An opportunity to get inside the Lion Fight ring is something that Yumiko "Samurai Killa" Kawano has waited for. Unfortunately due to the pandemic situation, it remains on hold, but patience is something the Canadian fighter is accustomed to.
The chance to fight for the North American Flyweight title is first mission for Kawano, but in some ways it is also the secondary goal. Kawano discussed that and more during a chat prior to her scheduled bout against Magalie Alvarez at Lion Fight 63 in Los Angeles being postponed.
Q: Let’s get right at it. What would coming out on top in the title fight against Alvarez mean to you?
A: Winning the Lion Fight North American Title is my opportunity to gain more exposure which is a part of my main goal of contacting my niece and nephew. I do not have contact with them, but if I keep winning titles, keep getting more media attention, become more well known as a fighter then maybe, just maybe, they’ll hear about me and be able to connect with me. I fight to show my skills and to one day win a world championship, but reuniting with my family is the real win for me.
Q: From people who have seen you fight, they love your straight-forward style, almost more of a brawler. Is that kind of fight you enjoy and do you see having to use that style against Alvarez
A: What people call brawling or straight-forward, I call relentless high pressure. That’s what was needed for those fights. But I train to beat whoever is across the ring from me. If that person thinks all I do is brawl, then they’re in for a big surprise.
Q: For those that haven't seen you fight before, what are your best attributes in the ring and what are you working in training camp?
A: Movement, pressure, using a lot of different weapons. In camp I focus on my strengths, my best tools and fighting my fight, not my opponent’s.
Q: There has been a lot of hype around some fighters in different places claiming to be the “baddest woman on the planet.” A lot of it seems to be coming from a fighter or her camp and that someone is a fighter you beat. Isn’t it about time that you are considered one of the baddest women?
A: Outside the ring anyone can call themselves the “baddest woman on the planet.” Inside the ring is where you have to prove it. That’s where it really counts. I can’t control what people want to say about me or what they want to call me. What I can control is how I prepare for a fight and how I perform on fight night. Everything else is just a distraction from what’s really important - winning the North American title.