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
Q: How is your condition right now?
A: I feel great, got to Japan early yesterday, acclimating to the time difference, staying loose, enjoying Tokyo. I’m just honored to be here.
Q: What’s your expectation on your bout and any impression on your opponent?
A: I expect a really tough fight. Yuki Motoya is a tough guy, a tough grappler. RIZIN brings the best guys around the world, but my skills are sharp and my kicks are hard. I think I’ll put this guy out in the first round.
Q: In the past interview, I read that you said you’d like to showcase the American karate styel. Can you explain what that is?
A: I grew up doing Kempo Karate. It was tradition with forms and stances. But I feel like American karate is that its a big melting pot, with great martial arts coming here. MMA is finding out what works best, and thats what I feel like American karate is. American Karate is MMA. Its all the martial arts that came to America, and I look forward to showing everybody what the evolution of American Karate looks like.
Q: You have experience with kickboxing, would you say you are good at grappling? Which part do you want to show in this fight?
A: Growing up, I did kickboxing, kempo karate. So I’m well versed in the striking aspect. We have great wrestling in America in high school and college. I wrestled a little bit of college. I’ve had the striking background my entire life, and the one thing I’ve definitely had to focus on in my MMA career is jiujitsu. What i think martial arts is is that if its effective, you should be able to use it against a bigger opponent. Movement comes from these karate styles that come from japan. Being able to move well and stay away from opponents. Honestly, I’m confident in my skills. But I think the Japanese fans want to see good movement and technique. They’re educated, so seeing someone use round kicks and side kicks, I want to give the fans what they say. I’m gonna keep this fight on the feet, stuff this guys takedowns, and knock him out.
Q: Do you find any difference in preparation or actual fight between the Octogon and ring?
A: My whole camp, I trained in the ring this time. It definitely has a diferent feel. I like the different rules, and its a different feel on the ropes for takedowns. I grew up my whole life fighting in the ring for kickboxing. Having the time and putting in the hours defending takedowns in the ring, I feel ready for it, and to go in and play off the ropes a little.
Q: Did you bring in anyone new for your camp, since it is in the ring.
A: No, I just did regular work with my kickboxing coach. My coach Brian Harper is good at wall fighting in general. I think the ring favors strikers, you can’t just hang out and hold each other on the side of the barriers too long. As long as you know how to work off of it, then it can be effective. I didn’t bring anybody specific, because in my area we have good strikers and wrestlers.
Q: How do you feel about competing in such a legendary arena in front of the amazing japanese crowd.
A: I am excited. I want to thank RIZIn and all of the fans for cheering us on. This is one of the original homes of martial arts, its such an honor to go to such a great arena, and on a great show. We have legends in the main event, and I’m honored to be a part of this show.
Q: How is your feeling to receive the offer from RIZIN?
A: I think RIZIN is going to become the new home of the division. It’s clear how they feel about flyweights in America. RIZIN and the japanese fans appreciate the technique spped and skill that comes with thesee sizes. I think RIZIN is the new home. the womens atomweight is really picking up over here, for the smaller divisions, they are getting alot of really good talent, because it needs to be showcased, this is the platform for it. I got a brother and wife, we’ll bring the whole family over here to do it.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I have two german shepards, they’re kind of my favorite thing. My wife, gotta keep her happy, get her her vacations, shes a fighter too so I gotta keep her happy, she might beat me up. We train together, take our dogs everywhere, get lost in the woods. South Carolina is a really chill place, if you wanna see oceans, mountains its all there. im a really chill guy. I’m either outside or inside watching something on tv, not really complicated.
Q: How is your condition?
A: I’m feeling good. I’m just waiting for the weigh-in tomorrow.
Q: What kind of a match would you like to have?
A: I don’t have any definite plans, but I expect anything, so whatever happens I’d like to adjust and I have the ability to adjust to anything.
Q: You started late in MMA. Could you tell us about when you started fighting?
A: I started fighting 5 years ago, I started from kcikboxings. This was really a changing moment in my life.
Q: What was the reason you started MMA?
A: I was born in the island of reunion. I decided to move to the mainland in france, and I met the person who started martial arts.
Q: Who si that person?
A: its a very good friend who lived in reunion.
A: in reunion, kickboxing grappling wrestling is very popular. and i met one of the important persons from thre.
Q: Your nickname is spicy, could you tell us about that?
A: The fans named me spicy.
Q: Do you like that?
A: I like it very much, I think it fits my style and also in reunion, when they tell you someone is spicy it means they are really strong inside.
Q: You have one child, if you don't mind, could you tell us the name andabout your child? if they are here?
A: I have a 2 year old boy, but hes not here in Jpan. hes back in reunion with my family.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I always train for fighting, i like eating, theres a good tradition of food in reunion. So whatever i eat i just forget about fighting and training. I also do gardening at home.