PRE-OWGP 2006 OPENING ROUND INTERVIEW WITH IKUHISA MINOWA
05/04/2006

Ikuhisa Minowa: I haven't met my opponent yet, so I feel the same as always now. I think it's a good feeling, though. I just arrived in Osaka. Looking out from my window in my hotel room and I thought that the population is incredible and this is like a computer city.

When I returned from overseas, I felt the same way when I looked at Tokyo as I crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I live in a corner apartment normally and I usually can't see much of Tokyo. Looking at it from a distance though, it's like taking the top of an electronic machine. There are a lot of lines and small pieces lined up, right? Tokyo is like a giant version of that and there are cars moving, and roads built, in the middle of it. There are people living in the buildings, so it makes me feel like the buildings are nests for humans.

I played catch after my public training session. I'm still not very good but it made Mirko a little more realistic for me. A trick move like the last time? ...(smiling)...I might have something like that. I'm not sure. I'm looking forward to seeing the fight myself. I don't want to exceed anyone. By beating Mirko, I believe I can make myself bigger and stronger.

My image of Mirko is Buffalo Man [a Japanese comic character]. His left high kick is his long horn. Buffalo Man has 10,000,000 power and I, as Kinniku Man [from the same comic], have 950,000 power. How does someone with 950,000 power beat someone with 10,000,000 power? In the comic book, he beats him with imagination. In my way of thinking, if I can beat him in my mind, then I can beat him in reality, too. Kinniku Man used fire. I think it's the combination of technique and intensity that will bring out a power able to overcome 10,000,000 power. I'm still studying but I know how to bring that out. I can't win if I don't bring it out this time. Doing so is tiring though, but if I can control it well, it won't be a problem.

Of course, I'm going to win the Grand Prix. On the other hand, to fight in the Open Weight Division, you've got to fight with your body. If they fight with their body, you have to use your body. You have to use skill and heart and one other thing but let's leave that as a "?" for the moment. I want to prove that it's not about who has the biggest body.
Mirko is 32 and I'm 31. The other fighters are in their thirties and twenties. Their body sizes are different but the number of years we've been fighting isn't that different. For example, if two fighters have trained for 10 years doing different things, they've built up muscles, power and stamina in different ways. It's just that one person has a bigger body. Having a different sized body just means that their skeletal frames and genetics are different. The fact that you've both been training for 10 years is the same.

I want to get little people hope by winning. And, I'm also Japanese. Japanese average about 170cm and foreigners average 180cm. Our frames are different and our heights are different. There aren't many Japanese Heavyweights over 180cm, are there? I'm just a little over 170cm. That's the average Japanese height. In terms of the Japanese body frame, I'm average and I think this size is the best for power and movement. I think I can use a Japanese-esque power, technique and body movement. I think I will also be able to show how a Japanese fighter should fight a foreign fighter.
My theme for this event is "Heaven Revolution." It's just one step toward the revolution. Rather than one step, it's just one piece. It's one piece of my dream. 6 becoming 9 is a revolution. It's upside down. If 6 is my strength, then my opponent's energy is 9. I'm 6 and Mirko is 9. If I win, then our positions, and our numbers, are reversed and I will become 9. That image is the revolution. I'll show you what that means in the fight.