Japanese MMA star, Kazuo Misaki, who just fought Jorge Santiago at Sengoku Raiden Championships (SRC) 14 for the middleweight title; was completely out of sorts before his "fight of the year" candidate bout -- even injecting painkillers into his ankle prior to competing.
He had a press conference at the SRC gym eight days following the event and said that he had a major leg injury which forced him to stop training. In fact, he barely trained for the fight! Misaki also said he gassed out/blacked out in the second round, fighting on instincts and believes that had his corner not thrown in the towel when they did, he would be dead.
Here are some quotes from the Japanese warrior-samurai-badass (via Nightmare of Battle):
* "Standing in the ring in whatever condition I'm in is my way of life."
* "My full strength was no match for Santiago."
* "He (the cornerman that threw in the towel) saved my life so I'm thankful."
* "I don't think the injury was the cause for my defeat, I lost being in 100% condition at fight day. It's possible that Santiago might have been injured as well, I lost because my best was insufficient, only mortifying thoughts remain now. I think I would've entered the ring even if I lost one of my legs, I'm a fighter who fights, not with technique, but with heart."
* "Even if the timing of the towel throw was a little late, I might not have been here now."
* "He (Jorge Santiago) has become the most important being in my life."
... and last, but not least:
* "Once more, just once more I want the chance to fight Santiago..."
Misaki said he wants to fight again this year, but that his injuries need to fully heal before he competes again. I won't hold my breath. I hope he gets healthy and gets back in the new year.
Long live the old-school Japanese warriors like Misaki, Saku, and Minowa!!!