Sawada is currently riding a three-bout winning streak, with all wins coming by first-round submission, making him unbeaten since his debut in ONE Championship.
The Evolve MMA representative started wrestling when he was just two-years-old, and since then has worked hard to get to where he is today.
“When I was four years old, my father brought me to PRIDE FC and that was when I saw the match between Sakuraba and Royce Gracie,” Sawada said.
“After watching the match, I wanted to try it out. So when I was four, I entered Takada Dojo and started wrestling.”
Back when he was still in Japan, Sawada had to support himself financially by working at a beef bowl store during the day, while he taught youth wrestling and martial arts at Tokyo’s famed Abe Ani Combat Club (AACC) at night.
Sawada dreamed of becoming a mixed martial artist from a young age.
“From the beginning, I started training wrestling so that I could use it in martial arts,” Sawada said.
“My desire to do martial arts was always there.”
His journey to the global stage began with his success on the Japanese Shooto circuit. From there, Sawada was chosen to be part of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series (OWS), where he racked up back-to-back submission wins.
“Dragon Boy” turned things up a notch by enrolling in the Evolve Fight Team’s global tryouts and impressed the officials to earn a spot on the squad, being just one of six competitors selected out of thousands of applicants.
“Evolve has everything right here in one gym and I am very thankful for that,” said Sawada, who was training all over Japan to improve his specific skills.
“Everyone here is world-class, including the coaches and athletes. It is very beneficial to me. If you continue to work hard, you will definitely become better.
“What is important is that you keep going. Now that I am competing in ONE Championship, I will aim to win match by match and in the future, aim for a title shot and become World Champion,” he added.