Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Questions with Hamasaki!

Name: Ayaka Hamasaki
Age: 32
Height: 5"2 (157.5cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Record: 10-1
Notable Wins: Naho Sugiyama, Emi Fujino, Mizuki Inoue, Ham Seo Hee, and Yuka Tsuji

CJ: You returned to action in August (after a year layoff to recover), and defeated Sugiyama by TKO. That's your first non-injury TKO. You also dropped her with your punches. Can you talk about the fight? Did you think you would win by TKO?

AH: It was my first fight in over a year because of my knee surgery, it was also my first fight at 105, so I was a little nervous. From the beginning of the fight I was looking for either the TKO or the Sub, so its great that I got one.

Courtesy of Lady Go!
Hamasaki Drops Sugiyama
CJ: You were supposed to fight for Invicta FC in November, but the fight fell through because of your opponent's visa problems. Your opponent who you were supposed to fight is now the champion. Did you see her fight with Michelle?

AH: I haven't seen it, but I think that both Herica and Michelle are also very strong.

CJ: Would you like to fight for the Invicta FC title? If so, when?

AH: I want the title! Whenever is ok!

Courtesy of Lady Go!
Two of DJ's Successful Invicta Fighters
CJ: Now there isn't a Deep Jewels 105 champion. Yet, there are a lot of 105 fighters in Japan right now. Are you aiming at the Deep Jewels championship as well?

AH: I'd also like to fight in Japan. However, when it comes to the title, I want the Invicta title more than I want the Deep Jewels title.

CJ: How's your knee? Is it back to 100%?

AH: Yes, I can train and practice without taping without being nervous about it.

Hamasaki before the surgery, where she had to tape her knees.

CJ: You're fighting on a NYE card. Can you talk about what that means to you?

AH: This is my first time at such a big event as a NYE event, so I think I will have a chance to show all the people who come my fight. 
So I will do my best with all of my might!

CJ: Is there anything you would like to say? Anyone you would like to thank?

AH: I'd really like to thank those who have helped me and supported me. I will repay your support by going for the win.

This interview was conducted in Japanese.
The original Japanese below.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Questions with V.V Mei!

Name:Mei Yamaguchi
Age: 31
Height: 5"1 (152cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Record: 12-7
Notable Wins: Emi Tomimatsu, Saori Ishioka, Emi Fujino, Yuka Tsuji, Mika Nagano

CJ: You’ve had a busy 2014. You fought Gina Iniong, fought in the Girl’s S-Cup, fought Yukiko Seki, and you started a new gym (I think). Can you talk about your year, the fights you’ve had, and about the new gym?

Mei: I fought in Philippine in March, PXC, which made me realize that I need more skill and physical in order to win against foreign fighter, I only need submission or KO. 

I've started a new gym,only kids karate class dojo, but my life haven't change at all. 
I'm training as hard as I can for each fight, always looking for progress with my great teammates.

CJ:  Your fight with Ayaka will be one of the biggest fights of your career. Can you talk about what the fight means to you? How do you think the fight will go? How are you preparing?

Mei: Many people says it's the biggest fight in my career so far. I think it's an important match but I always consider all of my fight is important in my life so I prepared as same as other fights. Both of us think it'll end in either submission or KO so it's gonna be either one.

CJ:  Your fight with Megumi Fujii was an amazing fight. Does fighting Fujii help you prepare for Hamasaki?

Mei: Yes, their base is Judo, same coach and similar habit. But it's same thing for them, they can prepare well enough to fight against me.  We both are well prepared, so I only can rely on my fighting spirit.

Courtesy of Lady Go!

CJ: You are also a karate instructor. Can you talk about your karate background, and how it influences your style?

Mei: I started traditional style karate in Gensiryu Butokukai since elementary school. I'm instructor at same school now. 
I learn a lot from Lyoto Machida for my mma fighting style. 
Since I'm fighting in shootboxing, it gives me hint to mix several technique to create my mma style.

CJ: You’ve fought several times at 105 now. Can you talk about any differences you are noticing? How is the cut?

Mei: There is big difference in power. I was able to fight in 115 for long time but 105 is much better to move around in the cage and control the opponent. 
Weight cut is bit hard but I'm getting used to it. 

CJ: The 105 division is a very interesting division. There seems to be talent all over the world. Can you  talk about who you would like to fight next? With a win over Ayaka, would you like to fight for Invicta? What would a win over Ayaka mean for you?

Mei: There's a lot of great fighter in 105. But before I talk about who I want to fight and where, I just need to win against Hamasaki now. I'll talk about 105 after I win. 

CJ: You have headlined cards, been a part of the first female pancrase main event, taken part in numerous S-Cups. What part of your career stands out the most to you?

