Global Training Report
Kakutogi Tsushin, No.291
December 23, 2001
Caol's Life No. 4
[This is a regular column written for Kakutougi Tsushin by Kauro Uno (for some reason spelling it as "Caol". In this one, he reflects on his loss to B.J. Penn in UFC 34.]
I lost in UFC 34 on Nov. 2. I knew B.J.Penn was a strong fighter, but I was expecting that I could put on a little better fight than I actually did. The fight lasted 11 seconds. It was my first experience to be knocked down and knocked out as well. Besides, I don't remember much about the fight. Luckily I didn't get injured, but I felt mortified when I saw the video later.
This time I did training focused on boxing, especially uppercuts. Although I was planning to finish him with uppercuts, I was the one who was finished with uppercuts. Ordinarily I get into a tackle when an opponent comes to me with punches. This time, however, I had a little confidence in my striking so I tried to fight him on stand up. On reflection, there was a pitfall right there.
What I remembered is up to where Penn gave me a jab in the beginning. My memory blew away after I got the second punch. After that I fell down and got more punches, but I completely don't remember about it.
Mr. Kosaka told me, "For Japanese fighters who enter UFC, there seems to be something missing. They need more something frantic or coercive." It might be true. Japanese fighters somehow try to fight in a smart way. On the other hand, foreign fighters attack aggressively from the beginning even though they lose stamina halfway. Sometimes we might need such a wild power.
Looking at the video, I made a bow to the four sides from the ring and shook hands with Penn after the fight. Then I walked back to the waiting room. But it wasn't until after I got to the waiting room when my consciousness returned. I think I was probably moving unconsciously until that time. I don't remember it either, but I heard that I asked everyone around about my fight, like "what happened to my fight?"
My mother said, "I thought that you would be finished when you got the second punch. That's all. " Even though she saw her son unconscious on the floor. She is getting pretty tough.
I didn't know about such things before this, but it seemed better that I didn't sleep on the same day after getting knocked out. A doctor, Mr. Kevin Yamazaki, Mr. Kosaka, everybody said the same thing to me. If I sleep, they said that I will get into a habit of getting knocked-out. So I stayed up all night and gambled desperately at a casino. I won a little bit in a slot machine. Thanks to it, I could sleep well in the plane on the way back to Japan. I felt like that I arrived in Japan in one moment.
At the party after the fight, Jens Pulver said to me that he wanted to fight me one more time. I was very glad to hear that. And also I was encouraged by Brazilian fighters. I don't think I'm a strong fighter so much, but everybody encouraged me with words like "it can't be helped" or "it was a good fight".
Penn will challenge Pulver for the championship. Probably it will be an exciting fight. For me, I want Pulver to win. I fought him for the title in the UFC before, and I want him to be the champion until I fight him one more time. Of course, I want to fight Penn one more time too if there is a chance.
However, I am now under a training prohibition order because of recovery. I am burning with a desire to train everyday, but I try to feel easy thinking it is a time to divert myself. It might become a little long vacation. After that I will do my best to be able to come out to the ring again.
Regarding what happens during that time, I will let you know in future columns.
(c) 2001, Yoko Kondo. All rights reserved.