Japanese MMA legend Satoru Kitaoka returns to action at DEEP 104 Impact and takes on a young Takumi Suzuki. On a bit of a skid, Kitaoka is looking to get out of the night with a win using his experience, determination, and grit.
Going into the fight at DEEP 104 Impact, Kitaoka feels he is ready to fight his best fight. Regardless of the outcome, he’s prepared well and will enjoy his time in the fight. “I was able to do good training this time.”
In our previous interview Satoru Kitaoka said he has spent his life staying in peak physical condition. But going into the upcoming fight, he feels like his preparation for this fight has been the best yet saying, “I took care of my condition more this time.”
Kitaoka’s longevity has been something he hangs his hat on. Having debuted in 2000, he’s fought in Pancrase, DEEP, Dream, and RIZIN, he has been on the scene for some time. Satoru Kitaoka simply loves the sport. “Love and condition [has kept me around],” Kitaoka says.
Satoru Kitaoka and the ever changing MMA landscape
With MMA growing faster than it ever has, the sport is changing rapidly. New meta is being developed at breakneck speed. One thing that Kitaoka believes is constant in MMA is the need for conditioning. His words are not impolitic. In any sport conditioning is going to be the cornerstone of his process.
“I think physical change is important. That’s why I think condition is important.”
With the vast amount of experience Satoru Kitaoka has, he’s enjoyed teaching the sport he loves so much to the next generation. “I teach at my gym,” says Kitaoka. “I’m a coach, manager, producer.”
With the Olympic Games just leaving Japan, I managed to ask Kitaoka if he thought MMA would be a good fit for the games. With the push of IMMAF to get the sport recognized in addition to kickboxing, Sambo, and Muay Thai being recognized by the IOC, it seems all but inevitable that MMA joins the Games. Kitaoka, however, doesn’t think all is bright in the Olympic umbrella of sports. He believes the sport of MMA should remain how it is, free and not to adhere to the rules of the IOC.
“MMA doesn’t have to be an Olympic sport. MMA is free. I don’t want it to be tied up.”
Finally, going into the fight at DEEP 104 Impact, Satoru Kitaoka only requests one thing from the fans: enjoy themselves watching it. “Rather than looking forward to it, please enjoy watching it,” he says.