“I want to fight constantly””, an exclusive interview with Hideo Tokoro who won his fight between Saiga Kizaemon on 12/29 RIZIN FIGHTING WORLD GRAND-PRIX 2015 SARABA no UTAGE.

“People still invite me for celebrating my win from NYE lol”
— You fought last year on 12/29, what are your current thoughts looking back at the fight?

I definitely feel that the event on NYE is something special for me. My fight was confirmed last minute, but it turned out that everybody enjoyed my fight, and people still invite me for celebrating my win.
— It left such a great impression to everybody. Have you spoke to Himura (famous comedian who Tokoro is friends with)?

He was really busy on NYE so he couldn’t come to the fight, but he told me that he wanted to go celebrate with me after I told him the result of my fight.
— You mentioned during the press conference that you were determined to fight on the RIZIN event

I have been thinking that there will be no more big events on NYE, but then RIZIN announced their event, and I was very happy when I got that offer. The attendance was great, fans were amazing so I hope that the Japanese MMA scene will revive starting this event.
— Many people say that your fight between Saiga Kizaemon was the best bout for RIZIN, but what are your thoughts?

There are many things that I have to review. Saiga’s striking was crisp and I ate several of them, and my first attempt for the arm, shoulder choke could have got the tap if I didn’t rush it. I feel like the fight ended during a huge cluster. But I am glad that many people tell me that it was a great fight. Mr. Sakakibara told me that I am a mysterious fighter when I went to greet him after the fight.
— I see, did any other fight catch your attention?

The fight between Takaya vs DJ was interesting since they have both beat me, and I was eager to see the outcome of that fight. They were both very tough and I think they both should have won that fight. I have no other words in describing that fight.
— What else caught your attention?

I thought the lighting was great. I was in the stands on the 31st, but the quality of production was out of this world, I felt it was more glorious than DREAM.
“Strong and good looking Kron is an opponent to face down the line”
— RIZIN will be holding their next event on April 17 at NIHON GAISHI HALL “RIZIN 1”. Are you wanting to participate in that event?

Of course I want to keep participating in their events. I have been training more to be able to fight at any time. I am also interested in participating in RIZIN’s alliance organizations like Bellator and more.
— What is your current training environment?

I train a little with the young fighters at my gym (Tokoro plus), but my main training will be done outside of my gym. Katsumura’s Grand slam, Team OTOKOGI just to name a few. There are many talented fighters around me so I am learning new stuff every day.
— You are considered a veteran but it seems like you are hungry in learning more.

I don’t think I can boost my skill levels much from this point, but I feel that I can hang in there with the best as long as I keep my conditioning right, and execute my game plan.
— Who would you be interested in fighting for your next fight?

When I saw the Kron Gracie vs Asen Yamamoto fight, I thought both fighters were strong and cool. I asked myself what kind of fight it will turn out to be if I fought Kron.
— You have fought some Gracie’s in the past, but do you have special feelings towards a Gracie family member?

Yes it does. People my age were definitely influenced by the Gracie family, and I felt their strength through their DNA, watching the fight and for most, they’re just cool.
— Just cool?

Yes, I thought that this is the kind of fight that should be booked for a big event while watching that fight. Asen did not look like that was his debut fight. They are something different. They both carry the aura in which you want to root for, and I felt that great fighters appear all of a sudden in any era.
— Did you feel the future in RIZIN?

Yes, they had a variety of fighters from veterans to new comers, from different fields and I hope to be able to stand out in such a platform.
— Message to the fans.

I always want to put on an entertaining fight. I really felt that when everybody wanted to host a celebration party after my fight. I feel like I was able kick off in a good way in a brand new organization, so I will try not to use my age as an excuse, and continue to fight my best.