Tsuyoshi Kosaka

Pride Fighting Championships: You're 35 years old?
Tsuyoshi Kosaka: Yes, 35.
Pride: What's your weight?
Kosaka: 107 kg.
Pride: What club are you with?
Kosaka: Team Alliance.
Pride: Ok, let me check your record here. 17 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw? Is that close?
Kosaka: I'm not sure but I've already fought over 40 fights.
Pride: You just beat Ron Waterman to become the Pancrase Super Heavyweight Champion.
Kosaka: Yes.
Pride: You're the first Japanese fighter to be a regular in the UFC, correct?
Kosaka: Yes.
Pride: You were there 6 times?
Kosaka: Yes, 6 times.
Pride: You have your own gym, G-SQUARE, right?
Kosaka: Yes but now it's called A-SQUARE. It means ALLIANCE SQUARE.
Pride: What did G-SQUARE mean?
Pride: You work with guys like Yoshida, Fujita, Nakamura, Chonan and Takahashi.
Kosaka: Yes.
Pride: You fought in RINGS, bringing us where we are today, beating Emelianenko with that cut. You've also fought Nogueira to a draw and fought Randy Couture in RINGS. You also beat Ricardo Morais recently, right?
Kosaka: Yeah. In 2003.
Pride: You seem like you're very prepared. Some people regard you as the great Japanese hope against Emelianenko. How do you feel going in to the fight? I heard that you feel you can beat him on the ground 100%. What makes you say that?
Kosaka: Basically, Fedor has a lot of confidence in his standing. He doesn't care about the ground.
Pride: What makes you feel more confident on the ground? You've seen something on the ground that you can take advantage of?
Kosaka: Yes. He has too much confidence in his striking, so I don't think he really wants to go to the ground. I, on the other hand, am confident in my groundwork so that's where I focus on.
Pride: Having said that, he does have submission knowledge from sambo and judo. You just feel that you are stronger on the ground?
Kosaka: Yeah.
Pride: Are you will to stand with him? How is your striking game?
Kosaka: I can fight standing and I can make a game plan with both standing and grappling. Fedor concentrates on standing though and doesn't put much effort into ground fighting. Basically, I can do both and he can't. He submitted Mark Coleman with an arm-bar but that wasn't because he was aiming for it. The arm just happened to be in front of him.
Pride: So, it was just luck.
Kosaka: Yes.
Pride: Do you feel any additional pressure because of the media push on this fight? Do you feel that you are the underdog in this fight?
Kosaka: I just want to fight strong guys. I don't care about the hype.
Pride: Why did it take so long for you to come to PRIDE?
Kosaka: The time was right. That's one reason. Another reason is that the world's top heavyweights are concentrated in PRIDE now. Since I want to fight with the top heavyweights, this is where I need to be. Whether it's Fedor or Nogueira or Mirko, I want to fight the top heavyweights. This is where I have to be to fight them.
Pride: Why didn't you fight earlier? Why now?
Kosaka: Actually, I needed time to adjust and for training.
Pride: Have you been approached by PRIDE before? I've seen you working the corner of other fighters. You were already a well-known name in American from the UFC when you came back to Japan.
Kosaka: I've never received an official offer before. I just want to fight strong guys, whether it's in PRIDE or Pancrase or the UFC. It's not that I'm fighting because it's PRIDE. I'm fighting because I have the opportunity to fight a strong guy. It just happens to be in PRIDE.
Pride: Does it make you feel good to represent your country against the top heavyweight, or is this just another fight for you? Any extra motivation from that?
Kosaka: Sorry, I keep repeating myself but I've wanted to fight Fedor, Nogueira and Mirko for a long time. This time is Fedor so it's important for me. He's the strongest of the three. I'm really excited about this.
Pride: Do you feel that you are the great Japanese hope? Like, this is the last heavyweight we've got to throw at him?
Kosaka: PRIDE is a Japanese organization. Since we're going to fight in Japan, of course I feel that I, as a Japanese, must win. In that sense, I've got more motivation than for other fights.
Pride: What's your prediction for the fight? How are you going to beat Fedor Emelianenko?
Kosaka: I'll do anything...as long as it's not against the rules. (laughing)