DREAM official website posted an interview with Mach Sakurai on Feb 17. The interview was taken place on February 12.
- Tell me what you think about participating in the welterweight tournament.
I definitely do my best to win this tournament.
- If you win the tournament, you can instantly get an opportunity to fight for the title.
I was very irritated until this tournament was announced. I understand that Dream had hard time finding and negotiating fighters who fit me. I fought Japanese fighters for a while, so I'm excited to fight foreign fighters.
- Everybody is looking forward to seeing your great performance in this tournament.
I'm self-confidence that I have played the important role in this weight class for long time, so I don't want to lose in this 76 kg weight class.
- How do you describe about the welterweight?
You see both power and speed. This weight class is the most populated and high level, so fights are always exciting and fan to watch.
- What do you think about the Japanese welterweight fighters?
There are many good fighters including Shinya Aoki, Kuniyoshi HIronaka, Hideki Kadoma, Ryo Chonan and Akihiro Gono. Making one mistake will cause it to lose. That's why many fighters aim at perfection and try to be like GSP. I'm not sure if fans are interested in watching perfect fighters and fights. I entertain fans by making them surprise and exited in fights.
- Are you going to have a special plan for the tournament?
I usually don't have a fight plan, yet I guess I should this time.
- Aoki fights in the tournament. What do you think?
He has built up his experience and brush up his ground techniques since we fought in Shooto. I respect his challenging spirit, yet I think he underestimates the welterweight. In general, It's not easy to switch the weight class. I know the ability of fighters is beyond reason or logic. However, he fought in the lightweight 2 months ago and move up to the welterweight without preparing enough? It's insane and too optimistic.
- I think fans want to watch Mach vs Aoki.
Yeah? I will fight him if fans request. Honestly, I'm sorry for Aoki to say this, but I have like to waste my time fighting him now because he is the lightweight fighter. I'm here to be a champion in the welterweight. I don't want to be bothered by the lightweight fighter.
- Any message to your fans?
Since Dream started, I had been frustrated because my fights were announced and canceled repeatedly. I want to make advance in this tournament. I don't want to miss this great opportunity. As usual, I do my best.