Pre-PRIDE BUSHIDO SURVIVAL 2nd ROUND Interviews
08/25/2006
Akihiro Gono & Gegard Mousasi

Akihiro Gono: Everything is crazy now. I'm already in Nagoya but my back... up dancers won't be here until the day of the fight. I told everyone to practice the dance by themselves and I gave them a video but we won't be able to practice to get until the day of the fight, right before my match. I'm perfect, of course, but I'm worried whether we will be in sync or not.
The budget is bigger than the last time. Where did the budget come from? It was from my fight money the last time. I paid for it. (laughing) I wanted the fans at the event to have a good time, so I always want to do something different. To do that, you need a certain amount of investment. I doubt I'll be able to reclaim that invest, though.
I will say one thing to the fans coming to the event. I'm counting on them to understand my performance this time, though. Please notice that it's interesting! I need everyone to be receptive and understand what we are trying to express. I'll be waiting for everyone to say, "Oh, yeah. I've got it!" Because I'm not responsible for whether they get it or not.
I don't know anything about Mousasi. He's fought three fights against Japanese fighters but he only uses one-twos. He has any amateur boxing title? That's great. If we're fighting just with our fists, I'm beyond the Japanese level. I believe I'm on the world level. At least on the Oriental and Pacific (Boxing Federation) level. I think I could become the Japanese boxing Champion. So, I'm better than the Dutch amateur boxing Champion. If they would let us, I'd love to wear boxing gloves and fight Mousasi in a boxing match. I'd like to see who's the better boxer.
When I was Mousasi's age, I had enough raw talent to be called a prodigy but now I have experience. I will show Mousasi what it means to be a veteran because I'm the "magic man." ... I gave myself that name. (laughing) By the way, there is a boxer named "magic man" and I copied it from him. My fights and my entrances are all copies. That's what learning is about. Everybody copies.
I look weak and being from an agricultural society, I'm not very muscular. I'm a small fighter in PRIDE. That's why I think I can win. Everyone gets caught up in my pace. That's what being the magic man is all about! I'm keeping my normal pace so I will be able to work my magic in this fight.
I'm just going to hang out in town, go to the bookstore and enjoy my time off before the fight. Everyone is probably looking forward to my entrance more than my actual fight and that's fine. I spent all my time improving the entrance so don't expect too much from my fight. I will do my best to entertain though, so please support me!

Gegard Mousasi: The cut under my right eye is when I took a punch from my training partner. My training partners are always careful when we spar, though. It was just an accident. (laughing)
I'm not very satisfied with my fight with Takimoto in the Opening Round. I wanted to attack more when I had his back but I was overly cautious of Takimoto's submissions and I didn't give everything I have. I will make that lesson work for me in my fight with Gono and fight like myself.
I'm originally a striker but I've been training very hard on the ground recently. I've become able to control my opponent and be able to punch in many different situations. I also do weight training, in addition to technical work, and have improved my physical conditioning.
Gono is a very tough fighter and it will be difficult to stop him. I'm sure that he's a strong fighter. I recognize that Gono has boxing skills but mine are better. Gono said he's going to spend a lot of time hurting me? He's a funny guy. I'm sure he would say something like that. (laughing)
I think that Gono does plan on making me tired but I won't get caught in that plan. I can fight standing or on the ground, but standing is better for the knockout. I know it will be a difficult match, but in the end, I will be the winner.
I'm looking forward to Gono's entrance dance. (laughing) If he uses a lot of time to make his entrance, I will have time to concentrate in the ring and I can warm up. It will also be exciting for the fans. If I were good at dancing, I'd like to but it doesn't really suit me. (laughing)