Top presents, Rizin 1 – Pre-show interviews Part 1


Friday, April 15th, 2016 – We are two days out from Rizin 1, presented by Top. The event is being held in the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya and the fighters have given us their thoughts and feelings on the upcoming fights.


Yuya proclaims “With kickboxing rules, I am confident I am going to knock him out, and put on a good show for everyone”
Fight 1: Kickboxing rules, 60kg. 3 x 3 min. rounds.
Yuya Yamato (132/60kg) vs. Yuki (130/59kg)

Yuya:“I think Rizin in the most popular MMA event in Japan right now. The fighters are all amazing and there are so many things to watch out for. That’s why I really consider this a big chance for me. Of course, this is a MMA based promotion, but my fight is under kickboxing rules. I am confident I am going to knock my opponent out and put on a good show for everyone. When everyone thinks of Rizin kickboxing, I want them to think of me”

Q: Do you want to show everyone who Yuya the kickboxer is?

A: Well, half and half. Truthfully speaking, when I got the offer from Rizin I told them I’d be willing to do an MMA match if they needed. I have always wanted to try MMA and I think just being in this Rizin ring has a real meaning for me. Once this fight is over, I am going to slowly, step by step, start MMA. To fight in the world’s biggest events, you need to be an MMA guy these days.

Q: This event is in your hometown of Nagoya. How do you feel about that?

A: I am really looking forward to the fight. There are a lot of fighters from Nagoya, but I think I am the one who sells the most tickets (laughs). I am looking forward to fighting in front of a large audience.

Q: Could you please tell us your thoughts on your opponent, Yuki?

A: I don’t know anything about him. Winning and losing is very important but it takes two to tango, meaning it takes two to put on a good fight and that’s what I want most. This is the first time I have felt this way actually. I always used to think about winning and only winning, but I feel differently for this fight.


Tetsuya Yamato – “I feel like a pro just being here. I’m excited”
Fight 3: Kickboxing rules, 64kg. 3 x 3 min. rounds.
Hiroto Yamaguchi (141/63.75kg) vs. Tetsuya Yamato (141/63.75kg)

Q: You were the 2010 K1 tournament winner. Does appearing for Rizin bring back any special memories?

A: Things like coming to the hotel, taking photos, signing autographs, doing interviews, it all feels very nostalgic. It was 6 years ago now.

Q: Is this different to a kickboxing event?

A: I think it is, yes. I feel like a pro just being here. I’m excited and so very happy that I have the chance to fight for Rizin. I am also very thankful and excited to be able to fight in such a famous arena like this one.

Q: Did you watch the New Year’s Eve Rizin event?

A: Yes, I did. To see martial arts back where it belongs, I was very happy. It also gave me motivation to fight in Rizin and I am happy it has happened so quickly.

Q: Yuya has also stated that he wants to try MMA.

A: I heard that he said he wanted to start (laughs). I am mostly interested in fighting under kickboxing rules, but I would be open to an MMA match if the circumstances were right.


Danilo Zanolini – “I am going to win, and carve my name into Rizin history”
Fight 2: Kickboxing rules, 73kg. 3 x 3 min. rounds.
Danilo Zanolini (161/72.85kg) vs. Norihisa Amimoto (159/72kg)

Q: Why did you decide to move to Japan?

A: The working conditions in Brazil are not good so I wanted to come to Japan to work and save money. That was my first goal. I was 17 and really unsure of things.

Q: When did you start martial arts?

A: I did Karate in Brazil when I was 9, and moved over to kickboxing when I was 15.

Q: You have opened your own dojo?

A: When I decided to move to Japan, I know it would mean I would be here for a long time and that’s why I opened the gym, so I could restart my training. At first I didn’t have anywhere to go, so I did everything in the park alone. One of my Brazilian friends later joined me, and from there I made a lot of friends and decided to make a team. It was so hard for me to be working so away from home, but martial arts is what kept things fun. My friends will be in the stands cheering me on and I think it’ll be a great atmosphere. You’ve never heard a fan chant as good as a Brazilian fan! I am going to win, and carve my name into Rizin history. I want to be just like Wanderlei Silva.


Allan Nascimento “I am not the hunted, I am the hunter”
Fight 5: Rizin MMA rules, 56.7kg.1R 10 mins, 2,3R 5 mins.
Yuki Motoya (N/A) vs. Allan Nascimento (125/56.5kg)

Nasciment – “This event is just like Pride, and I am so happy to be here. I am so thankful for the chance to fight on this big stage. Wanderlei Silva and Maurício Rua both made their careers here in Japan. It was while watching them on TV that I really got the motivation to be where I am today. As everyone knows, I am a Chute Boxer. I will be aggressive, and I don’t mind standing or grappling. I can do it all. I am not the hunted, I am the hunter.”


Teodoras Aukstuolis- “All I am thinking about is victory”
Fight 12: Rizin MMA rules, 98kg.1R 10 mins, 2,3R 5 mins.
Teodoras Aukstuolis (215/97.35kg) vs. Jaideep Singh (214/97.2kg)

Aukstuolis – “I am so happy to be back here again for Rizin. I was a massive fan of Pride and to be here in Japan on a similar stage has made me so happy. All of my wildest dreams have come true. When I fought on the New Year’s Eve show, the fans really showed their support for me and it made me extremely happy. People in Lithuania have slowly begun to take notice. I will give it everything I have and all I am thinking about is victory. I believe in myself.”


Jiri Prochazka – “I don’t care about age. I am aiming for a complete victory”.
Main Event: Rizin MMA rules, 110kg.1R 10 mins, 2,3R 5 mins.
Jiri Prochazka (217/98.55kg) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (240/108.7kg).

Q: Has anything changed since you last competed on the Rizin New Year’s Eve show?

A: I got a lot of attention from the media, and it was a big boost for my career. When I got back to Czech, MMA had also received a boost in popularity. I might have lost the fight to King Mo (Rizin NYE tournament final) but I didn’t lose at all. I learnt so much from that experience that it can only be good for me going in to this next fight. Fujita has a lot of experience and is a very tough fighter I know.

Q: Fujita is 22 years older than you. Do you have any thoughts on that?

A: He has a ton of experience and is my senior in what we call life and I always respect my elders. I don’t care about age. I am aiming for a complete victory