A lot of people haven’t heard of Shooto-MMA simply because they are located in Japan. This organization is actually 30-years old and I am fighting in their 30th year Tour.
According to the Shooto-MMA Wikipedia page, Shooto was formed in 1985 as a fighting system based off of shoot wrestling. Their first amateur event happened in 1986 and their first professional event happened in 1989, which is the year they are celebrating.
This fighting system evolved a lot over the years into what we now know as Mixed Martial Arts. The organization has grown tremendously and continues to grow. They will continue to see this growth as they most recently partnered up with One Fighting Championship.
Weight Cut Update
Well, I am still on track to make weight before I step on that plane. The next couple of days are going to be crucial. I do this so many times one would think I would have this down to a system. Well I kind of do have one but it all comes down to how I execute it.
We are in the fine tuning stages of finalizing the game plan for this fight. I am still putting in the work and focusing my energy where it needs to be focused. I have one more session with all three of my coaches together and I am ready to make full use of that time. After that it is all in my hands and up to me to put forth everything they have instilled in me this fight camp that was real short notice.
How am I feeling?
I guess I can still say excited. This is going to be an experience for me and a few firsts as well. The body is receiving some therapy because we all know we must take care of our body if we want it to continue to support us in all we do. Especially for me as a fighter, recovery is important.
I have a full day and a half of work to go at my full time job with UFC Gym Mililani and then I take care of some last minute stuff before I pack.
For now let me just say, I am excited and really looking forward to this opportunity!
JAPAN I am coming very soon! It is typical for me not to know who my opponents are when they announce who it is I will fight. This fight was no different. I was sent a video link and was told this is the guy you will be fighting. I usually don’t like to watch film of my opponents until maybe the week of or week before the fight. But since it was a short notice fight and because I was instructed to watch it, I did.
Yusaku Nakamura, Japan
My opponents name is Yusaku Nakamura. He is a fighter out of Team Alpha Male Japan. His record is 14 wins, 6 losses, 1 draw. Yusaku is a seasoned fighter and his most recent stint was with the fight promotion known as Rizin. Rizin was dubbed as the new Pride.
From reading what is available online and watching some of the film, we have learned that he has a Kempo Karate style of fighting. That really doesn’t matter as we prepare for all eventualities.
If you follow me and my fight career, you know that I most times have to cut weight. This fight is the same but needing to lose an extra five pounds to my normal 135 to 130.
How am I feeling? Well I guess you could say I am feeling a little normal yet a little nervous because adding in a flight over into International waters has never been an issue. If you don’t know, flying over can add on 5 pounds due to swelling. Along with that concern is the possibility of dehydration while in the air. So all these things play a factor at this moment.
I am on track to make weight right now. My diet has been strict a d my water intake has been good, Cutting back on the water intake and focusing on dropping as much weight as I can before my flight.
I am focusing on preparing myself not only physically but mentally as well. Not only is it my first Professional International Fight, it is my very first fight out of my home, Hawaiʻi. Not my territory, not my normal crowd who comes out, a whole different scenery. Regardless of all that, I am focusing on me and my game plan and following the lead of my coaches and team.
Coach Scott has been drilling me and putting me through different scenarios. Listening to him and following his lead is what will get me through this. However, I know that I am ultimately the one who is in the cage and doing the work. I know that I am going to have to be the one who finishes the job.
Stay tuned for the rest of the updates to see where my thoughts are as we get closer to the departure of my flight and all the work that comes after it! Here is last update if you missed it before this one: Japan 1.
I am heading to Japan! My very first fight out of Hawaiʻi! We took the fight with a little over 2-weeks til battle. We were first approached by Shooto maybe 3-weeks til fight. The good thing is I was already a week into fight camp for a fight in April. So we picked up the training and my weight cut started a little later than norm.
By this time next week in Japan it will be fight day! So I will try to send updates here from the website daily until then.
Training for Japan
The training is almost like any other training except we needed to pick up the intensity and start game planning and watching some short clips of my opponent.