Mei: S-cup gave me confidence to my stand fights.

Courtesy of Lady Go!

CJ: Are you still looking to fight in the U.S?

Mei:Yes I'm always.  But as I said, I need to win this time in order to fight outside Japan. 

CJ:  There are a lot of 105lbers in Japan, and no champion, how do you see the future of the division?

Mei:I will be the Champion!
And I hope there's  more young stars appear. 

CJ: Is there anything you would like to say? Anyone you would like to thank?

Mei: I thank all of my fans and teammates, family and sponsors. 
I hope there's some way to see Deep Dream Impact 2014 from foreign country. All of the fight is gonna be exciting, especially women's!!

This interview was conducted in English

Questions with Fujino!

Courtesy of Lady Go!

Name: Emi Fujino
Age: 34
Height: 5"3 (160cm)
Weight: 115lb (52kg)
Record: 14-8
Notable Wins: Amber Brown, Mika Nagano, Celine Haga, V.V. Mei

CJ: In your last fight you defeated Ayaka Miura. Can you talk about that fight? What did you think about it?

EF: It's good that I won, but it's bad and unfortunate that I wasn't able to finish. Even my seconds got angry with me for not finishing.

Courtesy of Lady Go!
CJ: Before your fight with Miura, you lost to Jessica Aguilar. Even though you lost, a lot of fans in America thought you performed well. What kind of response did you get from the fans?

EF: I received a lot of messages from American fans after my fight. 

CJ: Do you think you would like to fight in America again?

EF: I'd like to fight in America again.

CJ: In your last fight you were injured, how has your recovery been?

EF: I'm completely recovered now, so it's ok.

Courtesy of Sherdog
CJ: How's your training going? What you have you been training?

EF: I've successfully adjusted my training. Physical training, running, technical, sparring, I'm training all of them several times a day.

CJ: Next year how many times do you think you'd like to fight? Is there a fighter you would like to fight?

EF: I'd like to fight 4 times. There really aren't any opponents left in Japan, so I'd like to fight non-Japanese in America.

CJ: Is there anything you would like to say?

EF: I'm still getting stronger and stronger. Because of that, I'd like to show you more of my fights.  When I watch the UFC 115lbers, I see they are all at a high level and it makes me excited. To the people I always train with, to the people who support me, to those who teach me in privates, to my family who helps me I'd like to say thank you.

Courtesy of Lady Go!

The Kamikaze Angel faces Emi Tomimatsu on NYE

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Questions with Shizuka Sugiyama #1

Photo from BoutReview

CJ: Since Jewels was hard to watch outside of Japan, some fan's might not know much about you. Can you introduce yourself? How did you get into MMA?

SS: Actually I wasn't interested in any martial art until I was 18. I wanted to be a PE teacher. I loved all kinds of sports. It's said that Japanese PE teachers must teach Judo in junior high, so when I was 19 I visited Zendo-Kai. After I entered Zendo-Kai, I recognized that it's not a Judo gym and they teach more MMA.

CJ: In your last fight, you fought against Hashi. Can you talk about that last fight? What did you learn from the fight?

SS: I totally made many mistakes during the fight. 
Mentality, strategies, training.
Hashi-san always made movement before I moved at any situation.
I think that was an easy game for Hashi and her team.

CJ: You've fought at several weights. Your next fight is at 56.7kg (125lb). Why? Can you give us your reasoning? Will you stay at 56.7kg from now on?

SS: First, there are not many 135 fighters in Japan. I was told that if I wanted to fight this summer, I need to change my weight class to 125. Second, many people say to me that I'm to small and weak for 135 compared with Invicta FC fighters. But I'm still thinking.

Anyway, this time is a challenge.

CJ: There are a lot of Invicta fighters at 56.7kg. Would you like to fight for Invicta? Do you think you want to fight abroad?

SS: Yeah, if I succeed at 56.7kg, I will probably try. Not only Invicta.

CJ: You trained in Australia before. Can you talk about that? Would you like to train abroad again? Where and who with?

SS: I only trained Jiu-Jitsu and No-Gi in Australia, but that's so exciting! 
Of course I want. Wherever great coaches exist.

CJ: Where do you train now? How has your training changed?

SS: I train at Reversal Gym Me, We. Physical training has made my body big and strong.

CJ: You got to meet Dana White in June. How was it? How did that happen?

SS: UFC staff introduced me to Dana at UFC Japan Press Conference.
He always smiled to everyone. He asked me my record, my weight division, next fight ect. 
I was very impressed, he was serious even to me.

CJ: How do you think Rin Nakai will do in the UFC? Have you ever trained with her?

SS: Simply I want Rin to win. Yeah, I rolled with her last month. She is very technical!

