“I am going in there to finish the fight in the first round”
“My skill level is not near what I am showing. I need to keep climbing the ladder.”
Q) You just had a kickboxing fight at RISE. You have already fought 3 times this year kick boxing and MMA combined. How is your condition?
N) There is no problem, fighting many times is a good thing for me.
Q) You are now confirmed to be fighting on the July 30th card for RIZIN. What are your current thoughts?
N) I’m happy about it. It’s the most anticipated event in Japan, and fighting in that ring only raises my value, so I’m very motivated.
Q) You have known your opponent Kizaemon Saiga since childhood.
N) Yes. We have had crossed pads since I was fighting in middle school. I wouldn’t have imagined fighting him at this point of my career. I was kind of hoping it would happen, but not right now.
Q) Did you practice with him frequently?
N) I trained with him for a bit, but not for a long time.
Q) You have fought on the same cards on RIZIN events. What are your thoughts of him as a MMA fighter?
N) He’s a great striker. He definitely likes to stand and trade rather than go to the ground.
Q) He has transitioned to MMA from kickboxing before you did, but do you have anything to learn from him?
N) Saiga has his style, and I have mine so there is nothing I can learn from him.
Q) And about the rules, during the press conference, they announced that the details were still not determined. Siaga mentioned that he wanted MMA rules at his weight class, but what are your thoughts?
N) Regardless of the rules, I will knock him out in the first round.
Q) Wow, that’s a bold statement!
N) I have a date and an opponent. My opponent is saying all sorts of stuff, but for me the fight’s on. And as long as the fight is on, I’m going for the first round KO. I want to make him regret for his comments about knowing my weak points, and even wanting to fight me.
Q) You feel that he is not giving you enough credit?
N) No, but the fact that he requested to fight me means that he thinks he can beat me. So I want to show him that he has no chance.
Q) So does that mean that you will fight him under the rules he requests?
N) I don’t care about the rules, it can even be the rules chosen from the fans.
Q) You mentioned earlier that you preferred the rules which would benefit your strongpoints?
N) Yes, I am a striker and he is a striker. We both take pride in our striking, so I just simply thought that kickboxing rules might make sense. There was a time when he was gathering attention in K-1.
Q) Either way, this fight will be highly anticipated. Do you know that you are gathering attention on a daily bases?
N) I feel it sometimes. I can see the crowd getting bigger and louder for my fights, and I can see that there are more people who support me now, and I am very happy and grateful for that. But I haven’t shown my full potential yet, and I need to keep climbing that ladder, anyway, yes I do feel that people are starting to recognize me more.
Q) Do you feel that at school?
N) No, I don’t feel that at school at all.
Q) Today at the press conference, you mentioned that you just came from you exams, but does your teacher give you extra credit for extra curriculum for things like this, or takes it easy on you?
N) I wish lol, but no they treat all students equally at school.
Q) Having to keep good grades and quality training must be a hard thing to do.
N) I chose a specific high school where I only attend 4 hours a day for 4 years so I can focus on being a professional fighter. It was my choice to go to school and to be a professional fighter, so I need to fulfill my obligations. I believe that dedication and hard work in both physical and mental practice make a true professional. So keeping grades is nothing special, it is just something I must do to be a professional.
Q) That is very inspiring. Do you currently train kickboxing and MMA the same amount?
N) If a fight in RIZIN in confirmed, I will throw in MMA drills, but my previous fights were kickboxing fights so I have mainly been training my striking. I talk with my trainer on what kind of drills we need to do based on each fight.
Q) You have fought 3 MMA fights so far, but how has the transition from kickboxing been?
N) I can turn my switches on and off quite easily. It’s not like I get stuck with a certain style for each fight. I can turn my switch on for either fight.
Q) You have about 2 months for your next fight, but which drills are you going to do for this one?
N) I’ll do MMA drills for now, but I will have to talk to my trainer to see what kind of drill we need to work on.
Q) We will hope to hear about the rules soon. What can the fans expect from you on July 30th?
N) He called me out, because he thinks he can beat me. So am a going to make him regret his actions by knocking him out in the first round.