T-Nation: How did your first fight go?
BR: It was the craziest experience of my life because I was a Thai Boxer. I was used to rounds, five rounds of three minutes. I was used to maybe a five-pound weight difference. But then I came there and my opponent was like 45 pounds heavier! I asked him how many rounds and he said, "One." I said, "Great, how many minutes?" and he said, "30." I said, "Great! I'm in great shape!" And then I looked at my manager and I tried to get my poker face on. I said, "What the **** did you do to me, man?"
T-Nation: And who was that opponent?
BR: Yanagisawa. And then, the weirdest thing in the world happened. I came out and I just manhandled the guy. At that time my Thai Boxing was phenomenal. It was like 43 seconds and the guy goes to the hospital and spent two days there. So I got really scared...
T-Nation: But that was open-handed, old Pancrase rules, right?
BR: Yes, open-handed, but he was taller than me so what happened was I gave him a right high-kick and he defended it, so I went straight through the middle "BOONK!" under his jaw, "BAAAAH!" and he goes down and I think it's over. He stands up and I think okay, now I gotta' get his hands down, so how do I do it? I give him a liver kick, "BOOOOM!" his hands drop, and I come right straight again. While he was going down I kneed him in the head.
He was on the ground, eyes open. I think he stood up maybe three times and stumbled down three times. They called an ambulance and then I got scared, because I thought I did something to the guy. And he was a really nice guy, too.
But the audience went wild for me. I couldn't believe it. In Holland, if you're a foreign guy and you beat a Dutch guy, hopefully you're going to make it out alive. You know what I mean. But these people, they're putting babies in my hand, taking pictures with babies. I couldn't believe it. The next day I was walking in the street and people were bowing to me. I was in the papers. I just couldn't believe it.
I wanted to stay here in Japan, because I wanted to know what was going on with Yanagisawa, but he came out. Strange enough, he was the shortest fight I've ever had, and in the rematch he was the longest fight I've ever had — 28 minutes. But in the rematch I broke my hand in the first punching exchange. He came in too soon, so I didn't flex my muscle at all, so I broke my hand on his head. I only had one arm left. So you see me submitting him with one arm every time. I submitted him like five times and the last time was a choke.