I also started to get different looks from people I do not normally spar with. This allowed me to get a different feel from different people and it is always a plus. Thanks to Coach Jay Penn and fellow professional MMA Fighter Tyson Nam. Also thanks to Shojin & Kaylan for those Friday night rounds too.
My coaches took up the intensity as well. I have had some hard and grueling practices with them, drilling, sparring, and more drilling.
How am I feeling?
Honestly, a bit tired. BUT, extremely excited. This is going to be my first fight out of Hawaiʻi. Who wouldn’t be excited at that? I know it is not going to be a vacation because I have my work cut out for me. The excitement to have a Professional MMA fight out of country is high!
I am still working my Full-Time job as the MMA Manager at UFC Gym Mililani so that with training keeps me on my feet and on the go practically all day! I am not complaining though, both things I love to do and it is all part of the commitment and sacrifices to the sport I Love!
Another thing to be excited about is that this fight is a One Fighting Championship Sponsored event. One FC is the UFC of the East and steadily making its presence known in the MMA World. They are considered like the Olympics of the sport, centered around the actual sport and the not extra stuff.
Yes, I know I will be in his territory and home country. However, that is only more fuel for me to represent not only my team or myself, but my entire home of Hawaiʻi and even the entire USA.
Outside of being a professional MMA fighter I have been working for the UFC Gym BJ Penn in Mililani since it opened in 2017. I work within the MMA program as a Coach. You can find me in the gym Monday through Saturday working with clients and teaching classes.
Our department went through different transitions throughout 2018 and it continued through the start of 2019. I agreed to take on more responsibilities with some of these transitions. The week before my last fight I was promoted to the MMA Manager position.
MMA Manager UFC Gym
I was pretty much doing some of the duties that the MMA Manager is responsible for before the promotion was official. I was also receiving some management training as well from different people. It is a lot to learn in the short time frame they give, but I like a challenge. If you do not know by now, I am competitive by nature and am pretty much up to any challenge I am faced with.
One of my focus points is going to be building our MMA Program at Mililani. I remember when we first opened there was so much hype around our MMA Program and not so much now. I believe that energy has to return first by me as the Manager, then by the rest of the coaching team, and then it will filter out to the clients in the gym. Our program has great potential and I want to see it do well.
How you can help me and UFC Gym Mililani
I could use any help I can get from Family and Friends in bringing awareness to the classes we offer at UFC Gym Mililani. Below, I have all the descriptions of the classes that we offer. This is great for people who do not know what we offer.
We are not a typical gym. Yes, we have machines. Yes, we have weights. Yes, we have fitness classes. Yes, we have HIIT and our signature DUT classes. But, we also bring Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the table.
Spread the word, share this post, and come and check us out at UFC Gym BJ Penn Mililani!
This was the date of X-1 World Events MMA #51 “One to Remember”. It was a date that I had to defend my Bantamweight World Championship Title. Everyone gathered at the Blaisdell Arena to witness this epic battle. Hours of waiting before the walkout. Seeing and hearing the wins and losses of others fighting. Witnessing different emotions from super hyped to heartbreak by other fighters. This date went down in history for me and my camp! And Still…
Taiki TIKE Tsuchiya
A respectful guy. Someone who is a seasoned fighter in the MMA Game. Traveled over 3,000 miles to fight me. He came ready to take that title from me. He knew from the beginning that he wasn’t going to have an easy fight. I have to give him the credit he deserves because he came with great intentions, but my determination and will was much stronger than that intention. He and I both gave the crowd a good show!
In the cage
The intense feeling of finally being able to scrap was definitely there. Feeling the energy of those there to support me was amazing. Did nerves hit? Maybe but I had no time to think about that. My focus was on Tike and what I needed to do to be victorious.
The both of us got good shots in. I needed to get back in the groove after falling a couple of times. After the first round I knew what I had to do. I needed to play my game and not his. I got the opportunity to ground and pound and I did just that. Punches to the face, fist to the head, knees to the body. I continued striking until the ref intervened because Tike could not seem to get put of that corner.
My Corner: Coach B, Coach Oz, Ryan. Other Coaches: Coach Scott and Coach Haru