Translator Mizuka Koike Talks UFC 144, Fluffy Afro Pen

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Who says you need a pair of gloves to impress inside the Octagon?

A fluffy rainbow pen works too.

But that wasn’t the only reason translator Mizuka Koike was an inescapable presence at last Saturday’s UFC 144 in Japan. Her cheery demeanor and solid translating skills caught the attention of the MMA media and fans.

Koike, who has since gained well over 2,000 followers, revealed Monday on The MMA Hour she was a last-minute addition to the UFC 144 show.

"In the very beginning they wanted a male translator to be in the Octagon with Joe Rogan," Koike told host Ariel Helwani.

Only after helping Rogan during the weigh-ins was she offered the position as the in-cage translator by the UFC’s Japanese partner Dentsu.



Born in Tokyo, Koike spent four years growing up in Hawaii, where she learned how to speak English and a little Hawaiian. As a day job, she’s a translator for ASN, a leading sports channel in Asia that carries all the major U.S. sports. Koike said she previously worked for DREAM and K-1 MAX, but never in front of a camera inside the ring.

At UFC 144, Koike diligently took notes with her rainbow afro pen during the post-fight interviews. In an aggressive testosterone-filled sport like MMA, something as unusual as a wacky pen stands out. But that wasn't the reason why she used her rainbow afro pen.

"This rainbow afro is not my primary pen. I have a frog with me all the time," Koike said. "Going into the Octagon I preferred this one. A frog looks silly. I don’t have a normal pen and the afro one was the only one I had."

For a translator, Koike has drawn an unusually high amount of attention from the MMA Internet community.

"I should have asked some people for a normal pen," she said, jokingly.

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker