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· On The Spot ~ Daiju Takase

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 08/31 at 04:30 PM

When Daiju Takase stunned the mixed martial arts world with a triangle choke victory over Anderson Silva in 2003, many pegged the jiu-jitsu specialist as a serious contender in the Japanese MMA scene. Unfortunately for Takase, many fighters now had him figured out as a ground specialist and refused to go to the mat with him.

The losses began to pile up, and Takase was dropped from Pride Fighting Championships after losing three of his next five. Now more than a decade into his career, Takase is looking to make a name for himself in America and hopefully the UFC.

David McKinney was recently able to catch up with Takase through his translator for MMASpot.net.

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McKinney: 
What are your plans for your immediate future in MMA?
Takase:  I'm shifting to fight overseas [in America].

McKinney:  You have only fought one time in the last year. What is the reason for this?
Takase:  Yes. There were some political reasons that blocked me from fighting in Japan.

McKinney:  You've gone just 4-6 in MMA since beating Anderson Silva in 2003. How did beating Silva affect your career?
Takase:  After the fight, my opponents have intended to avoid fighting me on the ground. Also, I wasn't so good at striking. That might have affected my record.

McKinney:  I know that you would certainly like to fight Anderson Silva again. Are you willing to call him out?
Takase:  Yes. Anderson Silva has been much stronger than the time I fought. But I'm different and evolved too. I'm so confident that I [would] submit him with the beautiful triangle choke again if there [was] a rematch.

McKinney:  Why have so many fighters underrated your grappling skills and allowed fights to go to the ground?
Takase:  Actually not. After the fight against Silva, all of my opponents except Carlos [Newton] and Chris [Brennan] avoided to fight me on the ground. So I had to make them fight on the ground.

McKinney:  Having tough opponents throughout your career shows in your record of 9-13. Do you see the bad record as a hindrance to your future in the sport? Is it hard to find fights for a fighter who has won just 40 percent of his fights?
Takase:  I couldn't care less about the record. In Pride, I had no power to choose my opponents. Even if opponent was much heavier than me, I had to fight. Also, I had to fight even though I was injured. Now I know I was idiot, but if I rejected, I would have no place to fight. That is the truth. If I could have chosen who to fight, I wouldn't have faced Mach Sakurai and Hector Lombard (laughs).

But now, with a good manager and agent, I can fight in the best condition in my fights. I don't think the bad record is a hindrance to find a fight. But to get into UFC, the record is a hindrance (laughs).

McKinney:  You've fought in the U.S. twice in your career. Is it a goal to make it back to one of the top American promotions?
Takase:  Definitely, my final destination is the UFC. I want to finish my MMA career in the UFC. But it would be great if I can fight in other great promotions in the world before UFC. There are some great MMA promotions where fighters are respected—MFC and W-1 in Canada, X-1 in Hawaii, PWP's "War on the Mainland," and more.

McKinney:  Tell me about your time in Pride.
Takase:  Oh so many things to tell! The main part is that I faced the dark side of Japanese MMA. But at the same time, I saw many great guys such as Kazushi Sakuraba, Hidehiko Yoshida, Kazuo Misaki, and more.

McKinney:  You've already been fighting for 12 years. How much longer do you plan to continue fighting?
Takase:  Maybe three more years. I hope to "die” (retire) in the UFC.

McKinney:  Are you still doing your music and playing the piano?
Takase:  Yes (laughs)! I can make a song. I sometimes play the piano at weddings for my friends and I volunteer at a nursing home.

McKinney:
  Thank you for your time, and good luck in the future.
Takase:  Thanks David. See you in the U.S. soon!



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