by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
With his most recent win at Bushido 10 Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen continues to show why he is one of the world’s top lightweight fighters. In that evening’s most exciting fight Hansen went toe to toe with Luiz Azeredo standing and on the ground before ending the fight with a KO kick.
Now currently awaiting his next call to action Joachim took time out to speak to MMAWeekly from his native Norway to discuss the win over Azeredo, his Shooto fight with Tatsuya Kawajiri, and his goals for the remainder of 2006.
MMAWeekly: First off Joachim congratulations on your win at Bushido 10. Tell us how you are feeling after the fight.
Joachim Hansen: It was a very tough fight. It was also important to win that fight because I want to climb the ladder and hopefully get a chance to fight (Takanori) Gomi soon. He lost, so I don’t know what’s going to happen now with the future. I think Gomi has to have another fight with Aurelio and stuff first.
MMAWeekly: Did the fight itself go as you expected?
Joachim Hansen: Yeah it did. I’ve seen some fights of him and he was as I expected, pretty wild style and throws everything. It can end in a knockout like that when you fight a guy that kind of unpredictable style. Suddenly they can duck into something if you kick or something like that.
MMAWeekly: During the fight you were exchanging punches with Azeredo while on the ground. Is that a reaction type situation or was it purposeful?
Joachim Hansen: It’s a little bit of mental game, trying to break his will. I know that a lot of people are watching and they like that stuff, but it’s because I want to break his will, I’ve done it before also in Finnfight [laughs].
MMAWeekly: After the fight on the American PPV you said that he thought he was crazy but you are also. Is Joachim Hansen the craziest fighter in MMA?
Joachim Hansen: I won’t say that [laughs]. Probably you have to be a little crazy to do this sport, so probably a couple more guys (are crazier).
MMAWeekly: As you mentioned Takanori Gomi lost to Marcus Aurelio later in the evening. After the fight there was a shot of you in the crowd and you had a very disparaged look on your face.
Joachim Hansen: I wasn’t disappointed because Marcus Aurelio deserved to win because he beat him. But after my fight in the interviews and also before the fight they were asking me all the time if I wanted to fight Gomi, so everyone expected him to win. I think he has a lot of pressure on himself but you never know, Marcus Aurelio is a great fighter, but when I was standing there I think everyone thinks when someone wins a lot that they think they are unbeatable. So it was a strange atmosphere in the whole place.
MMAWeekly: Were you disappointed it wasn’t you who beat Gomi first in Pride?
Joachim Hansen: Of course, I was kind of thinking, “that should be me.” But I’m not the only fighter, there’s a lot of great fighters and you have no guarantee to win. If you prepare good and stuff like that you can always have a good chance to win, but the other guy is doing the same so you have no guarantee to win.
MMAWeekly: That fight was a non-title fight, so Gomi and Aurelio have to fight again to determine the Champion, which will delay your shot at the title for a bit. What do you think about those non-title rules?
Joachim Hansen: I think it’s kind of strange because I think a loss is a loss. They (Pride) may want to have the title fight on a bigger show and maybe make it a bigger spectacle with more audience and stuff. I don’t know why, but it’s kind of strange, I would feel like that if I had a belt and were beaten that in spirit he took my belt or something.
MMAWeekly: Okay let’s talk about your fight earlier this year against Tatsuya Kawajiri in Shooto. That was a title fight but ended just a few seconds in after a low blow to Kawajiri. Do you feel that’s a fight you need to rematch?
Joachim Hansen: I think I have to fight him again because that fight was so…that fight was a strange feeling I felt. I tried to kick him with an inside low kick and he’s shorter than me and I think he stepped forward or to the side or something. At first I didn’t realize it happened, it was totally silent in the hall, it was pretty not fun. We were talking after the fight and he was okay and stuff. I feel like we have unfinished business, but not in a bad way.
MMAWeekly: Would you rather that fight be in Pride or in Shooto for the title again?
Joachim Hansen: I think they want to make it a title fight in Shooto. I think, I don’t know, but I have a feeling I have a feeling that I have to fight Kawajiri before I fight Gomi. We’ll see what happens because I think Gomi has to fight Aurelio again.
MMAWeekly: It may be a while before Gomi and Aurelio get their situation worked out, so will you take fights between now and then or will you wait for them before you get your shot?
Joachim Hansen: I really don’t know. I think I’ll take some fights also. I also have to win because I want to feel like I deserve to fight for the belt. It’s kind of a strange situation. I think the fans in Japan want to see me and Gomi fight, but for me I want to feel like I deserve it.
MMAWeekly: You’ve been fighting pretty much non-stop for over a year, has all that training and fighting had any effect on you?
Joachim Hansen: I think that it is like that in all sports that if you want to be on top you have to take a way a something else. So I feel sometimes that I don’t have a very active social life because I’m always in the gym on top of other men [laughs]. I’ve been more between the legs of men than I have been between the legs of women [laughs]. I kind of feel that sometimes that I get rusty in the social part of my life.
You know right after Christmas I started preparations for the Kawajiri fight, I was disqualified and I didn’t know what happened so I just continued training hard. I had two boxing fights and then I had the Azeredo fight. So I’ve had all this hard training since Christmas, but right now with Easter happening, I’ve just been training normal training, so I feel like I’ve loaded up the batteries a little bit. It’s also important to have rest and get your body healed up because you get lots of small injuries when you’re training hard.
I’m not half-dead when I come home from training and I feel that I’m getting better. I think I also learn how to prepare better, because it’s not how much you train, it’s how good you train. You don’t have to train hard all of the time. You can have training, eating, and resting. I’m best at one thing, that’s training, I learn, so I think I’m going to be better.
MMAWeekly: All right, before we head out I wanted to mention that you’re a very popular fighter in America and I know fans would love to see you fight over here again. Are there any chances we could see you in the States anytime soon?
Joachim Hansen: I’ve been thinking about it and I hope to fight there. I fought there one time in Euphoria, but right now I don’t know what’s going to happen. My contract is not finished with Pride, I want to fight Gomi and all that stuff, but I want to fight in America. I’m also checking out websites like MMAWeekly and the other major ones and I see I have good support from the Americans, so thank you for that.
MMAWeekly: Good stuff Joachim, thank you as always for your time. Is there anything you want to say in conclusion?
Joachim Hansen: I hope to be victorious this year. I have to stay in shape, stay away from injuries and continue to be brutal to my enemies up in the ring. For the supporters and fans of MMA, I think fighters should think about them more, because they have helped us to make this sport where it is today. Of course you have to have the fighters that go up and fight and I think it’s so big and still growing because of the fans that keep pushing it. Again I would like to say a big thank you to the fans around the world.