PRIDE 31 PRE FIGHT INTERVIEWS
02/26/2006
Yosuke Nishijima

Yousuke Nishijima: I'm uneasy, nervous and I'm excited at the same time. There's also pressure because this is my debut fight.
I trained in Croatia, America and Holland for this fight. I did some light sparring with Mirko in Croatia and a little ground training. I trained for everything, not just striking. Mirko taught me a little about kicks. And, I understood why everyone is scared of Mirko's strikes.
I trained for MMA and worked on my conditioning in America. I swam and also learned to do weight training in the pool. I did mitt work and sparring. I also did some striking-only sparring with Josh Barnett. I think the sparring was good. I also sparred on the ground. I've gotten a little better since the beginning. If I train a little more, I will get better and I think I will be able to submit someone.
Ground fighting is interesting. It's difficult to balance yourself when are on top of someone and it's fund when you become able to escape from someone that is holding you down. Because, when you become able to do something that you couldn't do originally, you begin to feel that you've improved. I learned joint-locks at Takada Dojo and now I can do some chokes but it will be some time before I can submit someone in a fight.
I learned from Lucien Carbin (Alistair's coach)in Holland. Fedor was also there but his hand was hurt and he couldn't train with us. We didn't really have any contact with each other. I learned kicks and knees from Carbin and he taught me some punch combinations. Boxing punches are scarier but in MMA, there are tackles and kicks so you can't concentrate on just one thing. Getting punched in the middle of all that is scary because even if it's not a strong punch, you can get knocked out if hits the right spot.
I weight about 95kg but I don't think the difference in body size matters. Hunt has a lot of power in his punches. The weight difference will make a difference, though. I will just do my best, though. In boxing, the most important thing is the job so I hope I can hit him with them in the fight. I practiced grappling so if he falls down, I will go after him. Defense against the low-kick? I've worked on it and I'll be fine. I'm not worried about being knocked down with low-kicks.
One thing I learned about training in MMA is that you can't get hung up on just one thing. If you just look for kicks, you'll get tackled. If you just for tackles, you'll get punched. If you're not looking for everything, you can't win.
The amount of time I had to train for this debut fights feels long but it feels short, to. I have no regrets, though. I'm prepared for the fight. I'm confident that I can down him out if my punches land. If I hit him with the open-finger gloves, he will definitely fall down. They're completely different than boxing gloves. They are light and easy to hit with. They gloves are hard so it feels like it's easy to deliver a shock. Look for boxing techniques in my fight too, not me just swinging my arms around. I'm confident that I wouldn't lose in boxing to any fighter in PRIDE.
I'm going to create an image of the fight in my mind before the fight and I will take that imagine with me when I climb into the ring.