photo 1 of 63
Training: I usually train twice a day. Afternoon and night. For the afternoon training, Mondays and Thursdays are MMA sparring days, and the other days I do strength training and conditioning. And in terms of night training, I do sparring every day, emphasizing more on technique. I always emphasize more on improving my strength but for Yahya it’s obvious that he is dangerous on the ground so I did emphasize that a bit more during my training.
What ranks and titles have you held? I won a rookie of the year award in Shooto back in 2005, and last year, I won the Cage Force bantamweight tournament.
Do you have any heroes? I respect Chiyonofuji, one of the best grand champions (Yokozuna) in the history of sumo.
What does it mean for you to fight in the WEC? It’s like, if this is professional baseball, going up to play in the major leagues. Right now I think WEC is the best promotion in the world for the bantamweight fighters.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I got a master's degree in electrical engineering.
Most memorable professional fight? I would have to say the fight against Ryota Matsune. It was right after I won the rookie of the year award, and back then Matusne was considered as one of the best in the world at 60 kg & Under, so it was a meaningful fight in the sense that I got to measure myself against the rest of the world. This fight gave me confidence that I can fight professionally.