“I thought that I would fight against him for New Year's Eve, but they offered me [Kazunori] Yokota instead. I can't really think about fighting [Shinya] Aoki at the moment, since I want to take a moment to reflect and confirm what it is I want to do, and then move forward. Also, I've received a few injuries from this fight and need to address them first. I injured my left knee in the end of October or the beginning of November, and I hurt it so bad I couldn't walk on it then, and now I can't stand on it. So I think it might impact me as a fighter. I haven't had it checked out with an MRI yet, but I do want to confirm a diagnosis for it now.” -- Tatsuya Kawajiri, who limped into the post-fight interview room with a pack of ice taped to his knee.
“As of today's fight, the 'Omigawa 2009 Eat S--- Show' has concluded. I haven't really reflected on all of 2009 quite yet, so I don't know what the theme of 2010 will be either. Still, I know that I want to continue making an impact next year regardless.” -- Michihiro Omigawa, searching for a new theme in 2010, now that he believes the naysayers are silenced. (Note: Omigawa's “2009 theme” was influenced by Enson Inoue's infamous post-fight proclamation after defeating Randy Couture in 1998. Inoue bellowed the same message to his naysayers, who did not believe he would defeat Couture.)
“So, that's all of my thoughts for tonight. I will leave now, and Mr. Sasahara can stay [to answer more questions]. I'm going to go do my Twitter Countdown.” -- Sadaharu Tanigawa, vacating the interview room in order to tweet in the New Year.
“Just moments away now. I'm sorry to have to keep you all here over New Year's Eve … but wow, you guys must really love fighting, don't you?” -- Keichi Sasahara to the gathered media in the post-fight interview room, minutes before the midnight mark.
“I'm not in a position to really talk about the result, but I feel as if I never really fought and I'm wondering why the referee stopped the bout. It was a flash knockdown, and my body was figuring out how to move next. I think the referee's judgment came from his momentum. I thought that we could restart the fight, and that if I really lost again, fine. Sure, I took one big punch, but fighters receive more punches than that in a fight because we're not playing around in there. I was very dissatisfied with the timing and couldn't understand why the referee stopped the fight. So I actually received one big punch. This isn't MMA; this is boxing. If it's boxing, calling a flash knock down is fine, but if we accept this kind of thing for MMA, it renders MMA uninteresting. I just cannot digest this, and that's how I'm feeling. So, I plan to file a formal protest.” -- Kazuo Misaki on the state of MMA refereeing and getting his turn at seeking a no contest.
“I don't really have any strong opinions about the Dream-Sengoku feud. Although I was raised in Sengoku, became strong there and have come from there to compete here, fighting has always only been about one man versus another, win or lose, in a ring.” -- Michihiro Omigawa, diplomatically deflecting Dream-Sengoku feud talk.
“Well now that we've fought, I'll admit it, I was a fan of [Norifumi] ‘Kid’ Yamamoto before. Way back, when I'd met him for the first time at some club somewhere, I asked him ‘please shake my hand,’ like some sycophant. But I wouldn't be able to have fought him if I just remained a fan, and I wouldn't have been able to befriend him. I also have pride in myself, as a champion.” -- Masanori Kanehara on being in awe of the myth of Kid and overcoming it in order to conquer him.
“I didn't have a chance to get on the mic today, but if I did, what I'd want to say is basically this: The martial arts world in Japan … well, I always wanted to be a professional baseball player, so later whenever people asked me who my rival was, I'd always say, 'It's baseball.' Three or four years ago, I think martial arts really had good potential to rival baseball, and fighters at this level are training just as hard as pro ball players and they're just as good. I want people to recognize this, and I want there to be the kind of enthusiasm people had for it in the days of Pride. I don't know who I should be saying this to, really, maybe the management, or people higher up in this industry like that. But actually, I don't know what the motivations of the management of this industry are, only protecting or pursuing one's own interests like that. I want them to expand and grow this world. I mean, the bounds of this industry are shrinking by splitting, getting together again and then splitting again. No one is gaining anything from that.” -- Akihiro Gono, pleading to the powers that be in Japan to unite and revive the sport.
“I was ready to keep going, but the referee jumped in and I'm not going to argue with the referee -- he's looking out for my best interests -- but I felt like I could have kept going. I wasn't out. I mean, the punch hurt me, I went down, but I was back up, and then the referee jumped in. You know, I can't argue with the referee, he's looking out for my best interests. It's just one of those days.” -- Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, showing new-found respect for authority.