Reo Yamaguchi, a Japanese fighter from Nagoya grew up training in Martial Arts and has several medals/titles. JockPharm decided to have a little chat with Reo to find out more about this talented and determined young fighter. Reo’s journey began when he was 5 years old training Karate Kyokushin. By the age of 15, he became a junior national champion. Shortly after that Reo decided to try MMA and loved it. Reo is very dedicated and trains hard. He started 3 years ago and already has won a gold medal competing in the MMA Oceania Championships, silver medal in 2018 in the Junior World Championships, a silver medal of the same year in the Junior World Championships and also in the Junior European and Junior World Championships from 2019. This is how serious and devoted Reo is about the sport of MMA.
Since Reo has been competing for almost 15 years now, he learned how to channel his nerves before the fights and also how to deal with losing a fight. “When facing a loss in bouts, I concentrate on what I need to improve and train even harder than before.” Now Reo wants to improve his wrestling skills because compared to other countries, Japan has less wrestling training.
We talked about the importance of mental health and how to stay mentally healthy as fighters face many challenges on their path. Reo believes that the best way to stay mentally healthy is to do what you love and dedicate yourself completely to it and for him that is MMA. That’s exactly what he is doing! Reo is very committed and he has the amazing opportunity to fully focus on training as he is not studying at the moment. Reo’s devoted fight team, management agents, and sponsors help him with his ambitions and goals.
We also asked him what does it take to be a known fighter for him and he told us that, in order to be a known fighter, a fighter needs to speak and understand English, have a good fighting record, and be proficient in social media. His amateur record is very impressive 13-4-0. In addition, he is the 2nd ranked of 218 active Europe Western Amateur Bantamweights, and the 6th ranked of 104 active Middle East Amateur Bantamweights. So in his free time, Reo watches English movies and reads English books to improve his language skills. We just love how determined he is!
Just like to a lot of other fighters, making weight for the category has been a challenge to Reo. It takes a lot of discipline in training and lifestyle. “It is hard, however, if I go to the next category then I will be the smallest in the category and it will present new challenges. Safety is very important when training and competing in MMA, a fighter has to be very careful about brain damage and other injuries.
In the end, Reo talked about his biggest inspiration, Kyoji Horiguchi. “ I have two reasons for this choice. First, Kyoji is a Karate based fighter like me and he has a Budo spirit that inspired me a lot. Second, he is one of a few Japanese professionals who is fighting in the world’s best stages and making good records. I really respect him and want to be like him.” Reo’s plans for the near future include becoming IMMAF junior world champion this year and senior world champion in the near future. We think he can totally accomplish that and many other goals in his journey. Remember to check him out and connect with this ambitious fighter!