TOTAL ELIMINATION 2004 PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEWS
06/20/2004
Hidehiko Yoshida

Pride Fighting Championships: Who's going to be in your corner?
Hidehiko Yoshida: Nakamura and Happy, Mark Hunt's former coach. That's why Hunt's angry. Actually, I've been learning from Happy since last year, though.
Pride: So you didn't steal him, like the media reported?
Yoshida: Exactly.
Pride: How's your knee?
Yoshida: It's good. My condition is perfect.
Pride: What was wrong in your fight against Royce? It didn't seem like the Yoshida that everyone expected.
Yoshida: I don't like to make excuses. I just wasn't "on".
Pride: We thought that you might not have had enough time to recover after fighting Silva.
Yoshida: Thanks. I feel frustrated with what I did in that match.
Pride: Are you more motivated to put on a good show since this will be your first fight since that time?
Yoshida: I haven't won in a little while so I'd like to win this time.
Pride: Everyone knew that you were for real when you fought Wanderlei Silva. You lost but it was good promotion for you.
Yoshida: Losing is losing, though.
Pride: What are your hobbies?
Yoshida: Guns. (laughing) No, that's just a joke. I watch DVDs.
Pride: What's your favorite movie?
Yoshida: I'm watching season 2 of 24 right now. I have 2 more series to watch.
Pride: How do think the fight will go with Mark Hunt? As we saw with Silva, you can give and take a punch. Are you worried about Hunt?
Yoshida: I think Hunt will be a stronger striker than Silva. I won't know how strong he is until I take one of his punches, though. Then I can make a decision about what to do next. It will be a tough fight.
Pride: You should probably try NOT to get hit during the fight. (laughing)
Yoshida: I don't know how the fight will play out but I have a tendency to give back what I get.
Pride: You are already a well-known athlete in Japan. How have your appearances in PRIDE helped your mainstream popularity?
Yoshida: I've been in beer commercials for Sapporo.
Pride: Because you were in PRIDE?
Yoshida: I think so.
Pride: How much did you weight when you were in the Olympics?
Yoshida: I was 95kg but cut to 90kg. Now I weigh 100kg.
Pride: Would you want a rematch with Wanderlei sooner or later? There's also talk of Kondo or the winner of Jackson-Arona facing Wanderlei.
Yoshida: I believe there will be a Middleweight Grand Prix next year. I'm sure that if I can fight in that, I will be able to face him again.
Pride: So, it's not high on your list of priorities? A lot of fighters want rematches immediately when they lose.
Yoshida: I thought so too, but it didn't work out. I'd still like to but it's up to the promoter to decide how they want to make the events interesting.