—How is your mental state going into the fight?
I’m so busy, I really don’t even have time to be nervous! I am so happy to be a part of such a big event, televised on TV. I want to fight a good fight and become victorious.
—Did you always have the desire to compete in this event?
Most definitely. Right until the very end, I trained as hard as I could with no days off, with the goal of competing in this event.
—Please tell us your thoughts on your opponent, Kizaemon Saiga?
A very flashy fighter. I’ve been watching him since his K1 Koshien days, and he really is an irregular kind of fighter, but a very good one. I am really looking forward to this fight with him.
—How do you feel about fighting fighters younger than yourself?
I do train with guys younger than myself. There are fighters half my age in the gym, so that doesn’t really bother me. Although when it comes down to those crucial moments in a fight, I guess it does feel a little strange.
—What kind of fight do you want to show the fans?
My opponent is more of a striker, and I am a grappler so I think if we fight our own styles, it’ll be easy for the fans to understand. I’d like the both of us to showcase what we can, and if I can be victorious at the end, well that would be great too.
—When the fight card announcements were being made, a lot of questions were being asked to Saiga about his wife (a Japanese celebrity). How do you feel about that?
That’s how it goes when you have a famous wife (LOL). So that’s why both myself and Saiga have the fight the same way we do when we don’t want to lose to our wives! (LOL)
—As a veteran fighter, I’m sure you don’t want to lose to a younger fighter?
No, I don’t. Any fighter will say the same. We don’t want to lose. I don’t want to hand over the torch just yet.
—Do you have anything you’d like to say to “Banana Man” Himura?
He invited me to play golf a while ago, but I told him that I might have a fight at the end of the year and probably couldn’t play for a while. When the fight was announced I messaged him and told him about it and he congratulated me.
I think he has to work that day doing some kind of poetry contest on TV. We are both going to on TV at the same time, so I definitely do not want to lose!