Johnny Case, Ulka Sasaki, More Share Thoughts On Rizin Fights


RIZIN Fighting Federation held media-day interviews with each fighter for the 12/31 card, please see below for the quotes from each fighter, provided unedited

Miyuu Yamamoto

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Yelling at my kids (laughs). I like to spend time with my kids, or go to the beach.


Arsen Yamamoto

Q: Could you tell us about your condition?

A: It’s perfect. My motivation is in peak condition. I’m always looking up, so I feel good.

Q: How do you think the match will go? Tell us about your gameplan.

A: I will try to adjust to whatever he does.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: listen to music, do crazy stuff with my coaches, play with my wife and baby. i love looking at the pictures of them.

Q: What does your wife do?

A: ???????

Q: Is your entrance theme going to be the same?

A: No, I will be using what kids been using during his shooto days.

Q: What do you think your uncle kid will tell you about the match

A: When I was worried he would always say, yeah you'll be ok. So I think he’ll be looking at me and saying the same thing too.

Q: This time, you have miyuu and yourself consecutive matches, but this time your match is first. what do you think about that?

A: in the past, my mom fought first. I was nervous and worried about my mom, but this time I’ll be relaxed and cheer for my mother.

Q: What do you think of her as a wrestler?

A: I respect her very match, i think shes an amazing person.

Q: Have you looked back at your fight against miyata?

A: Yes, but idk, i could be something i could use as a refernce, but i resist watching the match.

Q: Youw ould like to show more than youruncle showed in the past?

A: of coures i would like to show exciting matches and get the crowd roaring.

Q: So this match is dubbed as the kid yamamoto memorial match. How do you feel about that kind of title?

A: I don’t really mind about it. It’s not something that would especially motivate me. A match is a match. so I would like to go into as a normal match. But it’s also a retirement match for my opponent miyata. I would like to show respect to him and make it a great match. I don’t really think about it as a memorial match.

Q: Miyata has not competed for quite some time. Could this be to your advantage?

A: This is his last fight, so I know his conditioning is definitely going to be good, so its going to be awesome, and the fight will help me grow for sure.


Johnny Case

Q: Could you tell us about your condition?

A: Great, ready to get this weight cut underway and have some fun on fight night.

Q: How do you think the match will go today?

A: Fight with all my heart and soul, put on a performance, and hopefully make a name for myself in Japan. I really want to build a fanbase here.

Q: Have you watched the video of Yachi, and what is your impression?

A: I studied fight footage of his. I think he’s a great opponent, a world class fighter - but he’s got alot of holes. My style is going to expose those holes. I’m a more complete fighter, and that is going to show on fight night.

Q: Could you say that you are better than him overall as a fighter?

A: I think my skillset is a lot more well rounded than Yusuke Yachi’s. That’s the fight game though, we’ll see who shows up and who is willing to bleed more.

Q: What’s the difference in preparing for a fight in the ring vs a cage?

A: Getting up in the ring is different than getting up in the cage. I’m not relaly the kind of fighter to to slow things down on the cage. I’m more of the kind of fighter to stay in the middle of the cage and fight with a high pace. I’m really looking forward to the knees and the stomps and soccer kicks. It’s reinvigorated the fight game for me. The UFC rules implements a lazy game. The urgency to get up isn’t there. It’s a more efficient way of fighting here in Japan. I’m really looking forward to fighting in this ruleset and my style has only been improved by this ruleset.

Q: How do you feel about fighting in a legendary arena like the SSA?

A: My first introduction to MMA was PRIDE. Obviously the ssa held k1, and I’m a huge fan of that as well. Going back to fight at the arena is like a dream come true. My first outing there was great. I had a great performance, and it was like a dream come true.

Q: You are focused on this fight, but the future is coming fast. Thre may be a grand prix for lgihtweights. Do you think a win could convince them to bring you for the tournament?

A: I’m going to use this fight as a platform to show y skills and that I’m an exciting fighter. I’m gonna use this fight as a catapult to show the JMMA fans and RIZIN that I’m here, and I’m here to stay.

Q: RIZIN is expecting to set the GP in Lightweight, do you have anyone in your mind that you would like to fight against?

A: Everyone.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time away from training?

A: I like doing things that scare me. I race motocross. I still ride motorcycle street bikes. I like to shoot guns. I train alot, I’m a full time fighter, thats all i have time to do. If im not training, I’m cleaning the house, taking care of everyday life. I train and recover, and thats what makes me happy.

Q: You have the nickname hollywood, how did you get it?

A: I won my first 2 or 3 fights by KO in like 30 seconds. Everytime I fought I was really exciting, so they called me hollywood. I got the nickname after my 3rd amateur fight, and it stuck.


