Thanks again for all your support and kind words and even though wedidn’t get the win in Pancrase this past weekend, we did gain a coupleof very important things:
1) For the first time in the history of Pancrase, which is the secondoldest MMA league in Japan, by virtue of me being in the main eventthey had a TAIWAN flag hoisted on the rafters of the arena next to theJapan flag. When I saw that, I almost cried because I knew this was ahuge event not only for me, but for all of us as well.
2) Most fighters go through their whole careers hoping for a chance tobe a main event, let alone one in Japan on a legitimate promotion. Adream came true for me last weekend when I showed up and saw my nameand picture plastered everywhere, including: Samurai TV, severalwebsites and magazines, and the cherry-topper, on a daily newspaperwith my picture and article right under an article about HidehikoYoshida, the biggest MMA star in Japan right now. The publicitygained for Taiwan, Wang BJJ, Andy Wang and all my friends and team wasenourmous and will open doors for us down the line.
3) The fight event is being shown on TV in Japan!!! If any of yourfriends live in Japan they can tape it off their TV soon so tell themto keep their eye out for it.
4) I proved to many, many people in Japan, Taiwan and the USA and thatI can hang with the best that Japan has to offer and that Chinese MMAwill be a force to reckon with in the very near future. My opponentIto was talking a lot of garbage about how he was going to KO me andall that; after I knocked his ass backwards on two separateoccassions, once with a left hook and another with a straight right,he didn’t smile so much anymore and all of a sudden he didn’t want totry and KO me anymore either!!! You don’t know HOW GOOD IT FELT whenthe fight was over and the Japanese crowd clapped for me on my way outthe ring; I earned their respect and even though the judges said I hadlost, the respect I earned was more than enough.
The fight was a very good one and even though I lost a split decision(two judges scored it 2 rounds to 1 in favor of Ito, one judge felt Iwon 2 rounds), I feel it was the correct decision and Ito was a verydeserving winner. I gave it all I had, but it wasn’t enough on thisnight but I PROMISE AND SWEAR I will only continue to get stronger andbetter. I lost this fight quite simply, due to a particular mentalbreakdown that has plagued me my whole career: I tried too hard forthe KO. After I had success early on with punches, I forgot about therest of the game and just concentrated on trying to get a spectacularknockout. Two occassions stand out in my memory; once I had his backand instead of putting my hooks in and going for the choke, I spun himaround and tried kicking him in the face. The second time was thecrucial mistake that cost me the fight. It was the third and finalround and whoever won round 3 would win the fight. I got on top rightaway and if I had just used my BJJ skills right there and then, itwould have been very difficult for Ito to get back up, but instead, Istepped back and let him stand up and once again tried kicking him inthe face on his way up. I did kick him in the face, but he recovered,took me down, and held me down for the last 3 minutes and that was thefight.
I feel proud of myself in the sense that most people could not imagineme putting up that kind of fight against Ito after two years away fromMMA and coming off a loss in Colorado, but I am also upset at myselfbecause I let a victory slip away due to my streetfighting instincts,once again. Frank Trigg was in my corner and cursing me in betweenevery round because I was not using all my skills. He’s a great coachand because I didn’t listen to him, I had to watch in agony as myopponent had his arm raised instead of mine.
I have a long way to go still. Right now, I feel like I am at about50-60% of my ability. My physical preparation is there (I weighed inat 164 lbs.!!!), but my mental preparation and sticking to thegameplan have a long way to go.
But the best part of all this was how I felt in my heart during thefight. All fighters will tell you that they aren’t scared or nervousor worried; I was all the above and more as I walked down the aisle tothe ring and saw thousands of Japanese faces, dozens of news cameras,the PRIDE and K-1 scouts, etc. But not once did I doubt myself orfeel intimidated or unsure; I fought with all the passion and heart Icould muster and one thing for damn sure, Ito will never, ever forgetmy name or face again.
All my love,Andy Wang