Japan A-list fighter Kikuno Katsunori returns to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 52 against Sam Sicilia on September 20, 2014.
The Karateka who commits to traditional martial arts was riding a 5-fight win streak when he made his UFC debut. His 3-rounder with KOTC Champ Quinn Mulhern wasn’t the most exciting of battles, but Katsunori was smart and showed that perhaps his distinct approach could indeed translate well to the cage. However, weaknesses in it were exposed at UFC 173 against Tony Ferguson.
Now Katsunori needs to avenge the split and prove that he is more than just a curiosity. As a consummate martial artist, Kikuno is approaching the opportunity as a personal chance to test the efficacy of his skills, rather than as a fight he must win. It will be very interesting to see what he comes up with.
On his intention to remain true to karate,
“My style is making progress now. I want to improve my style.”
On his philosophy for this fight,
“If I use my technique correctly, I’ll win the fight. If I fail to use it correctly, I will lose.”
To the fans of his traditional style,
“I will show you with the outcome of this fight that I can be successful.”
With translation by and assistance from Kei Kumaki.