. He is obviously a lot smaller for the light weight class which is 70kg. I think his weight is around 60 ~ 65 kg. I respect his guts fighting in the heavier weight class. It was close fight and I thought he won this fight, but he lost by judgement unfortunately.

It was very impressive to see Japanese fighters fight in Brazil where is extremely far from Japan. Brazilian fighters take 1 day to fight in Japan and I admit that they are super tough.

I'm seriously thinking to fight in other countries to be honest. I want to fight in the US, Europe and Brazil. I don't want stay in one place and move around many countries. Exciting, isn't it?

Tokoro had a car accident.

Hideo Tokoro, who recently announced his participation to DREAM 5 on July 21, had an car accident on July 16. He was on the way going to see his doctor for check-up. He was run into from behind and suffered an injury on his back that would take a week to heal completely.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tokoro fights Yamazaki in DREAM.5.

On July 15, DREAM announced that Hideo Tokoro faced Takeshi Yamazaki in DREAM.5.

Both fighters won last fights and only one of them can remain as a non-defeated fighter in DREAM. This is also a battle of handsome guys. This is a great opportunity for them to appeal themselves to many MMA fans because TBS broadcasts this event live on TV.

I know about Yamazaki well and I wish I could avoid fighting him. He has excellent ground techniques and never gives up. I will avoid getting his choke sleeper and his arm triangle from a mount position. Kid is a top fighter in the featherweight class in the world. Losing before facing him means that I leave from the line. I'll do my best to survive.

I'm a good friend of his brother. I know him quite a long time. I knew we would fight someday since we chose to fight in DREAM. I think we will have a good fight and I definitely want to win. He is very aggressive and fearless. We are both grappler but have different style; his techniques are vivid and mine is insistent. I saw his last fight and noticed that he developed his strikings. This will be a tough fight. I'm not thinking about Kid now. I focus on my next fight to get a next chance.

Aoki showed his training and had an interview

Shinya Aoki invited the press to DEEP Officialgym Impact and showed his training on July 15. After the training, he had an interview.

I entertained everyone by showing Zen trainings with Saeki last couple of times and I was scolded for joking too much by many people, so I had a normal training today. I'm getting ready for my fight. I'm not tired despite of having a short period of time between the last fight and the next. I have no pressure. Uno is a great fighter who I have respected since I was one of MMA fans. He has been representing Japanese MMA for long time. I cannot wait challenging such a great fighter and I think this will be a fight I never forget. On the other hand, Japanese MMA is aging now and it's time to make it younger. I'm going to prepare 2 outfits; for the semi final and the final. I would like to get the lightweight belt this time and will fight Mach Sakurai in the welterweight tournament final for the belt in September. I have a dream conquering 3 classes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Genki Sudo had his wedding party

Genki Sudo, who got married on Nov 22, had an wedding party in Hotel Okura Tokyo on July 14. Before the party, he toled the press how they met.

They first met on Christmas Eve 4 years ago. He went out with his other friends who were also single. When he saw her with her friends, he was immediately attracted to her. He didn't talk to her but let his friend ask her out for him. While his friend was talking to her, he showed his shadow boxing and tried to get her attention. She didn't know anything about MMA at all unfortunately and didn't recognize him; although, she had a good impression about him. They dated for 3 years and he asked her to get married in Izu hot springs. Ai accepted and they got married. He calls her Ai-chan and is called Gen-chan.

Takimoto fights Frank Trigg in SENGOKU 4

SENGOKU made an announcement of a fight of Makoto Takimoto vs Frank Trigg in SENGOKU 4.

I'm looking forward to fighting on Aug 24, which is the same day with the last day of Beijin Olympic. I was disappointed about the result in my last fight, and so I definitely would like to win this time. I don't know much about my opponent yet. I found out that I needed to work on my defense through my last fight. I will improve it and get ready. I will focus on my next fight to get an opportunity to fight in the middleweight tournament.

~ Gomi said his opponent will be announced shortly in his blog. ~

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yoshihiro Akiyama Inverview

DREAM official website posted an interview with Yoshihiro Aikiyama on July 13. This interview was taken place on July 10.

