Takayo Hashi returns to the United States to challenge for yet another world title, this time squaring off with Invicta FC World Flyweight Champion Barb Honchak at Invicta FC 9, November 1st.
Corey Smith: You were initially inspired to get involved with martial arts after watching your brother compete. What was the initial training experience like for you?
Takayo Hashi: It was really fun. There were so many things I didn’t know and that’s why I continued training.
CS: Do you remember a point where you began to believe that mixed martial arts might be something that you could do professionally?
TH: It’s not like I wanted to be a pro. I just kept on training and one day I got an offer to fight so I took it and next thing I know I was a pro MMA fighter.
CS: Having fought both in Japan and the United States, what strikes you as the main difference between American MMA and Japanese MMA?
TH: Fighting itself is the same anywhere. But, fighting in US means, first, usually against tougher opponents, and also, there are many other extra things I need to do such as obtain my visa and all so that can be little distracting to my training schedule.
CS: In Japan you have won both the JEWELS and Smackgirl Middleweight titles. What do you believe those wins did for your career both in and outside the cage?
TH: I got a chance to fight in FFF and Strikeforce because I won the title in Smack Girl.
TH:And in a same sense I think I got the chance for this title fight because I won DEEP JEWELS belt so in that sense all these titles lead me to bigger opportunities.
CS: Your opponent on November 1st, Barb Honchak, is the reigning and defending Invicta FC Flyweight champion. What do you believe will be the key to your championship matchup?
TH: I think Barb is truly an all-round fighter because she can do anything.
TH: I expect her to be really strong especially in the grappling department.
TH: For me to win, I need to make sure that I have to hold my line, and be persistent.
CS: What is your mood on fight night? Do you have any routines or superstitions that you have to perform?
TH: I do whatever I can do to make myself concentrate on a fight. Sometimes that can be stretching and that can be just relaxing.
CS: What type of feedback and coaching do you prefer from your corners during a fight?
TH: My corner men always provide me with choices and suggestions and are also really good at telling me what’s going on in there where I can’t really see.
CS: Aside from fight preparation, how much MMA do you watch purely for enjoyment?
TH: I do watch MMA fight as a fighter because I always think abaout MMA technique when I am watching.
CS: Outside of the gym and MMA, what types of activities do you enjoy for fun? What helps you to relax?
TH: My hobby is scuba diving. I have a license so just few months ago I went to Okinawa to dive.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
TH: I would like to thank Invicta and DEEP JEWELS for providing me this opportunity.
TH: Also all my sponsors – Alienware, Manto, Demons, Shuto, Shirakaba Dental Clinich and Music MMA.
Invicta FC 9 takes place November 1st live from the RiverCenter in Davenport, Iowa.
Tickets are on sale via the Ticketmaster link below.
The full card will air live via UFC Fight Pass. Click below to subscribe to UFC FightPass.