Hayato Sakurai

Pride: It was a quick fight. How did it feel?
Sakurai: Thankfully, one punch hit solidly and there wasn't as much striking as I expected, so it was good.
Pride: Did you want to win with a punch?
Sakurai: I wasn't aiming for it. I was planning on grappling but luckily, the punch landed.
Pride: Your opponent came at your aggressively, didn't he?
Sakurai: I was able to handle it normally. I think he was a powerful opponent.
Pride: Did you want to avoid a striking battle?
Sakurai: Getting hit was a little scary.
Pride: Even so, you removed your face guard in the beginning.
Sakurai: They wouldn't let me wear it because it would protect my face, so I had to take it off.
Pride: Were you affected by being in the news so much before the fight?
Sakurai: There were a lot of reporters and well-wishers that came to visit me, so I was busy.
Pride: Did that disrupt your training pace?
Sakurai: I always push my training right before the right so it was a good opportunity for me to rest.
Pride: Was the fear enough to make your wear a face guard?
Sakurai: I was nervous. I'm injured so it wasn't possible to be in my best condition when I entered the ring. It was an adversity but the pressure to not get him in the face was good for me.
Pride: With your win, everyone from the Ibaraki Top Team won their fights.
Sakurai: I'm glad we were able to close it out like that. Kawajiri was just a boy when he came (to my dojo), so it's great that he's become a world-class fighter.
Pride: I think this is probably the first time that children have gotten into the ring and made an appeal like they did after your fight.
Sakurai: I want to do things, not just martial arts, which inspire children to think about their future. I always tell them not to fight at school.
Pride: Everyone around you just must have been going crazy over the incident. Did it bother you?
Sakurai: They caught my attacker and it happened a while ago. It was misunderstood and everyone worried about me. There wasn't any particular effect (on the fight) from it, though.
Pride: What is your next goal?
Sakurai: Consecutive KO wins like today.
Pride: When are you thinking to have your next fight?
Sakurai: I'd like to fight in August, in BUSHIDO.