Kyoji Horiguchi

Q: How is your condition?

A: I still have the weigh-in tomorrow, so I’m a little bit hungry.

Q: Could you tell us about your gameplan for the match?

A: My opponent is a good wrestler, but I’d like to try to hit some punches and kicks.

Q: Could you tell us about you look forward to in the match?

A: I’d like to use my striking to finish the fight.

Q: How do you spend your day?

A: I start raining on the first floor, then go to my room to have lunch, then go to train.

Q: Do you have anything else that you like to do besides fishing?

A: I like to try to go out and eat good food, I also like junk food, like hamburgers - I love hamburgers.

Q: Where do you train when you comeback to japan?

A: I go to a karate dojo.


Justyna Haba

Q: Could you tell us about your condition?

A: I feel very good right now. Just maybe a few days ago I had a little bit of a cold, but now its good.

Q: How would you like to fight your match?

A: I like to try to stand up and fight, that’s my main plan, but there might also be some ground game.

Q: Could you tell us about your fighting career, when you started fighting?

A: I started fighting 6 years ago, first I entered and MMA club, and started learning MMA. Then, I moved to standing fights and then learned standing and ground rules. I’ve had some fights, I don’t know how many matches I’ve had in the past.

Q: I hear you are in the Armed Forces right now, could you tell us about your career?

A: I joined the Armed  Forces about 1 year ago. I’m still learning.

Q: There have been a few Polish fighters in the past in RIZIN. Have you seen their matches or have you talked to them about fighting?

A: I’ve actually talked with all 3 fighters in the past who fought in RIZIN. I’m pretty good friends with them also. Of course I’ve asked for advice about fighting in RIZIN. Advices were not really specific, but just about what RIZIN is, and the atmosphere of the venues.

Q: When some fighters come here for the first time. How are you coping with that?

A: At the moment I don’t feel much pressure. When I first came here, I didn’t feel so much pressure. I expect that just before entering the ring I might feel some pressure.

Q: Do you plan on dressing up as Lara Croft?

A: I don’t have any special plan for entering the ring, but it’s true that friends of mine call me Lara Croft. I feel good about it but it’s nothing special for me.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I love traveling, I’m planning to travel as much as I can, and I enjoy sightseeing difference places.


Ulka Sasaki

Q: Could you tell us about your condition?

A: I just train one more day today, so my condition is very good.

Q: What gameplan do you have against manel kape?

A: I hope to finish the match. That’s what I plan to do. I like to try to finish the matchand give the fans a good show.

Q: When did you come back to japan?

A: I came back last monday.

Q: Have you trained in Japan?

A: Yes, I’ve used that gym previously so I asked to use it again.

Q: You’ve seen UFC, you comented that USA is very good, where do you think the good parts are about the USA?

A: Theres many good things, I think AlJamain is the same age as me. He’s very competitive, he’s got good techniques, andere’s alot of things I can learnf rom him. I’m going to the match with a lot of motivation. There’s lso cages, rings, different kinds of things at the ring, so you can learn alot.

Q: What do you think about the match when your opponent was decided as Kape?

A: I think he’s a dnagerous fighter. Looking at his matches, I think hes a very smart fighter. He might show some crzy stuff, but he’s also very calculated and a very detailed fighter.

Q: Has your fight style changed?

A: Probably I changed when compared to my young self. I could only use ground moves, but now I started using much more striking. I’ve expanded my eability and became a more total fighter.

Q: What kind of image do you have for your hair style?

A: I don't really have any images. But now, I just thought to grow my hair, I just felt like growing it a little bit wild.

Q: Since your last match, what kind of adjustments did you make?

A: This time the preparation period was a little short, and I tried to drop my wieght which was a challenge. I focused on my mental preparation.

Q: I think Manel Kape has an intimidating character. How will you adjust to that?
A: I don’t know. Once I see him in the ring, I’ll fight back.

Q: Have you seen Horiguchi today?
A: No not really.

Q: So you haven’t met him in a while?
A: Last time probably was at a UFC event, so its been a while.

Q: If you meet him, how do you think he would feel?
A: I don’t know, just normal. I just met justin scoggins, its been awhile since i met him, but he said Hi so I felt good about meeting him.

Q: Do you plan on fighting Flyweight or Bantamweight after this?
A: Bantamweight.

Q: What kind of shoes are those?
A: I bought these in NY.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: When in NY, I like to go shopping so first I do the internet surfing, and using google maps. and I actually like the apparel, so I go to shopping.

Q: It’s probably been awhile since you fought in Japan, and first time in RIZIN. did you send a message to the fans of rizin?
A: Enjoy my match, and I hope I can wow everybody.

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