PRE-PRIDE BUSHIDO 3 INTERVIEW
05/24/2004
Akira Shoji

Pride Fighting Championships: Are you happy you're not fighting someone with the last name Rua?
Akira Shoji : Yeah.
Pride : This will be your 20 th fight. Does it feel special?
Shoji : I didn't realize that until someone told me yesterday.
Pride : Do you know much about your opponent?
Shoji : Nothing at all except that he's been retired for a long time.
Pride : What's your strategy for the fight?
Shoji : I think he will come straight out so I need to circle him and punch. I also want to give him a warm welcome to show him that PRIDE's not an easy place to fight.
Pride : Teach him a lesson right away?
Shoji : Yes.
Pride : Why do you think you've been asked to fight in PRIDE 20 times?
Shoji : I don't know. I think one reason may be that I've met great instructors and trainers during my time in PRIDE and I've grown both technically, and as a person.
Pride : Looking back, what would you say is your favorite fight in PRIDE?
Shoji : Every fight was impressive but especially my fight with Coleman.
Pride : Coleman has also said that he appreciates your fighting spirit. When you fought Renzo Gracie, did you think you would come back 19 times?
Shoji : No, I could imagine it at that time. New fighters keep coming in and suddenly, people were calling me a veteran here. Sometimes I wonder if I can keep up. I still feel that there are things that I have to learn and that I have to work harder.