How do you feel, now that your fight in RIZIN is official?
I feel tons of Relief! I’m extremely happy to finally have a home where I can continue my career and solidify my legacy as a world class fighter and warrior on a tremendous show and production like Rizin!
What do you think about your opponent Kawajiri?
Tatsuya Kawajiri is an icon in Japanese MMA and in MMA as a whole. It’s hard not to say he’s one of the greatest ever. But as all fighters do he’s getting to the end of the road and this is a young Mans sport. I think his takedowns are world class but I am also a world class wrestler and have world class wrestlers as training partners and often train with Olympic Champion Henry Cejudo so I will be well prepared for the best version of Kawajiri!
Please tell the Japanese fans about the promotions you fight in back home, or what its like fighting in the US.
I’ve fought for Rage in the Cage and I was their Bantamweight World Champion, I signed to Bellator at 3-0 and won my debut vs a 7-3 by Darce Choke, I traveled to Brazil with Amazon Forrest Combat and fought alongside Satoshi Ishii and Masakatsu Ueda, I was the 1st Ever Maximum Fighting Championships Bantamweight World Champion in Canada. I’ve done pretty much everything to do on my side of the world and it’s time for me to explore the world starting with Japan.
What are your impressions about Japan? Are there any specific things you would like to do/see in Japan?
I know everyone is very respectful for the most part and that all the fans appreciate their athletes win lose or draw. The things I’m most excited to see are the old world architectures like palaces and temples as well as the new world construction of the beautiful modern cities like Yokohama. I’m also very interested in seeing some new Japanese fashion. Like suits, shoes and stuff like that.
What do you think about the Japanese fans?
I think they’re amazing!!! Every time I’ve watched Rizin they are supportive, patient, and understand what’s taking place in the bouts. I know they do not cheer loud like US, Canadian, or Brazilian fans and that’s going to be a complete change and experience for me to hear nothing during the fight but be able to hear my coaches. I’m looking forward to winning the hearts of the Japanese fans with my style of fighting!
A message to the Japanese fans.
I’m looking forward to making my presence known with a solid win over Kawajiri. I will be your 1st 135lb champion but 1st I’ll show you what I’m capable of and bring my exciting style of fighting to the Rizin Ring with a fight of the night vs Tatsuya. I’m very excited for this part of the journey and look forward to meeting all of you in Yokohama!