SHOCKWAVE 2004 INTERVIEW
12/31/2004
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Pride Fighting Championships: What's your weight for this fight?
Antonio Rodrigo Norueira: 103 kg.
Pride: Did you lose weight from the last fight?
Nogueira: Did I? Sometimes I lose weight but I'm in good shape. 102 or 103 is my best. I can move more. Especially for (Fedor), I've got to be fast. I'm never going to be strong like him so I've gotta move more.
Pride: You feel that speed will be an advantage for you?
Nogueira: Yeah, I've gotta move.
Pride: How did you feel in the Grand Prix finals, compared to the first time that you fought Fedor?
Nogueira: I did better. I moved much more. I could avoid so many punches. He missed a lot of punches on the ground. I think he got tired from that. I think I fought better than the first time and improved in that fight.
Pride: How long did it take for you to mentally accept what happened?
Nogueira: I was very disappointed over what happened. A little depressed. I trained very much and was fighting good but we didn't know what's going to happen. Now, I hope we can make a good fight and go to the end.
Pride: Did you use that depression and anger to motivate yourself in training?
Nogueira: Always when I train for a fight, I respect my opponent. Even if I fight Fedor or some weak guy, I will train the same way. I train a lot of positions, especially for him. Before, I trained 2 times a day. For this fight, I trained 3 times a day.
Pride: How long are your workouts?
Nogueira: 1.5 hours each. At 4 o'clock, we work out for 2.5 hours. That kills me. Oh, my god! (laughing) I finish training everyday at 11:30 at night.
Pride: How do you sleep?
Nogueira: I can't sleep until like 2 o'clock in the morning and I wake up at 9. Then, I start again. I wake up and then 15 minutes later, people are beating me on the ground. I'm always complaining 'you guys are gonna kill me.' (laughing)
Pride: You were very disappointed after the last fight. What's the most important thing that you need to bring out of this fight with Fedor on New Year's Eve, besides winning? Do you have to submit him definitively? Knock him out? What has to happen for you?
Nogueira: I will try my best to submit him. That's my best strength. I will do my best. The first time I fought him, I was in very bad shape. I hurt my back and I had to fight him. This time, I feel 100%. I think I can do it. I'm confident in myself. He's a very strong opponent. We never know what's going to happen because the other guy, he's a really good athlete. I know that but I'm 100% and I'm more technical on the ground. I think that's what's going to decide the winner.
Pride: You think you have the advantage on the ground, technically?
Nogueira: Yeah, and I trained a lot of boxing. If you fight standing close, he's going to have the advantage because he has a very good hook but I think my straight punches are better than his. If I can make some distance, I can fight well with him. Once he comes close, I have to take him down or pull him into the guard.
Pride: The first time you guys fought, it went to a unanimous decision. This time, you feel he has to knock you out if he wants to beat you?
Nogueira: Of course. I think I can do much, much better than the first time. I'm a different athlete. My life has changed since I loss. I have a lot of motivation after that. I feel good because I have Fedor to push me. Once I got the belt, I didn't have anybody to push me like he did. At this moment, I'm looking to beat this guy. It's not about the belt. I know how to escape his pounding. He knows how to escape my submissions. It'll be a very high-level fight.