Caol Uno – Ready for Vale Tudo Japan and Looking for a UFC Return
By Christopher Jester
Beyond a simple veteran in the sport, Caol Uno has nearly done it all. But don’t let his age fool you. This Japanese powerhouse has a warrior spirit and coming into his 50th professional bout, he still has the drive and heart to remain one of the best fighters in the world. In this interview with PunchDrunkGamer, Uno gives his fans an opportunity to find out what motivates him, what keeps him on top of his game at the tender age of 38, why he takes his next opponent seriously, and what organization he wants to fight in for the third time.
PDG: This next fight this weekend will mark your 50th professional bout. What do you believe contributes to your longevity in the sport of mixed martial arts?
Caol Uno: My love for the sport of MMA. The desire of wanting to improve, get better, and stronger is the drive for me to continue in MMA until I can continue no longer.
PDG: Out of all the great battles you have had with some of the biggest names in the sport, what have been your favorite and why?
Caol Uno: All of my fights are memorable, and they all meant something to me. But if I had to pick a fight, it would be my second fight against BJ Penn (Draw at UFC 41). It was very memorable for me.
PDG: You are thirty-eight years of age. Some consider this be an older age for fighters. Do you believe you are still at an age to make another run for a title?
Caol Uno: I’m not going to say I can take the title, but my challenge is to get back into the UFC for the 3rd time, at this age.
PDG: What indication will let you know when it is time to retire?
Caol Uno: I want to continue in the sport of mixed martial arts until my body won’t let me anymore. I want to continue until my doctor tells me to stop [laughs].
PDG: Since fighting in the UFC, you have fought only in Japan. What truth is there to the statement that when other fighters have to travel from Japan to the USA that it lessens a fighter’s performance?
Caol Uno: The change of atmosphere and environment might affect the fighters. But I feel that thinking too much may affect your performance more than you think. The fighters who fly over there, and just have the mindset of doing what they are supposed to do, perform better than those who over think about the difference and make it a big deal.
PDG: Your upcoming fight this weekend is back with Vale Tudo Japan. As your second fight with this organization, what makes them an exciting company or platform to fight for?
Caol Uno: My ultimate goal is to challenge in the UFC for the 3rd time, at this age, and by competing in this cage, and winning in this cage gets you the credibility to go to the UFC, just like Horiguchi did after his last win. Also, I originally fought for Shooto, so I want to support what they are trying to do, and motivate other Shooto competitors.
PDG: Daniel Romero may not have the record of a veteran such as yourself, yet he has finished all of his fights but one. What does Romero bring into this fight that you have to prepare for the most?
Caol Uno: His youth and aggression. He brings an enormous amount of pressure right in your face, and I think that is where he is comfortable at. My plan is not to have him dictate the pace or else it will be hard to beat him.
PDG: Romero also comes from Team Alpha Male, much like your previous opponent Anthony Avila. What dangers is there in fighting a fighter from the same training camp consecutively?
Caol Uno: It is scary. I think that he would have more information because of his teammate fighting me in June, but that still doesn’t change the fact that he is a tough fighter. So I am more focused on how to deal with this tough opponent more than how he wants to deal with me.
PDG: How much interest is there to fight on American soil again? Is there any North American organization besides the UFC that you would like to fight for?
Caol Uno: I would have to say it all comes down to the UFC for sure. That is all I am focused on.
PDG: In your downtime in between fights, what are some of your hobbies? What do you enjoy when you are not in training?
Caol Uno: I have my own clothing brand, and like to design, and make clothes when I am not in the gym. I would go stroll around town and look for interesting clothes, vintage jeans etc. I have really liked the casual fashion.
PDG: Thank you for taking out time to allow us to interview a true legend. What else would you like to say your fans or to your sponsors?
Caol Uno: I am not a legend yet [laughing], I am still fighting, I haven’t quit yet. I appreciate your continued support. Thank you very much and don’t miss Vale Tudo Japan 3rd this weekend. International fans can stream the fights via Niconico. We have an instructional guide as to how to get the stream – HERE!
**On a side note Megumi Fujii is having a Free Giveaway Contest, you can get the details here – Megumi Fujii.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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