Ayaka Hamasaki chats to FriendlyMMANerd, prior to her Invicta FC 22 defeat

Ayaka Hamasaki suffered the second ever defeat of her career this past Saturday at Invicta FC 22 when she was knocked out by Livia Souza in the very first round. The fight saw reigning 105-pound-champion Hamasaki make the move up to 115-pounds, in a bid to make a statement to the UFC.

Despite the loss, Hamasaki is still very much the number one ranked 105-pound competitor in the world. There is no shame in that, some women are simply too small to compete at strawweight, which makes the atomweight class the best one for them. Along with Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Hamasaki is one of the most dominant female world champions in women’s MMA right now.

Prior to the fight, new addition to the WMMA Rankings team, FriendlyMMANerd conducted an interview with the atomweight queen. Take a look at where her mindset was just hours before her round one defeat.

What is your weight at currently? Are you on-point to 115?
This time I don’t have to cut weight at all so I am in a very good condition.

Who have you been training with for this fight? Anybody in particular you would like to name?
I always train at AACC, and I have been training Emi Fujino, RENA (Kubota), and Yuko “Amiba” Oya.
Both you and Livia Renata Souza are very dangerous and entertaining grapplers, do you have a different approach to your gameplan without giving it away? Any particular submission you are working on defending on?
In terms of submission I am looking for it’s a secret. But my approach to the fight as same as always, I am going for the finish and that means KO or submission.
You have made it quite clear that you are wanting to pursue a career at 115. In saying this, do you have your eyes on The Invicta Strawweight Belt, and even more so, I know you want to be singed to fight in The UFC’s Strawweight Division, or do you see yourself wanting The UFC Strawweight Belt more?
 I actually want both UFC and Invicta strawweight title but if I have to chose one it would have to be UFC.
Do you plan in the near future to move back down to Atomweight (105 pounds)? If so, top Atomweights (105 pounds) Jinh Yu Frey, Amber Brown, and Janaisa Morandin all are on this card fighting at Atomweight, if you decide to go back down to 105 pounds, if any of these fighters win their bouts, do you see them next in line to defend your belt?
If I am going back to atomweight I would like to Jinh Yu Frey.

If you decide to stay at Strawweight, how do you see the division you reign over (Atomweight) if you decide to stay at Strawweight (115 pounds)?
I actually have no idea but I don’t think I am at the top so for this weekend I am approaching this as a challenger.

If you decide to stay at Strawweight (115 pounds), how do you see yourself stacking against the Top 10 Strawweights in the world?
It’s hard for me to tell where I am at that’s why I want to challenge at the strawweight.
You have not fought at Strawweight (115 pounds) in a long time, so how do you see yourself? Improved since the last you fought at Strawweight (115 pounds)?
No weight cut so I do feel but stranger but since I don’t have to cut weight I think I can move faster.

FriendlyMMANerd’s comments: First off, I want to thank both Ayaka Hamasaki and Shu Hirata (Translator) for taking this very very rare interview with WMMARankings! I’ve been a longtime fan of Hamasaki, and it has been an honor to follow her career! This interview was taken place prior to Invicta FC 22, and the Morandin question was asked prior to her missing weight. I hope you all enjoy it because I know I sure did! I also want to thank you (Shu) for this time with Ayaka Hamasaki! It couldn’t have been done without you! I learned from this that Hamasaki trains with Top Atomweight and very hard hitting Rena Kubota, knew she trained with the always tough Emi Fujino. I again, really want to thank both Shu Hirata for Translating this, and for Hamasaki for taking both of their time in their very very busy schedules in taking this very rare interview! I hope they both enjoy it, and I hope you the reader enjoys it :)! I also hope this opens the doors for more interviews in the future, and covering her already legendary career!

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Follow Translator Shu Hirata on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ShuHirata
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