Masanori Kanehara finally makes his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 52 in Tokyo, Japan against Leroy Caceras.
Kanehara is one of Japan’s most notable fighters, with a distinguished record that includes wins over Kid Yamamoto and Jung Chan-Sung. He was the Sengoku Lightweight Champion after a storied run in the regional ZST promotion. His recent appearances added up to 6 straight finishes until a strange referee disqualification in his last outing.
At the media presser leading up to the fight, MMA-in-ASIA talked to Kanehara about the call up, his opinions on his opponent being changed from Urijah Faber to Caceras, what he needs to do in the next chapter in his career, and about his iconic yellow gi.
On the UFC call up,
“Because it came out of nowhere, it was more surprise than happiness.”
On what he needs to do to be competitive in the UFC,
“There are so many things to work on… however, this is the first fight, and I want to feel what it’s like to connect it to the next fight.”
On his opponent,
“I’m very confident I can finish him anywhere.”