PRE-PRIDE GP 2004 FINAL ROUND INTERVIEWS
08/18/2004
Murilo Bustamante

Pride Fighting Championships: When did you find out that you would be fighting?
Murilo Bustamante: 2 weeks ago but I was already waiting for a fight for a long time. I'm in shape this time. It's hard training by myself, though. I hope to fight. I wait to fight in BUSHIDO but they didn't put me in the show so I rested a little bit and then started my training again.
Pride: Has there been any talk of a rematch with Dan Henderson?
Bustamante: I would like that fight a lot. That fight is not finished for me. I can't get it out of my head. I don't care if I win or lose the fight. It's like, if I use my elbow and KO the guy, it's illegal. I got a head butt but I think he knows it was an accident and the head butt influenced the decision.
Pride: Have you been training with everyone or by yourself?
Bustamante: No, I train with everyone.
Pride: What do you know about Nakamura?
Bustamante: He's an excellent judo guy. He's improved his punches. He's a southpaw and his left-hand is dangerous. He fights with a normal judo stance, with the left hand back. It's hard for a guy to change for a fight so his left has a lot of power.
Pride: Semmy Schilt is the same. He's left-handed but he stands with his left in the front. You, of course, have a boxing and jiu-jitsu background. For Nakamura, is his left hand the biggest thing you have to watch out for or do you think he can give you a challenge on the ground?
Bustamante: I think he's going to try to take me down and punch. I think if I open my guard and try to finish him, he won't stay. He'll stand up and try to punch more. I don't think he's very dangerous on the ground for submitting me. I think the real danger is his left hand.
Pride: You're not worried about the ground?
Bustamante: Yeah, I don't think he's a danger on the ground. Standing is the real danger.
Pride: You seem to be a methodical fighter, always thinking.
Bustamante: Yeah. I fight step-by-step. I don't try to finish in 1 or 2 minutes. I don't care. I just watch the guy and see what he wants to do.
Pride: You've obviously had a successful career. Is there anything else that you want to accomplish before you retire?
Bustamante: I really want to compete in the Middleweight Grand Prix. I want to try to get the belt. I know I can make a good fight. The last time, I only had 1 week's notice before the fight. It was crazy. I think I did a good job, though. I'm really competing with time for preparing myself. My focus is the Middleweight Grand Prix.
Pride: You've got Quinton, Silva, and Kondo nowadays. There are a lot of good fighters in the Middleweight class. What gives you and advantage over these guys?
Bustamante: I think my experience will help me a lot. I am calm and patient in the ring. I try to study the guy before the fight and make a strategy. I study a lot of MMA, not only jiu-jitsu. We have a laboratory in Brazilian Top Team and we study submissions, wrestling, muay thai, etc.
Pride: Anybody else you want to fight before you retire?
Bustamante: I just want to try to get the belt.
Pride: You'll be the lightest.
Bustamante: And, I want to fight Quinton Jackson and Chuck Liddell.
Pride: What do you think about the Heavyweight tournament?
Bustamante: Kharitonov is so tough. He's like a rock. I think Rodrigo got the hard road. Fedor is going to beat Ogawa. Not easily but easier than Rodrigo will beat Kharitonov. Rodrigo is going to be a little tired but I think it's a good challenge for him. I think he's going to win.
Pride: Do you think this is the best shape Rodrigo's ever been in?
Bustamante: Yeah. He improved his boxing and submissions. We made a strategy for him. He's in shape and everybody in Top Team thinks he will be a Champion. He's thinner now and he's fast. He's good, very good.
Pride: Would you rather submit Nakamura or KO him?
Bustamante: Of course, I prefer a ground fight. That's my game but I train in boxing too, so I can fight him.