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: MY condition is ok, I’m doing good.
Q: How do you feel about being in a big event at rizin?
A: Its a very big event, im a little bit nervous. some worries, but as a member of deep jewels, i just need to give my best.
Q: how do you think the match will go? Any plans for a finish?
A: As you know, Miyuu is a legend, and I look up to her. I will try to finish with anything.
Q: How will you try to appeal to the fans?
A: Just don't give up to the end, if i can relay that to the fans, i think that is good.
Q: Having a match right after your birthday, how does that feel?
A: I was so focused on the match, i forgot about my birthday
Q: Have you ever had any relations with myuu when you were in college?
A: Yes i have, i practiced a little with her. We were in different weight classes. I havent really had a spar with her, but we had the same training.
Q: How do yout hink she is doing so far in mma?
A: Shes growing so fast, and her striking abilities have improved very much. Standing up shes very good, on the ground shes very good at defending hersef, and rebounding from different moves. Her ability to adjust to matches is very amazing.
Q: Miyuu has lost by armbar in the past, do you think you can put an armbar on her?
A: I think so, and thats what ive been practicing. If I’m able to do what ive been training on, then i have a chance to get a submission.
Q: What do you think about her wrestling abilities?
A: I don't think ill be able to beat her in wrestling.
Q: You have a family, what is your schedule like being away from matches?
A: i have kids, so i like after my kids in the monring, then train in the afternoon, then pick them up from school.
Q: Do you bring them to dojo?
A: I try not to do that too much. If I do that, it affects my childs sleeping time.
Q: Did you receive any words of encouragement from your family?
A: My child is only 3 years old, but shes encouraged me to have a birthday party after the match.
Q: How is your condition now?
A: My opponent has experience in sports. So I’ve been practicing trying to adjust to her wrestling moves and stuff. I had a goal of being in the nye event for rizin, so im very happy that im realizing this match. I’ve watched rizin nye matches in the past and theyve givne me encouragement, so i want to give encouragement to other people watching.
Q: How would you liek to win?
A: Either submission or knockout.
Q: Has murata given you any advice on that?
A: Yes, I received advice on wreslting moves every day. I respect that and its a fighter that i look up to.
Q: what is the meaaning for you being in rizin?
A: I wanted to prove and show to people that all of us can fight. thats one of my big reasons.
Q: Would you like to show your ability as an mma fighter or show yourself as an idol fighting in mma?
A: id like to show that i am idol who can fight.
A: There have been some fans who approve of my mma fighting, but others are skeptic of an idol fighting in mma. I want to prove that i can be an mma fighter.
Q: This time youre in the opneing match.
A: Yes its the opening match so im nervous but id like to show a good match.
Q: What is one of your strong points?
A: I’ve only been in mma for about a year and ½, but i don't know what i can say is my strong poitns, but i want to show that i can do well overall.
Q: any specific points?
A: i cant think of any specific poitns as of this moment, but maybe im better at striking.
Q: How do you feel about being in the ssa as an mma fighter? Youve been on stage as an idol.
A: I don't think theres been someone in the past thats stood as live performer and mma fighter, so im very grateful to be one of the first to do that.
Q: So you see skeptic/ciritical words about you on the internet, how do you cope?
A: But there are also fans who root for me. I know there is criticism, so i try to see the positive side of it.
Q: You had live performances up until the 23rd. What have your fans and other members in you group told you?
A: Theyre all rootingfor me and cheering for me. They’ve told me to give it all i got.
Q: Maybe you want to ignite the crowd as the first match. Which would you choose if you wanted to win in whichever way possible?
A: I’d rather win however it takes.
Q: is there anything you want to relay to the people as a live performer?
A: I appreciate my members supporting me even though i was away training. I can feel them truly rooting for me and being positive about what I’m doing. I couldnt become a fighter without their support. Ever since i started mma, i have deep respect for all of the fighters. I have nothing but respect for all of the other fighters.
Q: What has your fellow member said to you?
A: She encouraged me alot. I’d like to do my best.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I have activities for kamen joshi. I do live performance, shootings for youtube and magazines. Not much time to spend by myself, but if i do i go to travel alone and go to karaoke alone.
Q: You said that youve been envouraged watching rizin, when was the first time?
A: Summer of last year.
Q: Any specific fighter or match that you saw?Or was it the whole event.
A: The event was overall very cool. All of the fighters entrances, the videos that they showed when they entered was really cool. I remember feeling very excited watching the matches. I could feel everyone’s strong heart fighting.
Q: Since that, you’ve made a debut at deep under amateur rules last december. Its only been a year to realize your dream in such a short period, how do you feel about that?
A: It is like a dream within a dream within a dream. So i was very surprised to hear a match was decided.
Q: The match is in 2 days, how do you feel?
A: I feel the excitement.
Q: How is your condition?
A: I’m in very good condition. I’ve been working hard towards my mma debut. Even though i was training hard, there were no matches and now the match with rizin has been decided. so ive been geared up on my training.
Q: Its your first mma match and first rizin match. How do you feel mentally?
A: I’ve challenged gabi. having that match in 2 days, a dream has come true. I feel excited about it, i think it would be a very good match, so im excited about it.
Q: Gabi just mentioned that she’d like to bring you down to the ground. What do you think about that?
