Back to the Gym for Kang

By John Lee Apr 30, 2008
A frenzy of questions must be going through Denis Kang (Pictures)'s mind coming off his surprise submission loss to Gegard Mousasi (Pictures) in the first round of the Dream middleweight grand prix.

Did he overlook Mousasi's ground game? What led to the mental slip? Was it ring rust?

At times like these, "training is the best thing to do," Kang told Sherdog.com with disappointment.

In this brief e-mail interview, Kang gives his thoughts on his match with Mousasi, Aoki's victory over Gesias Calvancante (Pictures) and where he goes from here:

Sherdog: You tagged Mousasi with a barrage of strikes off the get go and drove in with a double-leg. Was it your game plan to exchange strikes standing and change levels for the takedown? Were you ever worried about Mousasi's striking prowess or did you think you could handle him on the feet?
Denis Kang: I was planning to fight on instinct. The takedown was there, so I took it. I knew I could handle him on the feet.

Sherdog: That kimura looked like it was a lock. Was it Mousasi's knees from the bottom that prevented you from cranking it out?
Kang: The knees didn't bother me, but he was defending the arm well.

Sherdog: When you stood up and Mousasi was on his back, he threw a few up-kicks with his long legs. Did they throw you off your game?
Kang: A little, but I was expecting it.

Sherdog: It looked like you were trying to pass and get to side mount before you saw an opening for a hammerfist. Can you explain what went on in the final moments?
Kang: I made one sloppy mistake that cost me the fight. At this level that's all it takes.

Sherdog: Did you expect Mousasi to pull out that triangle? Did it seem like it was something he prepared for -- maybe by watching tape on your fight against Joe Doerksen (Pictures)?
Kang: Against Joe I was already half knocked out. With this it was my mistake, pure and simple.

Sherdog: Did ring rust or the pressure to perform play into your last two losses? Or the fact that you couldn't train with your regular partners at ATT?
Kang: Maybe a little ring rust. I am not injured after this fight, so I hope to be on the June 15th card to redeem myself.

Sherdog: Your ATT teammate, JZ, also dropped his match to Aoki. What did you think about his fight?
Kang: Aoki won fair and square, but in my opinion this second fight should not even have happened. ‘JZ' should have been in the second round already.

Sherdog: You're coming off two losses now. Where do you go from here? What's next for you?
Kang: I go straight to the gym and back to the ring. Training is the best thing to do at this point.
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