Pre-PRIDE CONFLICT ABSOLUTE 2006 Interview
09/09/2006
Lee Tae Hyun & Ricardo Morais

Lee Tae Hyun: I'm a little nervous because this is my first PRIDE fight. I'm thinking about how I should fight in this match, and there are also mixed feelings of excitement and anticipation. I've known about PRIDE since my Ssireum days. PRIDE is extremely popular in Korea. It's broadcast on TV, so I always watch it. I wasn't thinking of anything except doing my best in Ssireum at the time but the more I watched PRIDE, the more I wanted to fight. I realized that fighting in PRIDE might actually be possible in July of this year, after I retired fro Ssireum. The biggest reason for my move to PRIDE was that, as a fighter, I still wanted to fight. I wanted to test myself in a venue like PRIDE that doesn't have all the limits (of Ssireum).
I began training in a local MMA academy when my fight in PRIDE was confirmed. I invited boxing and tae kwon do coaches for my striking and jujitsu coaches for my grappling. Shoji Akira came from Japan and he instructed me in MMA for about 20 days. I had to learn a lot of things once I tried MMA and my image of MMA has really changed since I was just watching it on TV. What I am good at is not falling down. I will make use of that and fight with strikes. I'm confident in my hooks and my straight. I want to punch as hard as I can in the fight because I can't in training.
My opponent, Morais, is a very big fighter but it's not a problem really because I have fought opponents taller than two meters when I was doing Ssireum, such as Choi Hong Man and Kim Yeong Hyeon. Actually, I'm confident that I can throw Morais. I want the Japanese fans to see my aggressiveness. I always fought for the Korean fans when I was in Ssireum, and I believe that's my mission in PRIDE, too.
My goal in PRIDE is to keep winning and become the first Asian PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion. I cannot judge if I am suited for MMA but I have chosen the path where I fight in PRIDE, so I will put everything on the line as I walk that path.

Ricardo Morais: I haven't been to Japan in a long time and I'm very excited now. I want to fight as possible. I want to show everyone a win.
I haven't fought since my last PRIDE fight. There was no particular reason but I have been training so that I could fight in PRIDE again. My greatest goal is to fight in PRIDE and that's what I have prepared for.
I have continued to train at Boxe Thai. I trained jujitsu with Dimitri, who came to Japan with me. I began learning jujitsu from Dimitri a year and a half ago, and I have learned a lot of new jujitsu positions. Since the last fight, I have not been practicing just jujitsu. I have also been learning muay thai and my techniques have greatly improved. I train every day and always learn new techniques. What I want to show the fans the most is my aggressive side. Fighters must show that they are aggressive.
I don't know much about Lee Tae Hyun or Ssireum. I met him yesterday. He was big and seemed tough. He was about as big as I am. This is his debut fight, though, and I have a longer career. I want to teach him how tough it is to be a professional. PRIDE is where the toughest fighters compete, and I will show him that.
I definitely want the PRIDE fans to come out and watch on Sunday. I will absolutely give a good fight and show my jujitsu and muay thai techniques. You have to see it.