- Your opponent was finally announced. What do you think?
I feel a kind of relieved. I got a clear short term goal; thus, I'm pumped up for the fight.
- What do you think about your opponent?
He hasn't been in MMA long. That's his strength as well as his weakness. I cannot fully analyze what he does.
- What do you think about fighting a pro wrestler?
Nothing. I flatter myself that I represent Judo. If he is proud of himself as a pro wrestler like I am as a Judo specialist, I respect that.
- What did you think when you got an offer ?
When I attendedd to an MMA event in Akasaka, I knew Shibata was interested in fighting me. I was surprised, for I expected to fight a foreign fighter. I was fine to fight him because I wanted to fight Japanese fighters.
- Why do you want to fight Japanese?
I fight anybody, yet Japanese fighter was ideal. I wanted to improve myself by fighting them this year, and then I wanted to move on fighting foreign fighters.
- Shibata loses 4 times in row. He admitted that he wasn't in the position to choose his opponent. What do you think?
That's true; however, nobody wanted to fight me at that moment. That's why it took long time to find my opponent. I didn't have much time left before my fight. Under the circumstances, I accepted his offer without any hesitation.
- How's your nose and knee?
Both parts have been cured totally. I train very hard as I did before injured.
- Where do you train at now?
I train at Keisyukai and Bungelingbay.
- Bungelingbay is a kickboxing gym owned by Akeomi Nitta, a former K-1 fighter. What are you learning in his gym?
I learn basics from the bottom up, such as kicking and punching techniques and how to slide my weights. I learn to get well-balanced combinations of all my techniques. The lower half of the body is also strengthen by kicking.
- Can you show us what you learn in the next fight?
I will definitely kick and throw punches equally if I keep myself in control. I used to rely on punching too much. I didn't slide my weight smoothly, so I couldn't kick effectively. I'm improving my weak points now. It's not easy to get everything; admittedly, I believe my offense will change by paying attention to my weakness.
- You haven't fought since Yarennnoka. Are you nervous?
- What do you think about DREAM?
I watched past 4 events and I gave a cheer to HERO'S fighters.
- Why?
Because I'm from HERO'S. It's too bad to see Nagata's loss.
- You said you wanted to fight in all event in the rest of this year.
Yes. I couldn't fight in a half of this year. My MMA career is not that long, and so I want to fight as much as I can.
- Do you think about when you retire?
I think all fighters thought about the age of retiring. I don't know when I retire, but I'm sure I cannot keep fighting in my 40's. Although, I have a desire to fight in my 40's actually. When I was 18 or 19 years old, I felt people in my current age were quite old. Now I'm 33 years old and doing fine as a professional fighter. I may keep fighting depend of my mental condition.
- Randy Couture is 45 years old this year.
He is very impressive. I heard about a 41 years old swimmer who participated in Beijin Olympic.
- Are you talking about Dara Torres?
Yes. It was excited to hear about the news. I was so motivated to fight as long as I can.
- Tell me your goal in DREAM.
Though I aim a belt in my long-term goal, I'm not stress about anything in this fight. This is my first fight in DREAM. I will see if I can find my next goal in this event. I cannot lose this fight since I fight in my home town, Osaka.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chonan updated his blog

My next fight with Roan "Jucaon" Carneiro is arranged. I have a lot I want to say regarding this issue, but I keep silent and show my anger in the ring because I got injured last time.

I'm training every day though my injury is cured only 70%. I will have more intense trainings once I totally recover. I cannot wait to fight, yet I'm afraid of getting injured again. I should be patient now.

Kawajiri rather fights Aoki in final

Tatsuya Kawajiri showed his training to the press at JB SPOTS in Tokyo on July 11. JB SPOTS is a boxing gym whose owner, George Morikawa, is an author of a comic book about boxing, Hajimeno Ippo. Mitsuhiro Ishida and Hiroyuki Takaya who fights in WEC on Aug 03 trained together.

His training lasted for 1.5 hours. After training, he had an interview. His training menu:
- 3 min./3R sparring in a striking with boxing gloves
- 3 min./2R sparring in a striking with open finger gloves
- 5 min./2R sparring
- 3 min./2R working with a hanging heavy bag
- 10 min./1R, 5 min./2R a combination training of ground sparring and mitts punching)
- Shadow boxing 3min.

I fight twice per a day; therefore, I train 2 times harder than usual. I'm very tired because I'm having incentive trainings every day. I'll adjust my condition by reducing my training load gradually. I know my next fight with Alvarez will be a tough fight. The harder my next fight is, the more I enjoy my victory. I studied his fighting style by watching his fight video with Hansen. I carry out everything I want to do regardless of his style. I want to defeat him by KO ideally. (He was asked which fighter he wants to fight, Uno or Aoki) Doesn't matter to me. I'm not worried about fighting either of them. I know their style well because I have trained with Aoki and fought Uno before. The key to fight them is do not let them touch me and don't fight on the ground. (He said he wanted to fight UNO in DREAM.3, after Ishida was defeated) I forgot about that when I found out my next opponent is Alvarez. I suppose PRIDE fans want to see me fight Aoki. I always have good luck in Osaka; I won the tournament of SHOOT and I had good experience in a curry restaurant. I think it's time for me to shine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

DREAM announced additional fights for DREAM.5

DREAM had an press conference on July 10 and announced 3 additional fights in DREAM.5, a middleweight one match: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Katsuyori Shibata, a lightweight reserve match: Joachim Hansen vs Black Mamba, and a welterweight one match: Motoki Miyazawa vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka, were announced.