A: I don't think thats anything unusualy. Of course, gabi is very good on theg round. so i think thats what she would look to do. Thats within my plan, so i always considered a very good gameplan towards this match, i just need to execute the plan, i hope everyone looks forward to the match.
Q: Can you tell us about how you will win?
A: Anyway i can win. By decision, knockout, it doesnt matter to me as long as i win. Its just my desire to win.
Q: youve been openly challenging her, she seems not too happy about that. Do you know about her feelings? What do you think of her reaction?
A: Unfortunately the first time i challenge her was 3 years ago. I didnt fight her at that point. I didnt think there were any problems. Its unfortunate how it turned out. She was having difficulty finding an opponent because of her massive size. She was looking for openly opponents. I can understand her feelings. I’ve had difficulty finding kickboxing matches myself. I don't think i should go into details of it. Its just unfortunate, but i respect her as an athlete, a fighter. Id like to make that clear, were going to have a match in 2 days, id just like to focus on that.
Q: It doesnt matter how you win the match, but what kind of points do you want the fans to see?
A: So my background is kickboxing. I can show my different ailities in the ring. I have flexibility too, so id like to show my flexibility and entertaining matches.
Q: This will be your debut match, i think you will be nervous and feel some stress. And youll probably feel heavy pressure as youre walking up to the ring, there are fighters who may not be able to handle that, but how is it in your case?
A: Yes i think i will feel stres and nervousness before the match. But once i get in the ring, i will feel like this is my ring, and all the stress and worries will go awawy. Ive been training for that match, so id like to show my gratitude toward gabi garcia for accepting my challenge. I really appreciate for rizin for realizing this match. I feel very honore and look forward to the match on monday.
Q: Maybe you might be the biggest rival for gabi garcia. How do you feel about that?
A: Shes had experience in mma, i think itll be a very good match, and ill try to tdo the best as i can being a valuable opponent.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: In my free time, i like to go to the beach and go to cinema like a normal person. i have a calm life in brazil. i love to do these things that i told you.
Q: Gabi has won all of her matches in rizin by submission or knockout. What is your strong points in trying to get a win against a dominant opponent?
A: It doesnt matter how i win. Probably the crowd wants to see a knockout, which is a very attractive way to win. but its very difficult to get a knockout win. Hopefully if i can, i’ll be happy. if not, im very happy with a decision. its just that i want to win.
Q: How is your condition?
A: Its been a year since my last fight. I had surguery on my elbow in january. I’ve recovered from my injury. My condition is now very good.
Q: How does it feel to come back from injury?
A: I’ve been training hard so im in very good condition.
Q: How do you think the match will go?
A: I love to fight aggressive as usual. I’d like to avoid the punches.
Q: How is your weight control?
A: I’ve dropped about 17lbs, it wasnt very difficult. I’m so energetic that i want to fight as soon as possible.
Q: Is your mother here at this time?
A: No shes in the USA, watching at home with family.
Q: This will be your second time on nye. Do you still feel the excitement?
A: Yes, I remember it like yesterday. Right when i surgery on my elbow, i wanted to train right away. While i was away, i looked at the match. It motivated me to fix my injury.
Q: How did you feel when you heard about the match was decided?
A: I was very happy. Being away from 1 year, its an honor, the fan support was amazing, im very grateful.
Q: How is your shooting the photo book?
A: It was very interesting, very fun. A totally different world than fighting. I love fighting but also other activities, being in commercials and ads for biore has been very intereseting.
Q: How has your recovery been?
A: Out of everything my elbow feels the best since i did rehab and therapy. My arm has fel tthe strongest.
Q: Youre facing a girl that much people don't know. What are you trying to do, focus on yourself or find information about her?
A: In preperation for fights, i don't like to study the opponent. I let my team do all of that. When you do that, your whole training camp becomes trying to beat your opponent rather than trying to be a better fighter. Maybe a couple days before the fight ill watch something to see if what i worked on in camp will work in the fight.
Q: Did you have gilbert and keri melendez in your training camp for this fight?
A: Gil and Keri are going to be my corners. Keri has completely scheduled my fight camp, gil has overseen my camp. Hes a great coach to have. Many coaches try to control their fighters, he knows the feeling of trying to go in there and bulldoze your opponent. Hes that man to be coached by. He can tell me exactly where i needto have my head at for that. And i know that at the end of the day, my opponent is not going to be better than keri.
Q: What have you done in your free time away from physical therapy, rehab and this past training camp?
A: In my free time away from physical therapy, rehab and training camp, I’ve thought about thought about physical therapy, more training and more rehab.
Q: Looking back at last years match, you said you won in sort of a dirty way, you wanted to finish clean. How do you imagine your finish will be this time?
A: I don’t have any plans, if i make plans previous to the match, lets say if i plan winning by armbar, then i go into an armbar from difficult angle, i try not to do that. I’ve trained from different positions, and try to win from anywhere.
Q: You tried to win by triangle choke last time.
A: But trying to work on defensive moves. I start thinking that I’m trying not to lose. rather that trying not to lose, i want to think about how i can win.
Q: How have people reacted to your photo book?
A: I’ve had positive reviews on facebook and other social media, so im very grateful for that.
Q: Since turning to mma, have you thought about being in the same ring as floyd mayweather?
A: I’ve never thought about that.
Q: Is there any thoughts you have towards the match?
A: I hope tenshin does well. Of course in japan, tenshin is famous and has a big fanbase. But looking at the SNS, i see new fans in the states.