– What have you been doing since your last fight in RIZIN?
Spending time with my friends and family now that school is out for the summer. Drinking beer, eating bacon wrapped burritos, and playing beer pong. Getting a small taste of summer before I had to start preparing for this fight.
– What was your experience in visiting Japan for the first time? Did they meet your expectations?
It was breathtaking. There are no words to describe it other than peaceful and tranquil. I was just blown away by everything. It has always been a bucket list for me as a place I have always wanted to visit even before fighting. its history is rich and it was everything I could have ever wanted it to be.
– What did it feel like to fight in RIZIN?
It was like it wasn’t real. Like it was a dream. I main evented one of the biggest organizations in the entire world. It’s something that I could never really process. It’s just kind of like it was just an incredible experience. What life do I live that I get to do such cool ass things like main event a fight card where Pride 1 happened?
Another new experience for me was the Opening ceremony it reminded me of wrestling where they would line the competitors up on each side of the wrestling mat and the opponents would have to shake hands even before the competition would start. It introduced the audience to who we were and what team we represented.
If you look at UFC OR BELLATOR the production of the show is about the show. And in RIZIN the production and the treatment of the show is for the fighter. To showcase who is putting on the entertainment for the night. Not who put it all together. It honors the warriors not the tv people
– What went through your head when you got the offer to participate in the GP?
I thought my wife was joking with me. When I realized she wasn’t messing with me that was the best birthday present I have ever gotten.
I expected it because of the show I put on vs Kawajiri. I wasn’t 100% sure I just felt that my performance was good enough to have people wonder what I was capable of doing at my natural weight class.
– What are your thoughts about your opponent Takafumi Otsuka?
I’m looking at his belts and I don’t think he won his last fight. I thought he lost his title defense for DEEP. I was actually more impressed with his opponent. I’m still trying to figure out how he’s the WSOF Global champion and who he beat for that.
His comment about him thinking he is going to slaughter me clearly shows he doesn’t have a realistic view of how this fight is going to go. He is out sized out powered I’m faster he’s purely outclassed. He’s a smaller less talented version of Kawajiri. The dude can’t finish a bento box. He has 15 decisions on his record. He ain’t slaughtering shit.
– What does this Bantamweight GP mean to you?
This is my legacy! I have won championships in wrestling I own a successful jiu jitsu school I’m a 2x world mma champion in North America and it’s time for me to show that I am the best 135lber in the world in any organization. After I win this Grand Prix not only will I be the RIZIN champion but I will be the DEEP champ, WSOF global champ, and that’s only after I beat the first guy in my bracket. Look at how many champions are in this tournament. As I see it this is the best of the best representing to see who is undoubtably the best bantamweight in the world. This is the kind of tournament that people remember you by.
– If you make it to the finals, you will be fighting 3 times in 2 days with one day to rest in between. What are your thoughts of this and will you be ready?
When I was 17 I dropped down to my natural weight class of 112lbs. I ended up winning a tournament that had 4 state champs in my weight class. I beat every single one of them by major decision or pin. I had 4 matches on the first day and the final match on the second day. On my way to claiming the 112lb title. Much like I did in wrestling i would finish the match early and have as much recovery as possible. So, my game plan is to continue my reputation as a finisher and move through the night unscathed with plenty of time to recover between fights.
– What can the fans expect from Anthony Birchak on July 30th?
They can expect a completely different showcase in skill level. They are going to see the contrast of what a good fighter and a great fighter look like. My fights are explosive and exciting in any position. Don’t blink.