(Shibata had requested to fight with you in an MMA event on July 2. ) I accepted his request because I wanted to get my opponent as soon as I could and start to prepare for the fight. I think DREAM.5 will be better rating on TV than DREAM.4 because KID and I participate and people will talk about us. My nose bone is completely cured though it took longer than I thought. I haven't fought quite a while and now I'm very excited to come back to the ring. I haven't seen Shibata's fights yet. He is not an experienced fighter, but I think he has secret power. I have an image that he is very energetic and will do anything without any hesitation.
I'll put everything I have and try to win. I want to win no matter what, even if I'm an underdog.
My fighting style was broadened in the UFC. I want to show the difference between my style and other Japanese fighters. I want to exchange punches a lot like a bout of Hansen vs Alvarez. I think soon DREAM will be an event like the UFC because Mach represents this event and Nick Diaz fights here now. I want to have DREAM hold a welterweight tournament, then I want to be a champion.
I want to represent myself by defeating him by KO or submission.
I'm still negotiation with Mark Hunt's opponent. I cannot announce who he is now, but he is one of the very well known fighters. I'm going to arrange Mirko's fight in DERAM.6 since he canceled his participation in DREAM.5. due to the injury on his right elbow.

Message from Mirko Crocop
Hello everyone, I suppose to tell everybody how excited I am to fight in DREAM.5 today; however, I have to postpone my fight. I injured my right elbow and it's taking a while to be cured. I was impatient about not being able to do any ground training. I was so hasty that I sparred very hard with kick boxers; as a result, I injured my left shin and the kneecap. I think my fans are disappointed to find out that I'm not fighting. I decided not to fight in DREAM 5 but have a fantastic fight on Sep 23. I'm starving to fight. Please look forward to seeing my fight in DREAM 6.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shinya Aoki updated his column in

I went to see a grappling event, DEEP X, after training last Saturday. Grappling event nowadays is different from what it used to be. Grapplers in an event used to be so aggressive that they aimed at submitting their opponents all the time. Now this is a competition to compete scores and not many submissions are seen, which does not quite entertain myself personally.  however, I guess this event is being improved from a different point of view. My favorite MMA style is to end my fight by submitting or KO. I'm not going to force my opinions on others, but I believe that's what MMA fans want to see and the best attraction in MMA.

In this event, the most impressive fighter was a female fighter, Miku. She has excellent techniques and did a transformed front sleeper, which is currently very popular among MMA fighters, easily without any hesitation. There are not many fighters who can use this submission very beautiful right on time. I suppose she studied hard to gain new skills with her high motivation. I respect people like her. Guys showed us more powerful and energetic performance. I enjoy watching tactics, such as offenses and defenses of pass guard and sweep.

I have less than 2 weeks before my next fight. I keep regular hours every day for quite a while because I have fights subsequently. After my upcoming fight, I want to relax and eat favorites. I know MMA is not only my work but my hobby, so I will start training without taking a break. I'm going to have productive days for my fight.

Last summer, I was filled with insecure feelings; specifically, I was anxious about losing my fighting ground(PRIDE) and frustrated about that I couldn't do anything to prevent PRIDE from lapsing. I could do nothing but wait.  I didn't lose my pride as a PRIDE fighter and believed that the situation would take a turn for the better. I know our fans felt the same way with me. As a result, we had Yarennnoka, and now I fight in DREAM. I think the fans moved MMA promoters and created the NYE event. All I can do for my fans who support MMA and me is to get a title. I think what I did in my past was right and I'm proud of myself.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Coca-Cola may start to sponsor MMA fighters?

Hiroyuki Owatari, who works for DENTSU which is a major ad agency in Japan, fights in K-1 World Max 2008 on July 7. He belongs to Seido Kaikan and passed a test of K-1 tryout in March. He told about being sponsored by Coca-Cola and showed his trunks with a logo of "Real Gold" which is an energy drink sold by Coca-Cola in Japan.

Coca-cola had never sponsored any sports including violent activities and gambling. When he talked about his K-1 debut to his client, Coca-Cola, they were interested.  They contacted to their headquarters in Atlanta and got a permission to sponsor him. This will be a test case.

Owatari said, "Since my client supports me, I cannot lose now."

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sengoku fighters trained with Olympic wrestling team

SENGOKU fighters such as Yoshida, Takimoto, Gomi, Kitaoka and Kawamura trained with Japanese Wrestling Olympic team on July 4th.

"This is my second time to have a real wrestling training" said Yoshida. He brought his own wrestling shoes today. Fighters except Gomi , who has a wrestling background, had a different training menu with others.  even so, they warmed up, sparred and learned top level techniques for 2 hours. Yoshida and Takimoto, who are former gold medalists, had an opportunity to spar with Shingo Matsumoto, who is an 84kg weight class Olympian. Gomi said "Their sparing was really worth seeing."

Wrestling was a lot harder than I expected. I had such a great experience today that I would like to make a use of what I learned in my regular training and fights.
I suppose everybody is under huge pressures by other people's expectations; although, they should stay focused on their training and I hope they have good performance in the Olympic.
Training with top level wrestlers stimulated me to work harder for my next fight. While I cannot go to watch their game because my fight is coming soon, I wish them luck in the Olympics. I know it is hard to obtain a chance to fight in a main event. I won't compromise my performance, I mean I'm not going to disappoint anybody but also show a great fight. This training was a good start for me to achieve that.
It was very hard training and I was even ordered to do better by a coach. I had a full day of great training. I'm impressed to see top level wrestlers. Everyone was very powerful and energetic. I thank everybody to give us such a great opportunity. I hope they have great game in the Olympics without getting injured.