SHUNICHI SHIMIZU: Fighting with Thailand’s “Mai Pen Rai” Spirit

Shunichi Shimizu has 44 fights under his belt, most of them in Japan’s ZST organization. On May 19, 2013 he has the opportunity to put his talents to use inside the prestigious Pancrase ring. Shimizu has fought some of the best in his division on the way up in ZST. He’s also been successful in Sengoku, Pancrase, and won the Bantamweight Championship of Kazakhstan’s Alash Pride FC. With this upcoming fight in Pancrase that will be streamed live internationally, Shimizu hopes to get his name – and his game – in front of many more fans who may have never seen his exciting work in the ring. MMA-in-ASIA interviewed Shimizu on video in late 2012; you can check out that interview here. We had the chance to catch up with him briefly before Pancrase 247.

MMA-in-ASIA: Your fight style is constantly changing, and recently you’ve been at Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team in Thailand  for fight camp. What did you improve upon from that visit?

Shimizu: Yes I went to Thailand last month. I learned Muay Thai and a lot of new MMA techniques. I also learned the “Mai Pen Rai” spirit – which means “no problem”. I think it gives me a lot of peace. I can think more clearly now. I am really looking forward to how much I can use all those skills I got in Thailand when I fight in the Pancrase ring. There will be no mercy in there!

MMA-in-ASIA: You fought seven times in 2012! How do you keep up your condition?

Shimizu: I feel great because this is my first fight this year, and I’ve gotten much better training for it. No matter what, I never lose my concentration.

MMA-in-ASIA: You are fighting Yuki Baba, who is catching the eye of many people because he’s a strong fighter on a 2-year win streak. What’s your impression of him?

Shimizu: I think that he is the top 1 or 2 in the Bantamweight class in Pancrase as far as being a strong fighter goes. My impression is that he relies on his strength, even when he’s fought other very strong guys.

MMA-in-ASIA: Recently, Pancrase has let many of its fighters debut in other overseas promotions, fighters like Takumi, Oishi, Takahashi and Kawamura. Is this something you are eager to do?

Shimizu: I think I would like to fight in any organization that evaluates and likes my fight style and has high expectations of me. But right now, I am just concentrating on my opponent, Yuki Baba.

MMA-in-ASIA: Do you have anything else you would like to say?

Shimizu: In Pancrase, I will fight with all my strength! Osu!