Shunichi Shimizu on his debut at GrandSlam, future in the flyweight division

Shunichi Shimizu
Shunichi Shimizu

At Grandslam on July 13, 2014 former UFC fighter Shunichi Shimizu will make his debut at flyweight as he looks to make a statement in his return to the cage in Japan. MMA-in-ASIA’s John Merva caught up with him to ask a few questions.

MMA-in-ASIA: What was it that drove you to take up MMA?

Shimizu: I had been involved in judo at high school and in 2005 I decided to have a go at some amateur MMA.

MMA-in-ASIA: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

Shimizu: I was really happy when I was able to take the featherweight title belt by submission at Bushido FC in June 2012.

MMA-in-ASIA: You’ve dropped down to flyweight for this fight at Grandslam, what prompted the move?

Shimizu: Obviously it was a move that I thought about for a while and there were a number of reasons, both personal and also because in January I felt that the result of my UFC fight was disappointing for me and also the people that were supporting me. Because of this, I was trying to see what new approach I could take and dropping to flyweight was one step.

MMA-in-ASIA: What was the cut like?

Shimizu: It was tough of course, but as a fighter, it’s my job and I’m ready to go!

MMA-in-ASIA: Is there anyone you have in your sights at flyweight?

Shimizu: Well, it all depends on what happens at Grandslam, but I’m looking to be back on an international level again soon.

MMA-in-ASIA: What was it like fighting in the UFC? Do you think you’ll be back there with a win at Grandslam?

Shimizu: In the Octagon there is absolutely no room for doubts and it certainly is a place for the toughest of the tough only! I think if I can put together a decent run of wins at flyweight then I can return to the UFC, but I’m happy to take my time and I’m in no rush at the moment.

MMA-in-ASIA: What sort of strategy are you going to take at Grandslam?

Shimizu: I’m going all out!!

MMA-in-ASIA: Do you have any message for fans?

Shimizu: Thank you for all your support! I will keep getting stronger and better!