During a recent interview, Jenny Valentine [0-0] was very critical of her two-time opponent and rival, Tomiko Tajima [0-0]. It is not my place to comment on the criticisms or to take sides, but it is my duty to give Tomiko an opportunity to defend herself. I have great respect for both fighters. Each one brings so much to the LFC; proudly representing their respective Teams and the great sport of MMA. The fact that they are bitter rivals is a natural consequence of the fight game, especially with so much on the line. The outcome of a match is not only about titles or wins and losses; there is professional pride on the line, and future considerations hinge on how a fighter performs.
Valentine is a true warrior, having battled back from an almost career ending injury and from infractions that led to a ban and a suspension. Her counterpart, Tomiko, has earned the respect of fighters and fans with her ability to grind out the most grueling of matches, and a “never give up” attitude. There is a definite a clash of personalities between these two.
For those who haven’t read the last article on Jenny: “Tomiko is something else! The fact that she likes to cheat and play dirty from the get go, shows that she is threatened by me. Of course, I am not going to be a doormat and just allow it.” In all fairness to Jenny, I think that speaking her mind is a good quality to have and so is being candid about what she feels. However, it is also fair to let Tomiko respond to these accusations.
Tomiko was kind enough to give us her thoughts on the animosity between these two warriors. Here is what she had to say:
A.C: It seems like there is a natural rivalry between you and Jenny Valentine. Why do you think that is?
TTT: Jenny and I are both very passionate women. We both fight with a lot of heart, so I think that is why we are natural rivals.
A.C.: She said that you cheat and play dirty because you are threatened by her. How do you respond to that?
TTT: She is one to talk. She saw my injured knee and made sure to make a move to injure it even more. I think that is pretty dirty and perhaps she was intimidated by me still going full force injury and all. She felt like she needed to go after the bad knee and even the good knee, so that she would have a win. I think she is threatened by me. I only pulled that move before the match to pay her back from the last match. Tit for Tat. :)
A.C.: I think that kicking her before the start of the fight was very shrewd on your part to avoid a penalty. Do you think she resented ever kicking you back at LFC27?
TTT: She very much resented that kick. I just wanted to set the tone that I was not going to back down at all with any of her cheap moves that she might be thinking about doing during the match.
A.C.: Is there something about her fight game that you find off-putting?
TTT: I think she comes in way too confident for her own good. One day, I am going to come in and surprise her by getting the win. It may not even go three rounds and I get her into a submission and make her tap.
A.C.: Do you want to fight her next or would you rather fight someone else at this point; taking a break from the drama?
TTT: If they want to put us together again right away, I say bring it on. I am happy fighting her again, or they can throw me up against another opponent, so I can show her how strong I get with every match. :)
A.C.: Jenny said that the two of you share the same coach, Raul Ramirez. Is there any conflict there or any favoritism?
TTT: Yes, we share the same coach. Personally, I think Raul favors me. He gave me some really good moves and since I am new to training with him, I think he was secretly trying to give me the upper-hand.
A.C.: Do you think things will ever be resolved between the two of you, or will it just get worse?
TTT: Things might get resolved between us. You never know. Time will tell.
A.C.: You know, Jenny got her wish and is representing the month of February in the upcoming calendar. Any thoughts?
TTT: That is fitting, since she has Valentine in her name.
A.C.: Since the LFC is between events, is there anything you want her to know or anything you wish to say to her?
TTT: I just want her to know that I am continuing to train hard and that with this down time, I am only going to get stronger. I look forward to our next fight where I can get another piece of her hair as my trophy souvenir.
Thank you, Tomiko.