CJ: You know a lot about the UFC. On Deep Jewels TV you referenced Chael Sonnen. What fighters do you like? Is there a fight you like? If you got an offer, would you join the UFC?

SS: I like Sonnen. I like intelligent person. I like Roy Nelson's fight style. If the UFC offers me....I'll try to punch opponent like Roy.

Sugiyama channeling Roy against Yabushita

CJ: Were there any fighters or pro-wrestlers that you liked when you were a kid?

SS: No, I'm not interested in pro-wrestling. But Ikuhisa Minowa aka Minowaman is my hero.

CJ: Do you have any hobbies that you do when you're free?

SS: Drawing and cooking.

Questions with Sugiyama!

Courtesy of LADY GO!
Name: Shizuka Sugiyama 
Age: 27
Height: 5'5 (165cm)
Weight: 130lb (59kg)
Record: 12-4
Notable Wins: Celine Haga, Megumi Yabushita

CJ: Your fight is at 130lbs (59kg). Do you want to fight at 125 or 135 in the future?

SS: Yeah, I'll try. If I need. I think I can. But in Japan, I'm ok still at 135.

CJ: You did some work with the UFC, what was that like? Is it your goal to fight for the UFC?

SS: I just helped their local promotion, especially for girls. Those days made me think UFC was the goal I should head to. But it's a very long way.

CJ: UFC has a relationship with Invicta FC. Would you consider fighting for them?

SS: Yes, but any promtoion or event is ok for me now I think.

CJ: In your last fight, you defeated Yurika Nakakaura. Can you talk about that? She was on a 3 fight win streak.

SS: That's the second time I fought her. So I wasn't worried about losing before the fight. But I was not aggressive with my wrestling.

Courtesy of Lady Go!
CJ: How's your training going? How are you preparing?

SS: In my last fight, I wasn't happy because I couldn't use my wrestling techniques. Now, I'm training judo and wrestling more. And next opponent is the champ of boxing. I'll try to use many kickboxing techniques.

CJ: What does it mean to fight on a NYE show?

SS: For me it's honor to fight in a big event. This is not pride or dream but for me this is PRIDE.

CJ: What will a win mean for you? Who would you like to fight next year?

SS; I need to win this fight. I'm gonna offer to fight Hashi again next year.

CJ: Do you have anything you would like to say? Anyone you would like to thank?

SS: Many people and my team are supporting me, and the fans who bought tickets for me. I think I would like to give this win for them. And I'm gonna step up to the stage bigger than this one.

This Interview was conducted in English

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Questions with Tomimatsu

Courtesy of LADY GO!

Name: Emi Tomimatsu
Age: 32
Height: 5"1
Weight: 114lb (51.7kg)
Record: 8-8
Notable Wins: Celine Haga, Mika Nagano

CJ: Recently you fought and won in Korea. Can you talk about that fight? Also, what was it like fighting in Korea and how did it relate to fighting for PXC?

ET: During the fight I was able to get several takedowns, I'm still on the way to mastering them. I wasn't able to strike or do anything that I had done in training. That I was able to win by a decision away (as the outsider) is kind of a miracle. So I've thought about those things, and then I went to next practice.

Both PXC and Road FC when compared with Japan, have much better compensation. I'd like to see the day when it's like that in Japan.

CJ: What's it mean to you to be fighting on a New Years Eve card?

ET: I've always watched the NYE's card, so now that I'm able to fight on a similar stage makes me happy.

CJ: Recently, a lot of fighters have moved down to 105lb (48kg). What do you think of that? Do you plan on going down as well?

ET: I thought I was going to go down, since there is really no one left at 115lb (52), but I think I'lltry to do my best a little longer.

CJ: You are going to be fighting Emi Fujino, You train together. How do you think the fight will go? Do you have a game plan going into the fight?

ET: Fujino is stronger than most men, so if I can't find a way to defeat her power I can't win. (lol)

CJ: How's your training?

ET: I've been training boxing, MMA, and BJJ at various gyms, since I've been able to train at these places I've improved.

CJ: What would a win over Fujino mean for you?

ET: In Japan right now, the 115 division is Mizuki, Fujino, and myself. We are the top 3. If I win, I'll be number 2.

CJ: Do you have any goals for 2015? How often would you like to fight?

ET: I kind of feel like I'd like to take a break, I'd like to fight abroad again, not only for Deep Jewels, I also want to get a belt.

CJ: Is there anything you would like to say?

ET: WMMA is fun it shows violence and splendor, so please come to the NYE event at the Super Arena!

CJ: Do you know what song you are going to enter to yet?

ET: Of course my younger sister Rie a.k.a. Suzaku! lol