DREAM light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi and K-1 heavyweight champion Kyotaro will meet in the ring on New Year's Eve and the supremely confident Mousasi spoke about how he feels that K-1 is easier for him than MMA while Kyotaro seemed to be more focused on his K-1 World Grand Prix Finals performance against Semmy Schilt. Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa spoke about the theme for his upcoming fight: "Heart" and the judo vs. pro wrestling rivalry that he will carry into his bout with Hiroshi Izumi, who admitted that he is not playing this strengths with his current striking-centric game plans.
Gegard Mousasi on Fighting Kyotaro Under K-1 Rules
"For me it doesn't matter: K-1 or MMA. I can kickbox. That's why I took the fight. I feel very confident, I'm not very nervous at all. I know that people think... I don't know, maybe they underestimate me but I know that I train with K-1 fighters and I know what I can do. I know I can fight K-1 if I want to. I'm very excited, I can fight aggressively without worrying about takedowns. I'm very excited actually. I wouldn't take this fight if I wasn't thinking that I could win this fight."
"[Kyotaro] is very tough. I've never seen him go down or get knocked out. He has a certain style that makes you chase him and that's when he is the most dangerous. We have a good game plan though ... so it should work. I feel I'm explosive and fast and have good punching power. Usually I'm more nervous for a MMA fight but I feel like I can easily fight kickboxing. I believe in myself and have a good team around me, I'll show the people that I can do it. I feel like he cannot hurt me in three, three minute rounds. Of course he could hurt me but I don't know how he can knock me out, I have a good chin and have never been knocked out. He is a good fighter but he is only dangerous with his right hand."
"Thankfully I was born strong. I've got no injuries and I feel great."
"People congratulated me on a good job [after my fight with Semmy Schilt at the K-1 Finals], but it was a fight against myself and I wasn't able to defeat my biggest opponent on the night. Myself."
"Honestly, [that Mousasi beat my fellow K-1 fighter Musashi] has nothing to do with me. As a K-1 title holder though, I cannot lose this fight. I have to win. I have to fight hard to get my fight in television. I'm not afraid of losing at all, but I have to put on a great performance."
"Nagashima and I are fighting [on the same card], but under different rules. It is important we both win our fights, but also I want to have a more exciting fight than his. I hate to lose."
Hiroshi Izumi on Fighting Ikuhisa Minowa
"For a judo fighter to become one of the top MMA fighters you have to make sure that you learn good striking techniques. Power, strength, takedown techniques and ground techniques [are my strengths]. I consider [my continued use of striking] a step in me becoming a good MMA fighter from my judo background."
Ikuhisa "Minowaman" Minowa
"I feel [Izumi] is growing after each fight and improving well. But yes, I have multiple ways to [finish him]. I have yet to explode [in 2010]. I hope [to exlode against Izumi].
[This fight] is Minowaman's 20th story, and this theme is "heart." I often have themes, but they tend to revolve around "heart." I want to expose my own in this fight."
"I learned my weaknesses in the last fight [against another judoka in Satoshi Ishii], so won't allow it to happen again. There were several technical things I needed to change, and it made me aware that I need to change my overall lifestyle too.
"It isn't just about pro wrestling against judo. He spent his life training judo, as I spent mine as a pro wrestler. I am proud of that and want to show it."