Teruto Ishihara made the jump from the Team Alpha Male gym in Japan to the official TAM headquarters in Sacramento, California, ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday evening. The UFC featherweight trained at Urijah Faber's Ultimate Fitness for his entire fight camp with some of the best lighter-weight fighters in the world, including the aforementioned Faber, Chad Mendes, and Cody Garbrandt, among others.
Heading into his third Octagon appearance, the level of Ishihara's opposition is constantly rising. Ishihara decided to train at Team Alpha Male full-time for this camp because he believes he needs to train with higher-level fighters to be able to compete with his opponents now.
"First of all, Team Alpha Male is a great gym," Ishihara told BloodyElbow.com's The MMA Circus through a translator. "He felt that, after the Julian [Erosa] fight, he felt that he wouldn't be able to survive in UFC if he didn't take the next step up."
Ishihara hopes to train in the United States as long as he can, legally.
"His whole fight camp was at Team Alpha Male this time," the translator said. "He wants to stay in Sacramento as long as his visa doesn't expire. He's gonna be going back to Japan here and there, but for the most part, he's going to be in Sacramento."
Ishihara often skipped practice and wasn't a hard worker when he trained in Japan full-time -- partying and picking up women was, and still is, at the top of his priority list. But, now living in a foreign land, he has to train more than he is used to.
"He's in an environment now, at Team Alpha Male, where he has to go to practice, and he's basically forced to go to practice," the translator said. "And that's why he went to Sacramento. So he can have a better surrounding and lifestyle. There are times he doesn't want to go to practice, but because he's at Team Alpha Male, he feels like he has to go. And that's something that's been helping him a lot. He doesn't want to fight; he obviously doesn't want to practice and work hard and what not. But, at the end of the day, he is in a place where he has to work that way. So, it's working out best for him right now."
"In Japan, he can get anything. Like, girls. He can get into parties. There are parties to go to from Monday through Sunday. Whatever he wants, he can get in Japan. But in Sacramento, he can't really do that. There's only time for him to party or even to go out on Friday and Saturday. He doesn't really know too many people, and he can't really communicate with anyone. Going to practice is a two-for-one special. One, he can become a better martial artist. And two, he can better his English skills. So he feels it's a perfect situation for him."
Ishihara is not going through withdrawal, however, despite a lack of partying. One of his biggest goals right now is to learn English -- for several reasons.
"He's not really deprived of partying right now," the translator said. "He wants to learn English more than anything right now. That way he can pick up girls -- any kind of girls -- and become more popular amongst ladies in the cove.
"He wants to be a superstar in the UFC. He thinks that it makes no sense for him to fight in the UFC if he can't even speak a little bit of English. Obviously, that's why he is trying to learn English right now. He wants to learn English so he can bang b-tches all around the world."
When asked about his current English-speaking abilities, Ishihara did not give a clear answer. But he believes there's one thing that would prove he successfully learned the language.
"Once he's able to pick up a girl and be able to take them home, that'll give him confidence," the translator said. "Eventually, he wants to make a girlfriend out in the States and learn English from them."
Ishihara fights Horacio Gutierrez on the FOX Sports 1 preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday evening. Follow him on Twitter -- if you aren't already -- @Teruto_KO, and check out his "I love my b-tches" t-shirt HERE. Listen to the full interview on Episode 70 of The MMA Circus HERE.