Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Kitaoka confident about his title defense、tells challenger Hirota “You can’t do it”
From 【Sportsnavi】 July 28
Kitaoka confidently boasted “You can’t do it” in a blast at Hirota. The Sengoku lightweight champion, Satoru Kitaoka who will fight in the MMA event Sengoku 9, August 2 at the Saitama Super Arena held a public training session surrounded by the press on the 28th.
In defense of his title Kitaoka will be facing the challenger Mizuto Hirota.
After joining in Sengoku 2 (2008) Kitaoka went undefeated in a field crowded with strong fighters to become champion. This is the championship that he fought long and hard for, but on this day of his press conference he was all smiles from the beginning to end and while answering the reporters questions the tension consistent with a title defense couldn’t be seen.
Of course, Kitaoka said “I have no intention of running from the responsibility that comes with entering the ring wearing the championship belt” and although having awareness of being champion there was none of the fear or stiffness that comes from the possibility of losing the belt. Keeping a good balance of tension and relaxation, it looks like Kitaoka is keeping himself in a positive mental state.
In the 2009 lightweight GP, after defeating Clay French in the opening round he went on to win two matches in one day defeating Mitsuoka Eiji and Yokota Kazunori for the semi-final and final. Continuing with Sengoku no Ran (January 4, 2009 Saitama Super Arena) he put down Gomi Takanori to become the champion. Hirota Mizuto is the only high-ranking GP fighter that has not gone up directly against Kitaoka and is his first challenger for defense of the title. That is to say that Hirota is the one in the lightweight division who is in a position to overthrow the champion, but Kitaoka boasted that with his “you can’t do it” a difference of “class.” “Now I’m in an unstoppable state. If I have to imagine someone stopping me it isn’t Hirota.” Whether it’s confidence of exaggeration it’s hard to put into words but Hirota isn’t the one.” With all his statements that a transfer of the title would be “unrealistic” the champion predicted a successful defense of his title.
In a Kakutogitsushin interview with Hirota Mizuto the challenger made it quite clear that he is sick of being looked upon as a second rate fighter by the champion and is buring to show him up in the ring. What Hirota says he would like to do most is to give Kitaoka a taste of his striking. When asked about Kitaoka’s strong control of distance Hirota replied “I want to keep him from touching me. I have to watch out to make sure he doesn’t get my head or a leg.” When asked how he would like the fight to go Hirota said he’d like to take advantage of his stamina and land some good punches once Kitaoka tires. “I probably won’t be able to hit him at first, but as he gets tired I’ll start to hit him.”