Joachim Hansen Interview

oachim Hansen has exploded from almost nowhere right onto the heart of the Shooto scene; after winning all there is to win in Scandinavia from BJJ to the fearsome Finnfight events, Joachim fought in Japan last December against Takumi.Joachim Hansen has exploded from almost nowhere right onto the heart of the Shooto scene; after winning all there is to win in Scandinavia from BJJ to the fearsome Finnfight events, Joachim fought in Japan last December against Takumi. The fight went the distance and although incurring penalty points, Hansen took the judge`s decision and shortly after the fight, Rumina Sato made a challenge. Now he was in the big league and took the fight with one thing in mind, to beat Sato convincingly. This he did, pounding Sato`s head with thirty-six bone crunching strikes before the referee stepped in and stopped the match.

At number 3 in the Shooto Association, Hansen is now preparing for the fight of his life in August against the unbeaten Gomi, training at the Finnfighters Gym in Turku, Finland; as part of my ongoing Scandinavian tour I called in on Marko Leisten and the guys and had a few words with Hansen, who is looking in tremendous shape and looks set to give Gomi one hell of a fight…

Carl Fisher: Can we start with your fight against Takumi?

Joachim Hansen: Sure; I fought in Shooto here last October and Manabu was here and asked me if I would like to fight in Japan and I said yes of course and one day Marko called me saying I had an invite to fight Takumi and I went there in December with Jon Olav and my brother who came from Australia. It was a very good time out there, we were met at the airport and driven to the hotel and we were given food money it was very professional and the first day we just walked around the streets of Tokyo and played games, it`s an amazing town, so like another planet. The next day was fight day and we went to the arena and they have two big Shooto events a year and this was one of them, and I was very excited to be there, yet very nervous as I did not expect to get this far so soon. I went out on the catwalk and Takumi came into the ring and we fought over three rounds and I won the fight.

CF- Did you expect to win, with the minus points?

JH- Not at all, I was very surprised; I had one warning from an accidental groin shot, as I am not a dirty fighter and the second time I kicked him in the face and he had his knee on the ground. First he was up on both legs and the same time I kicked he came down to the floor and he took the kick full on in the face; secondly I was not a Japanese fighter and if the fight would have been even the fight would have gone to the home town, but I think I had more clean hits but still surprised in the end. I looked at the video after the match but Takumi fought very well and has a very hard head, he met my kick as he was coming down and he still carried on; in training I kicked a guy by accident with half the force and he was knocked out cold, so Takumi was very tough indeed, Samurai spirit.

CF- What happened after the fight?

JH- I went straight to the interview and I think then that they said Rumina had already said he wanted to fight me, as he had fought with Takumi in the past, which went to a draw.

CF- How did you feel?

JH- Very honored event though it was not hundred per cent signed and everything; I just knew about his flying arm bar and I hadn`t watched a lot of Shooto, as it`s hard to get in Scandinavia, we mainly watch Pride and UFC, but now I have been watching Shooto a lot. I got a date 18th March and out we went again, with Jon Olav and my brother and Thomas Hytten from Oslo who was also fighting there. This was a little smaller competition and we were top of the bill.

CF- How was the crowd?

JH- They were all on Rumina`s side of course which I understood hundred per cent, he was the home favourite. He looked very calm with his boxing gown and a professional team with him and I was very nervous, full of negative feeling all the time, thinking maybe this was too early to fight someone like this but this all left me when I stepped into the ring. I just wanted to smash this guy up you know, I was ready to fight; in the interview before the fight he said he was going to leg lock me and I said I`d hit him hard and that`s how it happened in the match. I tried to hit him and he took me down and he hit a few times in the face and went straight for the leg and it was in tight, like a vice on my leg. He tried for an Achilles lock then we rolled a little and I hit him a few times and he went for a heel hook; as he twisted one way I went the other and it slipped out and he went for a knee bar and it was in, but I managed to twist out of it and he went for a heel hook again and I started to think I have to do something here, I didn`t know how long I would last.

As I was struggling to get my leg free, his head came into range and I landed a hard shot to the jaw and I felt him weaken and I came up on top of him, but he still had my leg, so I carried on hitting him and sneaked a few in and then he started to get weaker and I knew if I continued to hit hard I would beat him, so I hit him with all my might and I was waiting for the ref to step in, I hit him with thirty six punches before they stopped the fight and the towels came in.

