UFC 298: Rinya Nakamura Believes Opponents Are Running From Him

Anaheim, CA — For standout wrestler and bantamweight prospect Rinya Nakamura (9-0), who earned a decision win over Carlos Vera at UFC 298 on Saturday, the journey up the MMA ladder has been a quick one.

“Four years to transition to MMA, so I have a lot of things to do. This is sport is so crazy, especially in that cage, it’s so crazy,” Nakamura said post-fight, speaking with media outlets including Cageside Press and suggesting he needs to improve his overall game.

Despite the victory in Anaheim, Nakamura simply wasn’t satisfied. “I feel good that I’m winning, but I’m not feeling good about tonight, my performance.”

On that front, “Carlos was kind of tougher than I expected. So he tried to attack many times from [bottom] position, so leg lock, kneebar, heel hook. I got kind of [stuck] defensively fighting, so that’s why I’m not satisfied.”

Nakamura also injured his hand in the fight. “When I threw a punch at him, I might have broke my right hand. So end of the fight, I can’t go attack so many times with my right hand. He controlled the right hand. That was so hard. That was a reason I was not satisfied too.”

Still, despite the apparent setback, Nakamura is hoping to fight again come summer. “Maybe June. I want to fix it as soon as possible and get back to practice. I can train other parts except my right hand, so I’ll still go hard training. I want to [get] back in June.”

With UFC 301 in Brazil this May, June would put Nakamura in line with UFC 302, or any number of Fight Night events.

Who that might come against is up in the air, for two reasons: unhappy with his performance, Rinya Nakamura didn’t want to call out an opponent. Plus, he believes opponents are running from him.

“I think I can’t choose an opponent with tonight’s performance, so anyone is fine for me. But I want to say thank you to Carlos for accepting my fight, because every runs now from me.”

Watch the full UFC 298 post-fight press conference with Rinya Nakamura above.