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WGP Interview: Kyotaro, Ghita, Saki, Spong...


Q: You look a little bigger than last time.
A: I put on a little weight. I did lose some before, but at my max I went to about 107kg. Right now I am about 105kg or 106kg.
Q: Did you plan to get bigger as part of your preparation?
A: I haven't increased my calorie intact at all, but have been incorporating weights more and put on a kilo or two.
Q: So did you bring in a conditioning trainer?
A: Yes, I have been working with him about a year. He is helping with my running, and weight training. At first he almost had me throwing up with the weights.
Q: Can you feel yourself that you are getting stronger?
A: I guess so but I have to see in the fight. In training we spar with huge gloves and headgear, so it is hard to tell.
Q: So is your bench press getting better?
A: Well I have never checked my max, but I am using 10kgs or so more than before. I am doing about 140kg or 150kg now.
Q: So your arms and chest have gotten bigger?
A: I haven't measured, but I have been told I have the biggest ass in the world, and I think it has grown bigger.
Q: Are you consciously trying to increase your power?
A: It doesn't matter how powerful I get, there are bigger, stronger foreigners out there. So I need to keep my speed and add strength and power.
Q: How often are you lifiting?
A: Just once a week or so, but for some reason my upper body has been responding.
Q: What do you think happened in the Ruslan fight?
A: I feel I lost at the most important time. I was shocked and disappointed in myself. As a pro I have to get past the point of not being able to fight at my best when it really counts.
Q: So you're not worried about fighting Spong?
A: Not after my last fight. I have to do well. Additionally, there is no Japanese fighter in the WGP so I really have more pressure to perform.
Q: What do you think of Spong?
A: I have been hearing since last year how great he is in Europe, and how popular he is. We are both still young, so he too still has a long future ahead of him. He lost in the tournament I won, so I can't afford to lose.
Q: What do you think of his style?
A: He has a mauy thai base, yet his knees and movement is very suitable for K-1.
Q: Have you put together a decent plan for this fight?
A: I can't win without a good game plan, but he also has Hoost in his corner, so he will be prepared and have a counter plan of his own. The result will depend on who can fight their own style.
Q: The famous Japanese fighters like Musashi and Masato are retiring these days.
A: Yes, Masato will retire, and the foreign fighters are getting stronger. I have to see how far I can go, and I want to show the fans what I can do. I want to become famous as a strong Japanese fighter.


Makoto Uehara

Q: Welcome back to K-1. How do you feel?
A: I'm rather nervous.
Q: Really?
A: Yeah.
Q: Last time you won via KO. How do you feel you'll go this time?
A: I have increased my power, so I think I can win by nicer KO
Q: The last one was pretty spectacular.
A: This one will be better.
Q: How many kgs do you weight now?
A: 95kgs...last time I was about 88kgs
Q: How about your speed? Has it decreased with the weight gain?
A: It has increased, so I am enjoying the feeling of extra power too.
Q: But your opponent is huge this time.
A: Just like last time.
Q: How do you find fighting taller fighters?
A: Jaideep is 195cm, and I have fought people that height 4 times and won all of them by KO.
Q: But he was a best 16 fighter.
A: He didn't make the top eight, and it doesn't really matter for me.
Q: I'm not sure if there will be a K-1 Japan next year, but would you want to be the strongest in Japan if there is?
A: Yes. I am 182cm, and the heavyweight fighters Fedor and Tyson are the same size, so I want to be like them in K-1.
Q: Kyotaro is the man in Japan with the belt, so would you like to face off against him?
A: Of course. I would like to do so as soon as possible.
Q: As soon as possible?
A: Yes, before he dramatically improves much more. I think I can beat him now with my speed.
Q: Why are you so confident?
A: Well, everyone is training hard, but I have been repeatedly told in training that my punches and kicks are the best in Japan.
Q: What sort of fight do you want to show your fans?
A: I want to show them my punching ability.
Q: You're weight has increased, so how did you increase your speed? Did you do some special training?
A: I did. But I cannot tell you as it is a secret. We went to a place other fighters wouldn't imagine for training, and it has worked well. I'd like to be able to tell you, but I really can't.


Tsutomu Takahagi

Q: You look nice and brown again today.
A: I went to the tanning salon again yesterday, so I am a bit red now, but will be perfect for the fight.
Q: You look a little more cut than usual. How did you do that?
A: Just naturally with my training.
Q: How do you feel then?
A: A little lighter and easier to move.
Q: Since the last fight what have you been focusing on?
A: I focused on keeping the target of winning in mind and being a little more aggressive.
Q: Your team mate Kyotaro is now the champion.
A: I'm happy for him. He did it with his own hard work, and I think it is great.
Q: I guess with you fighting his last opponent on the same card adds some pressure for you.
A: A little, but it is motivating too.
Q: What do you know of Jan?
A: Like Teixeira he is a karate fighter, and he looks very strong.
Q: Did you see his debut?
A: Yes, and he was moving like it wasn't his debut at all. He was great.
Q: And you have a good plan for how to defeat him?
A: Yeah, I will focus on using my strong points to overcome him.
Q: So this fight will set up things for next year.
A: That's right. I have to win this or I won't have a fight for another year again like this time.
Q: Did Kyotaro give you some good advice for how to fight him?
A: A little, but it isn't like I can copy the way he fights or anything.