CF- Looking at the video after your win, you nearly got yourself in a bit of trouble?

JH- My God yes (Laughs) I was so happy and took out my gum shield and threw it into the crowd, but I am not a good thrower and I hit a lady on the third row in the forehead, who just happened to be Caol Uno`s mother; I went out of the ring and saw this very angry woman and Jon Olav said I`d hit her with my gumshield, so I went over and apologised and gave her a hug and she was OK and everyone was happy. I wont do that again in a hurry.

CF- Were you surprised at how fast Sato took you to the floor?

JH- Yes I thought he would have tried to box a little, but he was surprised I was so tall, he said that after the fight.

CF- How did the Japanese react to your win?

JH- After the last shots had hit him, the hall was very quiet you know, but they appreciate a good fight and a good fighter; as long as you go there and fight, win or lose they like you, they have a good mentality.

CF- The scheduled fight with Shaolin was cancelled and now you are to face the fight of your life with Gomi?

JH- Yes I was supposed to fight in Hook N Shoot July 18th, Shaolin fought on the same show when I fought Takumi, maybe I fight him another day perhaps.

CF- When did the Gomi confirmation come through?

JH- A few weeks ago.

CF- How do you feel?

JH- A little happy and a little nervous, I have only had seven fights and don`t have good experience behind the ropes; Gomi is very comfortable in the ring, he has about thirty fights and no losses but everyone can be beaten.

CF- What will you be concentrating on in preparation for this fight?

JH- My boxing; I am going back to Oslo next week to train with some pro boxers; they will take care of me. They will be showing me how to punch hard and sharpen my skills; Gomi looks a simple fighter, not in the negative way, he looks like he always have a plan when he fights and I hear he goes down from seventy six to seventy for a fight, so he is going to be strong, plus he has good takedowns and is good on the ground as well.

CF- How long have you been in Finland now?

JH- I have been here about eight months, I wanted to come here to get away from Oslo, not away from the gym; life is short and I want to go somewhere before it`s too late. I have been to a lot of places through this sport and when you look back it`s good to say, yeah I`ve been there, it`s good to see some of the world.

CF- At the ADCC Finals in Brazil this year, you didn`t get off to the best start did you?

JH- That`s right, I had to go down in weight to 65.9 and had never done that before, so I ate some salad in Mc Donald`s in Frankfurt; I asked the guy for some salad as I was very hungry and he looked in the fridge and there wasn`t any there, so he went round the back and had a look and came back with some shitty looking salad, but I was so hungry I ate it, it had a funny smell and as I landed in Brazil I started puking real bad, everything was swinging around in my head, I was seeing double. I threw up on the plane, in a garbage can at the airport and at the hotel and I was thinking fuck this I wanna go home you know, this is so bad luck. I feel asleep and I woke up at seven with Jon Olav and I felt a little better but still out of shape, and we went to the gym without eating and I went on the treadmill for twenty minutes and then I went into the sauna with all my clothes on, chewing gum and spitting to try and lose weight and I made the weigh in at 65.4 and then we went to eat and the day after it was competition day.

The first fight was against Chris Derkson and at the start of the fight I felt some thing was wrong, all my power was gone and my heart was beating fast and I was so tired, but I managed to choke him out; the second match was against Soca and I tried to take him down and get the underhooks but he jumped guard and he flipped me. He tried to pass my guard and we stood up and I tried the single leg takedown and he took a strong grip on my neck and he went down into the guillotine and I tried to roll out, but my hands were trapped and I had to tap, but it`s no shame to lose against someone like that. I don`t have any excuses, I lost and even if I was in the best shape of my life I don`t think I could have won.

CF- We`ve covered just about everything I think now; what do you have to say to all the Japanese fight fans, regarding the fight with Gomi in August?

JH- I hope it`s going to be a good fight that people like, it`s an important fight for me, maybe the most important fight so far and I want to thank them for supporting me and the fans are the people that make the sport. It`s very nice to fight when the crowd are behind you, it gives you an extra kick of adrenaline and makes you fight better and harder.

CF- Thanks for the interview

JH My pleasure

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Carl Fisher