SHOCKWAVE 2004 INTERVIEW
12/31/2004
Youji Anjo

Pride Fighting Championships: What's your weight for this fight?
Yoji Anjo: 91.5 kg.
Pride: I think Ryan is about the same.
Anjo: No. He's like 97 kg.
Pride: Are you still with Team Kingdom?
Anjo: No, I'm freelance. No team.
Pride: Who's in your corner?
Anjo: Daijyu Takase and Kenichi Yamamoto.
Pride: What are your thoughts about taking on another Gracie? I know you have a past with them.
Anjo: The first time I got this offer, I didn't want to take the fight. I was doing pro-wrestling for a while, not MMA. The last fight I had was 4 years ago. At that time, I wasn't quit ready, mentally. I got this offer a month and a half ago and I thought wait a minute, maybe this is a good opportunity to get back in the game. I haven't been working out on the ground for a while so I went to the gym and worked out with guys like TK and his boys.
Pride: Your English is very good.
Anjo: I was raised in New Zealand.
Pride: I didn't know that.
Anjo: Before I started working on the mat, I was doing a lot of muay thai training. Not much on the ground but once I started working on the ground I realized that I can play this game.
Pride: Ryan is one of the more aggressive members of the Gracies. What's your game plan against him?
Anjo: I think it's going to be a tough fight. He's bigger than me and he's got power but I think I will feel comfortable on the ground. I'm real comfortable on my feet. I think I have a good chance for this fight. I'm got stamina, too. I'm now 37. I used to think 37 was half in the grave but I started working out a lot and I feel better than when I was in my 20s. Now I'm really happy that I'm working out again, the hard way.
Pride: What does it mean to be back and competing in PRIDE? This will be your first time in PRIDE, in the biggest show of the year.
Anjo: It's quite exciting. I've been dreaming about being in this event. All I can say is that I'm real excited.
Pride: You've been involved in the fighting industry all your life. What separates PRIDE from all the others?
Anjo: They've got the best fighters from all over the world. They make them fight not just for win or lose, but thinking about the crowd. It's more entertaining. I think we need that. The way they advertise each fight. They make a background story and put much more character into the fighters. I like that part.
Pride: How will you approach the fight with Ryan? What is your advantage?
Anjo: I think everything except power. I don't like using too much power. I don't like to work out at the gym with weights.
Pride: When you say "power", what do you have to avoid from him, in terms of power? Do you want to keep the fight standing?
Anjo: I don't know. Maybe both ways. I think I can do both ways pretty good. I think I'm much better than before.
Pride: You're in better shape than before?
Anjo: Much better. Lots of training on the mat for like a month and a half. I would spar 12 rounds of 5 minutes each on the mat, with 30 seconds rest between. After that, I went to the kickboxing gym and trained for 18 rounds each day.
Pride: Each day?
Anjo: Each day. Six days per week.