Q:Is the contract that all world and Croatian media is talking about these 10 days being signed?
A:Yes.It pleases me a lot that i signed the 3-fight deal with the UFC.The first one will be in Dallas on August 19th against Junior Dos Santos.
Q:Why UFC, and not Japan?Why the big change?
A:My motives are that UFC became the only global fighting association at this moment that has the strenght and reputation in the world.Unfortunately DREAM didn't followed PRIDE where i was fighting,while on the other side UFC had grown in every aspect.At this moment Japan can't compete,neither financially nor sportlike .
Q:Are you sorry?The impression was that you always prefered ring than the cage?
A:Of course I'm sorry.Everything i made in my career was in Japan.O don't owe it to PRIDE nor DREAM but to the Japanese audience,which i still extremely appreciate and respect.I hope they understand my decision.In today's age,the age of global recession,i don't see anyone coming even close to the Americans.Maybe they will,but in a few years ,when i won't be in this sport anymore.
Q:Your opponent already confirmed the fight few days ago.How much do you know about Junior Dos Santos,and how did come to that that you will fight in Dallas against HIM?
A:My employer chose the opponent for me as always in my career.White said that i will be fighting Dos Santos and i said that's OK.He is a young lion,an upcoming star,with Cain Velasquez,the biggest one.I know he trains with Minotauro,that he is a very good boxer and excellent grappler.I watched his KO against Werdum and his last opponent which he also won by KO.All in all he is a great fighter which is not to be underestimated.But i expect my win.
Q:Your goal is actually the HW belt.When and who is next after Dos Santos?
A:I'll go fight after fight,but my goal is the belt.Second fight should be scheduled around New Years Eve,but we will see how will i recover and prepare after Dos Santos.There is even one possibility that i might enter a ring at january 4th (this sounds strange).I don't know,first I'm gonna do this fight and then see what's next.
Q:How do you see a UFC HW competition?Winning the belt won't be easy task?
A:The competition is extremely strong.There are a couple of legends like Couture and Minotauro,but also a strong fighters like Lesnar,Mir,Velasquesa, Carwina..Like i said ,i will go fight by fight and be focused on what's next
Q:I guess you watched recent fight for ''unification'' of the title against Lesnar and Mir??Is that what you expected??
A:I didn't expect anything,but i have to point out that his win was actually the loss of fighting sport as such.Don't get me wrong,Lesnar is quandary and very dangerous opponent,but me as an old school fighter still prefer technique.This is a defeat of Martial arts.Mostly what he had done in his fights is about his strenght,and i think that GnP is not that attractive to wider crowd.Of course Lesnar has quality sparing partners,he is an experienced wrestler and a man who learns very quick.He has few fights under him and I'd like to see how would he react to 2-3 good low kicks.
Q:While we at low kicks,how's your knee?
A:Leg and knee are excellent.Getting better and better,and i belive it's gonna be perfect until the fight.Should be no problems.
Q:Fertitta's arrival in Zagreb is proof how high u still stand in the MMA world.Were you surprised when he said he's gonna come personally in Croatia??
A:I don't know why did Fertitta decided to visit me personally,but I'm very glad he did.I'm deeply surprised with him as a person.I only had chance to meet him once before ,but this time we spend five,six hours together.He is extremely modest and steady.
Q:Do you think that you are important to UFC because of expanding the business in Europe and Asia?
A:I know nothing about it,and i would not want to speculate.Like i said ,I'm a fighter,they are employers,so I'd like to leave the reasons to them.
Q:How did Dream react when you had to cancel the possible cooperation?Did they tried to win you over to sign over with their organization?
A:Certainly they did,and they are sorry.Well I'm sorry,but this time the sports challenge judged.In addition they cannot even compete financially against America.To compare UFC and DREAM belt at this moment is hilarious.It was different once,when Pride belt meant a lot,today it's not like that.
Q:You are still a big star in Japan,bigger than in UFC....
A:I'm very sorry for Japanese audience.I did not wanted to disappoint them,and if i never fight in Japan i can only say that i lived my best fighting days over there.I earned the name in that country and experienced the most beautiful things from that nation.But life is life,and better offer is better offer.
Q: Although they have the most of the best fighters under their contract,UFC still can't force the best of the best,Fedor Emelianenko,to enter the cage?
A:Fedor probably has his reasons,and i respect then ,and wouldn't want to discus to much about it.He is a man that i truly appreciate and respect,and he's a very nice person.Of course i would be glad that he comes to the UFC once ,because it could open the possibility of our new fight.Rematch against him is still my big wish.
Q: Did you worked out your misunderstanding with Dana White?
A: Dana is my employer,and at the end this is one big job.I'm just sorry that some people ''shoot things of'' over my back.I was a free fighter on the market,and i signed the contract towards the best win.And everybody fully well knows that only valid contract is the material one,with signature.There was no problems.
Q: Is it true that you called Dana about 600 times after it was announced that you're signing for DREAM?
A: Personally it bothered me very much.I don't know why did he said that i called him 600 times,when that's not correct.It's actually close to the truth because i called him exactly,not even once.I only sent him a text message that i wanted to hear with him and fix the problem,if it exists,i certainly didn't called him.I don't know his reasons,but with that statement he presented me in a negative light.He presented me like a badger and asslicker.I would not call him that much even if I'm about to die.With that statement he disrespected me indirectly.Link