I will aim for the 3rd consecutive KO win. This time I’ll be fighting in the summer, so I plan on being the summer festival itself.
Q) This will be your 3rd fight in RIZIN, and you have won your previous fights in impressive fashion. It seems like the RIZIN brass is forced to recognize you.
Y) I hope that becomes the case.
Q) Hope was everybody’s reaction after your last win?
Y) It’s been okay. They didn’t air my fight too much, so you know, it’s been okay… Everybody around me are obviously very happy for me.
Q) You don’t think your popularity has risen?
Y) I’ve become more popular for sure, but not to a point where I have expected.
Q) Well, you have finished both fights in a great way, so hopefully you get the much deserved attention this time.
Y) Oh for sure.
Q) What are your thoughts about fighting continuously on the RIZIN events?
Y) I’m happy that they want me back. They are the biggest promotion in Japan, and the fact that there are people out there who want to watch me fight, is very humbling.
Q) Your opponent is Kitaoka, which is a big name. What are your thoughts on him.
Y) I’m trying to find the right word… He’s scary. He has the power to knock you out, and he’s crafty and tough. He’s a freak and he’s strong.
Q) You also think that he is a freak?
Y) I didn’t say it, they market him like that on TV.
Q) S you don’t think he is a freak
Y) All of his staple moves are weird stuff from chokes to leg locks so I guess he is a freak.
Q) You and your opponent are coming off of wins against Daron Cruickshank. Which one do you think left a bigger impact?
Y) I don’t know. Kitaoka’s fight was pretty amazing as well. After his big comeback. But I would like to say that I left a bigger impact.
Q) It’s nice to have that confidence. I think that by being matched up with a big name like Kitaoka, shows how much the promotion has high hopes for you.
Y) I guess so. Cruickshank was a very tough fighter, but he really didn’t have too much of a name in Japan. So compared to that, Kitaoka has a much bigger name value and accomplishments in Japan, and I’m happy to be able to face such fighter.
Q) What were your thoughts when you got this offer?
Y) I always have tough opponents, but I was like, “not again….” Plus, our fighting styles are absolutely opposite so I wasn’t sure if this would be a good matchup as far as fan pleasing wise. It will either be great, boring. That is what went through my head.
Q) They have put you against tough guys haven’t they.
Y) Heck yeah they did. I’m not sure what I did to piss them off lol But seriously, it’s a blessing for me. I want to fight big names and I want to expose myself. Fighting tougher guys is much more fun for me, and I get excited.
Q) So this was a good opponent for you.
Y) To be able to fight a big name at a big event, you can’t ask for more.
Q) You have about 2 months to prepare for your fight. How are you going to use this time?
Y) I will plan a strategy to fight Kitaoka. I have to prepare for this fight, and raise my basic skills at the same time.
Q) What are you going to be most cautious about your opponent?
Y) Leg locks for sure. He’s going to be a pain if the fight hits the ground.
Q) You are coming off of 2 great KO’s. It seems that your next opponent will be harder to KO because he is a ground fighter.
Y) I’m not sure about that. I am obviously the better striker here, so I’m not too worried. I’m not underestimating him, that’s just how I feel. Of course he is going to want to take me down, so striking with an opponent who has intent of taking me down will be something different that my previous fights. That is why I need a solid strategy.
Q) Well, you have won your previous fights in spectacular fashion, so the fans and promoters will expect the same if not more from your future fights.
Y) I hope to deliver! I want to meet every expectations and finish the guy for my third consecutive KO win. This fight will be during the summer, so I will bring the summer festival to the ring.