PRE-PRIDE 25 INTERVIEWS
03/15/2003
Alex Stiebling

Pride Fighting Championships: What do you want to talk about?
Alex Stiebling: Whatever.
Pride: So, you're going to wear your lucky shorts again?
Stiebling: Yeah, I'm going to wear my lucky shorts. I've never lost a fight in them. The last 3 fights, I haven't worn them.
Pride: Did the Brazilian Killer thing ever come back to haunt you?
Stiebling: Yeah, I think people would say that a lot. For me, personally, I did it and I think the biggest thing is that it became more of a distraction than anything else. I don't regret what I did and I don't take it back. I'm not hanging my head in shame. I'm still 6-1 against Brazilians but what it became was a distraction for me. People can say whatever they want to say. I don't give a shit because I'm the one in the ring. Nobody else is.
Pride: You just got knocked out by Marvin Eastman. What did you feel like after that fight?
Stiebling: That was probably the hardest loss (for me). In June, I got split open. In September, I took what I felt was a poor decision and then to come out against Marvin Eastman... I wasn't feeling good going into the fight, mentally, and to get knocked out like that. I had never even been close to getting knocked out before. When I watch the tape, it's really more of a knock down than a knock out. It was hard for me because I was still training. I was working harder every time. I was getting back in there and working hard. I though I had improved my standup. I knew I wasn't to the level of Marvin. It wasn't hard. I'll take all of the losses that I've had over the past 6 months three times over because of the way I feel right now. I feel good. I feel focused. I've gotten back to where I was before. When the bright lights hit you, it makes you distracted but now I feel focused on where I want to be and how I'm living.
Pride: Sometimes a KO loss makes or breaks a fighter. Do you think this was the kind of thing you needed?
Stiebling: You'd think that getting my eye split open and taking those other losses would have kicked me back in too but yeah, I think it definitely did. Every time I walk out there, I'm learning from it. It humbles you a little bit and it makes you want to get in there. That was a hard one to take. Especially not knowing where my career's future was going. But, I'm focused on where I need to be now. I've enjoyed my training twice as much as I've ever had before. Like I said, I would take all 3 of those losses ten times over to be where I'm at right now and feel the way I feel, to have the kind of training I had last week. The last week of training, to feel like that every time I got out of practice, to know that I just went through 2 hours of ball-busting fury and I came through it like a champ. To me, that's as good as any win. If I've got to take losses, I'll take losses but this is what I want to do.
A nderson Silva and Marvin Eastman are 2 of the toughest fighters out there. These guys are tough and you didn't see me go out there and pull the standard MMA "I'm going to go with whatever he's weakest at". I went out there and went with what I go with. I wanted to standup and see what I've got. I don't regret it. People say that I should have just taken them down. No. I'm going to stand in there until I learn enough that I can go with anybody.
Pride: Do you want a revenge match with any of the guys that beat you?
Stiebling: Definitely Anderson, first off. The one thing about that is that he's lighter than me, whatever that means. I guess it doesn't mean too much because he put me away in a minute and a half. But the thing is that I was even comfortable really. I've only been doing standup for 2 years and I'm just now getting comfortable being in my stance and moving the way I move. I'd like to go after Marvin again but I think I need a little more time. Then, Masaki, I want to fight him anywhere in the world except for Pancrase because that guy lost that fight. He knows he lost that fight and I know he lost that fight. I want to fight him anywhere else so that everyone can see that wasn't true. I didn't fight my best fight but that guy fought to survive and he did and they gave him the win. That's one of the ones that really upset me because I felt like I backed Pancrase and I helped support them and then I felt like they stuck it to me. I want the rest of the world to see that he didn't beat me. Anderson, he bested me. He split my eye open. He did what he needed to do. Eastman, he bested me. He did what he needed to do to finish me. Those guys did it decisively. Masaki, he survived for 3 rounds and they gave him some bullshit.
Pride: 5 years from now, how do you want to be remembered?
Stiebling: I think this sport will have evolved so fast that people will barely remember me. They might remember there was some guy that said "Royce who?" but it's going to be so evolved that guys like me aren't going to be able to compete. I'm not some phenomenal athlete. I'm just a guy that's got some guts and a little bit of talent. If I am remembered in 5 years it will probably be for some other contribution to the sport. Maybe training people. I don't really care to be in promotions. Hopefully, after I get done fighting, I will be able to promote the sport in other ways whether it be great t-shirt ideas or whatever.
Pride: You want to be a role model?
Stiebling: I don't really care about being a role model. I don't think too many people should follow me. I'm like the jokester of MMA. It's for fun. The shirt that everyone got pissed off about, I'm still laughing about that motherfucker.
Pride: Yeah, you had a funny shirt on last night.
Stiebling: Yeah, it says "It's only funny until someone gets hurt...then it's hilarious." My little brother gave me that shirt.
Pride: Are you a mean guy?
Stiebling: Probably meaner than most. Well, I don't think I'm necessarily mean but I've got a little bit of sadist in me.
Pride: Do you plan your show before you come out or do you just wing it?
Stiebling: It depends on the feeling. It's just how I feel. Before the Goes fight I sprinted to the ring because I wanted to be in the ring. Before the Wallid fight, I was laughing at him.