UFC veteran Caol Uno spoke on how he benefited from his most recent run in the sports premier organization while his opponent, Kazuyuki Miyata, admitted that he has developed a problem finishing fights. Hideo Tokoro speculated on the losses that have accumulated on his record over the past few years and his opponent, former Japanese boxing champion Kazushisa Watanabe had similar sentiments. Two heavy-hitting painters, Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura and Tetsuya Yamato, were clearly excited about what will be a clear contender for fight of the night.
Caol Uno on Fighting Kazuyuki Miyata
"I felt some pressure before [my return to FEG], but now I am excited.[Miyata] is strong, and he seems very confident this time."
"There are many good Japanese and foreign fighters in the [featherweight class], so I feel like I would like to challenge myself there. I believe in myself, and my trainers, family and friends believe in me. I don't want to betray them, and I don't want my time in UFC to have been wasted. I want to use the experience."
"[I have watched] a couple [of Uno's fights], but I have trained with him in the past too. He has great stamina and is good at making the flow of the fight go his way. I think if I stick with my wrestling backbone I will be okay."
"I'd like to finish him. I can always finish my opponents in practice, but tend to have trouble doing it in the ring."
Hideo Tokoro on Fighting Kazuhisa Watanabe
"I haven't done anything particularly different from usual. I've just been training to keep level headed in the ring. I know [Watanabe] is a former champion in boxer, and he looks like quite an athlete. I think he is better suited to MMA than K-1."
"It wasn't a good year but at least against Hansen I could be aggressive so I hope to be able to carry on with that. I think [the reason I've been picking up losses lately is] mainly my training. I was pushing myself too hard, but not sparring enough I guess.I was doing too much physical training. I think I am getting back to my more agile ways."
"When I was facing Hansen and he mounted me [I realized that I needed to change], I didn't know what to do. I knew then I needed to do something different. It wasn't so much that I didn't know what to do, but that my body wouldn't react."
"I'm looking forward to the fight a lot. The weight cut is difficult so honestly, all I can think about now is food. I usually [cut weight] slowly, but this was decided late. I've already lost 7 or 8 kilograms, so I am almost there."
"Since [my debut MMA bout] was confirmed I started preparing. I think I have to learn many things, but if I focus on them I'll lose myself. I have decided to forget about the grappling and that, and just stick to my own fight. I think this will make it more interesting. I went to Blue dog Gym and brought some trainers to me, but that is when I realized I should follow my instinct and do what I do best. I know I am stronger than anybody out there, but if I lose control of myself I will lose."
" was frustrating. I know I am the strongest out there, so why the hell can't I get the results I want? I want to fight in UFC. Am I allowed to say that? Is that bad?"
"I'm not going to run away from anything. If they offered me K-1 I would do it. Sumo, I will do it. Whatever rules a fight is offered under I will do."
"I haven't punched anybody with my full strength with [MMA gloves] on yet. It feels like the core of them is different. I'll find out on December 31 if his face will break, or my hand will break."
Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura on Fighting Tetsuya Yamato Under K-1 Rules
"I never hesitated [to take a fight under K-1 rules]. I had always felt that like I would one day fight and K-1 rules and I just thought, 'OK, now the time has come.' Compared to MMA I think that the distance is difference between fighters. For both of us I think this will be a new experience. The distance is very important."
"[Yamato] punches hard and it's really very dangerous. Every punch can end the fight for him. [Yamato's weakness] is that he gives as many punches as he receives and I have a lot heavier hands than Yuta Kubo."
"Actually I'm in awesome condition. I'm scared at how well things have been going in preparation. I can't wait for the fight. I am the only one that can represent the -63kg MAX division so I have to do well. I want to show how I can move quickly, and I have solid punches. I want to have the fight of the night."
"[Wicky] seems like a really nice guy, and he is a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for him, so I can't wait to fight. I'm sure it will be the sort of fight where will will both be doing our best to knock the other out. It is going to be an aggressive bout full of fireworks. I'm looking forward to [seeing Wicky's unusual striking]. I can't wait to see what he can bring to the fight so that we can really entertain the crowd. "
"I'm focused completely on my training [now that I am no longer working a second job], and training twice a day. I think the color of his hair would never be forgiven by my ex-boss."