Thursday, 3 September 2009
The second half of the interview is posted below. Enjoy!
2009 September 2nd
Hellboy is Back!
Interview with Joachim Hansen, from the DREAM website, translated by Ibarakipatto.
We interviewed Joachim Hansen, who is fighting in Dream’s Lightweight title match for the October 6『HEIWA DREAM.11 Feather Class GP 2009 Final』in Yokohama Arena. He spoke with us about his thoughts on his first defense as champion and on his opponent Aoki Shinya.
──Having collapsed the day before the New Year’s "FieLDS Dynamite!! 〜Yuuki no Chikara 2008〜" many Japanese fans are worried for you even now. What kind of condition were you in?
Hansen: Up until the day before New Year’s Eve I had been practicing in great condition and getting ready for the “big one” with J.Z. I had myself physically and mentally in great shape but right in the middle of the last stage of practices I went for a takedown and when I tried to lift my training partner up but he resisted pretty hard and got my leg caught up. We both went down on my head.
When I hit my head I was conscious but I felt nauseous and dizzy and my head hurt so I took a break from practicing and went to my room to rest. A little while later when I thought I had recovered I tried to get out of bed and I was overcome by much stronger dizziness. I don’t have any memory after that.
The next thing I knew I was lying on the floor and my team-mates were asking me if I was OK. My manager looked at me and said “Let’s go to the hospital.” And the DREAM staff brought me to the hospital right away. I had an X-ray of my skull and a CT scan taken but there weren’t any cracks or bleeding. According to the doctor there wasn’t anything abnormal in the tests but since I hit my head I was experiencing symptoms of a concussion.
I told the doctor I wanted to fight if it was at all possible but he said “ I absolutely cannot authorize that” so all I could do was accept the verdict. Thinking about the fans and J.Z and everyone else it made me really depressed.
──How did things go after that?
Hansen: DREAM thought about my physical condition first and foremost and gave me a half year to recover. I was planning on getting myself back in shape within 3 months so that I could fight in the Shooto 20th anniversary event but there wasn’t enough time and unfortunately I couldn’t make it happen.
──So should we now consider that you are fully recovered?
Hansen: Of course! I’ve been doing hard training all this time and I’m not worried about my sense in the ring. I’m ready to fight anytime. I’m really looking forward to coming back to DREAM and fighting in front of all the fans.
──It’s been decided that your opponent for your first title defense will be Aoki Shinya.
Hansen: It’s an honor to defend my title against Aoki. But even more than that, it’s a joy just to be able to fight.
──You’ve fought Aoki twice before in the past; what kind of impression do you have of him?
Hansen: Aoki is a great fighter, overflowing with talent. You have to beware of all of his many techniques. There’s no argument that he’s one o the top fighters in the world. He’s beaten most of the world’s top-class fighters so I think it’s natural to consider him a first-rate fighter.
──In last year’s lightweight GP you won (against Aoki) in the finals. Have you analyzed what the major reason for your win was?
Hansen: That day I was only thinking about my match with Black Mamba so when I made it to the finals and I found out I was going to fight Aoki I was surprised. But I’m a fighter after all so I said “Let’ s do it!” to pump myself up. When I made my way to the ring I tried not to think things like “the lightweight belt is on the line” or “this is a fight with Aoki.” I didn’t think too much and focused on my match. I think going into the fight without lots of distractions helped. Winning that match was really a good feeling.
──What kind of things do you expect from your 3rd fight?
Hansen: I can never say how my fights are going to go. You get in the ring and you do your best. That’s all there is. As longs as I can win I think any finish would be good. Of course I have to watch out for any dangerous submission moves (from Aoki).
──Going up against that kind of fighter what do you think is the most important?
Hansen: I’d have to say keeping the pressure on him and not backing off.
──Tell us your thoughts on the July “DREAM 10” fight between Aoki Shinya and Vito “Shaolin” Ribiero.
Hansen: I think it was a very strategic match. Aoki put some effective weapons into use and won the match. It was that kind of match, I think.
──There was some controversy over the content of the Aoki vs Shaoln match. What do you think about it?
Hansen: I thin every one of the fans has a right to have their own opinion. Me myself, I don’t want to go around criticizing anybody. One thing I will say however is that as a fighter, in the ring I give it my best and I try to make it an exciting match for the fans. That’s all.
──As a pro-fighter which would you say is most important; “showing the fans a victory” or giving the fans an exciting match they can enjoy?
Hansen: In a big event like DREAM I think “showing a victory” and giving an exciting match are both important. As a pro fighting a match I think you have to think of those as two sides of the same coin. Fans still talk to me about my fight with Eddie Alvarez in DREAM 3. Unfortunately I didn’t win but I’m proud of the fact that tons of fans remember that fight.
──Right after the Shaolin match Aoki appealed to the crowd for this title match and afight with Kawjiri Tatsuya on New Year’s Eve. Kawajiri made his own comments regarding it. Do you have anything to say about all of this?
Hansen: I guess it’s fine. But I’m going to defend my belt so I’m not sure how smoothly all that is going to happen.
──In September of last year, fighting 2 tough fights in 1 day you captured the DREAM lightweight championship belt. What kind of value does this belt have for you?
Hansen: It’s a really heavy belt for several different reasons. It’s the result of the longtime and effort put into the fight, it’s also a belt that I was finally able to get and it’s the belt that was at the end of a long road of sacrifices.
──Straight up、confident about your title defense?
Hansen: Of course。I’ve gotten everything ready for the fight. I’ll defend it without fail.
──Do you have a message for the fans?
Hansen: It doesn’t matter if it’s a title match or what. Hellboy is BACK!