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When and why did you start training for fighting? I started when I was 18 years old, to be popular with girls. The result is...it's gotten better.
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? 3-time champion in All-Japan Martial Arts Championship
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Champion in Japan national kickboxing championship, PRIDE Grand Prix 3rd place in 2005 (Welter class), PRIDE Grand Prix 3rd place in 2006 (same)
Favorite grappling technique: None. I don't like groundwork technique with guys too much. (Laughs)
Favorite Striking technique: Anything goes. There's a technique I'm developing/practicing recently and it's called "Japppaaaaan" What it is? That's a secret.
Do you have any heroes? Tsuyoshi Shinjyo (played in Major League in 2001-2003: NY Mets & SF Giants), do American people remember him? Ichiro, Roy Jones Jr.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It's like I'm a Japanese major league player. So there's Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka, then Akihiro Gono...
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I didn't go to college.
What was your job before you started fighting? I drove a truck. I've never disappointed anyone with my driving.