Tyrone Spong

Q: It has been awhile since you have been in Japan, so how do you feel?
A: I feel very good. I had a very cloudy time, but I feel really good to fight on such a big event.
Q: When did you start training with Hoost?
A: I have been training with Hoost for the last couple of months. I think it is four months now. I have made some changes, changed my trainers, and I have prepared well for this fight.
Q: What has been your biggest change since training with Hoost?
A: First of all it is the communication. We have great communication and I think that is one of the most important things between the fighter and trainer. I already know fighting. I am a fighter so I can fight. We have to try some things and see what works for me. We are on the right road now I think.
Q: Your last K-1 fight you lost was against Saki, so why do you think you lost?
A: I think the biggest reason was my motivation. I think the fight went well, and it was an extra round. I thought I had the advantage, but I wanted to make it exciting and took a risk. He got me with a punch then. I think I wasn't motivated for the fight and didn't prepare as I had for other fights.
Q: What do you think of the heavyweight champion, Kyotaro?
A: I don't think what I think about him is important. It is important that he won the tournament. He has an awkward style, and he is obviously a good fighter. What is important is I have to fight him.
Q: What kind of fight do you think this one will be?
A: I don't want to talk too much. I prepared well. I am in good shape. I have a new team and I want to entertain the people.
Q: If you win the fight will you ask to challenge for the title?
A: Yeah, I think if I beat the champion I am ready to fight for the title. But I just want to have lots of fights in K-1 in this heavyweight division. I am excited to fight and show what I have got inside me, and entertain the people. Ask me again after the fight.
Q: Is the reason you started to train with Hoost because he, like you, was very light when he started in K-1 and made it all the way to become the champion?
A: Yes, that is one reason, and we can really communicate well too. He understands me and he has a lot of experience in K-1. He is the only one that has won the tournament 4 times, and he is also a good friend of mine.


Gohkan Saki

Q: You were injured in the last fight, so could you explain what happened?
A: I injured myself in training somehow. I think I trained too much without resting, so I hurt myself I guess.
Q: So because of that you couldn't make it into the Final 16. What did the doctor tell you?
A: I was told I can't train for 2 months, so I did nothing for that time. I felt really worried and I couldn't sleep many nights. This is a really hard sport. After the 2 months I started training for this fight.
Q: How is the injury now?
A: Now it is better than ever.
Q: You'll fight against Peter Aerts, so what do you think of him?
A: He is a big fighter. I am happy to fight against such a legend like Aerts. I train hard all the time, so I don't care that he is such a big name. I will do everything I can.
Q: After his last fight against Alistair, many people think he has run out of steam, and he should retire. What do you think?
A: If he doesn't want to stop, he shouldn't stop. Maybe he will stop after Saturday.
Q: So you think his ability has slipped?
A: I didn't say that. But everyone gets older. I guess 5 or 6 years ago he was stronger than now.
Q: Do you think you'll make him retire after this fight?
A: I think he might well retire after this fight. Many fighters retire or don't fight the same way after I beat them. Maybe Peter is the next one.


Daniel Ghita

Q: Your opponent has been changed to Kharitonov, so how do you feel about it?
A: The most important thing is I am happy to be here to fight. The opponent is very different from what I prepared for Chalid, but I will do everything I can.
Q: He is a MMA fighter, but what do you think of him?
A: He starts in MMA and comes to K-1. He is a strong fighter with good hands and legs. I think he is a strong fighter.
Q: How many of his MMA fights have you seen?
A: I saw the fight with Overeem and Semmy. I also saw his fight with Pedro Rizzo and Aleksander Emelianenko.
Q: Did you think he could be a strong fighter in the K-1 ring after seeing these fights.
A: It is possible, yeah.
Q: Have you ever fought against a MMA fighter?
A: No, this is my first.
Q: Do you have any special concerns.
A: No, he is just another fighter. I don't care.
Q: You did very well against Semmy, but how do you feel about the fight?
A: I think things went a bit fast for me. I fought in Tokyo and then a month later I am fighting in Korea against Semmy. I was also a little nervous.
Q: This time you'll be in the reserve match, but do you think you'll be in the tournament eventually?
A: I would love to, but the first reserve fight in between Peter and Saki so they have a better chance.


Singh "Heart" Jaideep

Q: Some people feel you beat Teixeira.
A: Well, he is a famous fighter so unless I completely dominate him I can't win.
Q: But you felt you did?
A: I can't say.
Q: Did you give it your all?
A: Perhaps not 100%.
Q: Your knees worked well though.
A: They were finding their mark.
Q: What have you been working on since?
A: Increasing my power.
Q: So are you doing weights?
A: I have recently started to a little bit.
Q: What do you think of your opponent?
A: He will come out strong, so I need to be careful and take my shots.
Q: He is confident he will KO you.
A: I'm sure he will try.
Q: What are your plans for next year?
A: I can't imagine until after this fight.
Q: Who do you think will win the WGP?
A: Alistair Overeem I think.




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Daniel Ghiţă

Gokhan Saki

Keijiro Maeda / KYOTARO

Singh Heart Jaideep

Tyrone Spong

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