As this reporter was hurrying to the location of the interview, a strange sight came into view. In the middle of a children’s park, a macho man was straddling a frog playground equipment.
What is Koji, 32, doing here on ……?
“When I told them I was going to participate in the RIZIN Okinawa tournament in November, they started pouring in with love calls from karate, mixed martial arts, and other martial artists saying they wanted to fuck Koji. I can’t help but be popular with the guys.
He has not won any of his four fights in RIZIN. I read an article about you retiring and opening a yakiniku bar.
“I’m going to open a bar, but I’m not retiring as a fighter. There’s no way I’m going to end up losing.
It is said that “press conferences are fun, but fights are dull.
“The press conference is my main job (laughs). I mean, I’m the only one who gets talked about when I lose! I’d like to share this charisma with the other fighters.
I’d like to share my charisma with the other fighters.
“That’s right. I’ve fulfilled all the dreams I had when I was in elementary school: to be famous and rich. Thanks to you, my annual income is over 100 million. The only thing I can’t get with money is victory. That’s why I can’t let it end like this. Some people say, “The plating is peeling off,” but it’s just a matter of reapplying it again. I’m determined to win next time so that I can put smiles on the faces of my friends and Koji fans who are feeling frustrated. If I lose, I’ll retire. That’s what I’m determined to do.
If you win, who do you want to beat next?
“If I win, who do you want to fight next? I want to fight Takeru Takepon (Takeru Takeru). I’ve been told that I’m done, but I’m going to fight the top guys in K-1 from RIZIN. Isn’t that interesting? No matter what they say, no matter how they laugh at me, I’m going to push forward.
There is no doubt that the Trickster’s continuation is good news for the martial arts world.
From “FRIDAY” November 5, 2021 issue
PHOTO： Etsu Itakura