FINAL CONFLICT ABSOLUTE POST FIGHT INTERVIEWS
09/11/2006
Mirko Filipovic & Josh Barnett

Pride Fighting Championships: Did you know that Silva went directly to the hospital after your Semi-Final Round fight?
Mirko Filipovic: I hope it's not serious. There have been a lot of things written about both of us but I respect Silva as a fighter. Although we have to beat each other in this situation, please tell him to take care of himself if he is hurt.
Pride: How do you feel?
Filipovic: Today is the best day of my life. I feel like I have gotten the greatest birthday present of my life.
Pride: Won't this now make you equal to Tennis' Ivanisevic as a Croatian athlete?
Filipovic: I am very proud if that's the case.
Pride: What were you thinking about and doing in the time between the Semi-Final and Final Round fights?
Filipovic: Basically, I was doing my routine to prepare for the next fight by icing, massaging and stretching my legs and shins as I always do when I have multiple fights in one day.
Pride: Was there anything different from your previous challenges for the belt?
Filipovic: In 2002, at the Tokyo Dome, I was overwhelming in the 1st Round but I wasn't used to fighting on the ground. I want to express my respect for Nogueira's techniques. I made a mistake in my conditioning for the title match last year and lost as a result. Today was my day in all aspects, and I wanted to prove the fact that I am the strongest in the world. Fedor wasn't fighting (today) but we will definitely decide things between us. If I fight like I did today, I will win. Today was my day that God gave me.
Pride: What was the meaning of your tears at the award ceremony?
Filipovic: I'm just a human being. I cry, too.
Pride: Did you expect Barnett to be your opponent in the Final Round? What was your strategy for the Final Round?
Filipovic: I was ready no matter which one of the fighters won and I was just going to fight my own fight.
Pride: Josh showed a lot of tenacity in the Final Round. What was your impression of your fight with him today?
Filipovic: I felt strongly that he wanted to win today. I really like his fighting style. I might become one of his friends out of the ring. As I just said, he and I get along well as people. We've fought three times already and we both said that we should stop fighting. I asked him if he'd like to come to Croatia and train. I told him that my training room doors are always open to him.

Pride Fighting Championships: You ended up taking 2nd place in the Grand Prix. How do you feel?
Josh Barnett: Disappointed. This was a hard night tonight. (The fight) didn't flow like I wanted I to.
Pride: How did you feel about your two fights?
Barnett: Catch wrestling won. It was an extremely tough fight. My body didn't want to go in the next gear. My training and conditioning were perfect. I wasn't able to fight aggressively like I did in training. I think if I have had been more aggressive; the result would have been better. Somebody told me that I it was a good fight and that makes me happy. There were two good things. The front choke and the knee bar that I almost had were good. The fight ended just as I wanted to make him tap out. I think that I'm the only person that has tried to submit Nogueira.
Pride: Mirko praised you and sad that he invited you to train with him in Croatia. What do you think about that?
Barnett: That's very interesting. I definitely wanted to fight him after my second loss. When I said I wanted to beat Mirko, it wasn't personal. I wanted to beat him as a fighter. I don't think we won't fight again. It's not about personal feelings. His movements were sharp. Today was his day. I hope he will stay in that condition. If he does, I think everyone will understand why I lost. The offer to train is a true honor. I would like to express my friendship and my respect to him.
Pride: Did you tap out at the end because you couldn't open your eyes anymore and you decided you couldn't fight?
Barnett: That was an accident. I was trying to put on a leg lock and his finger went into my eye when he tried to stop me. My guard was completely open and I couldn't seem Mirko completely, and I didn't want to get kicked in the head. Mirko said he was sorry I thought that I'm the new Nogueira with all the punches I was taking.
Pride: You pointed to Mirko's eye at the stare down in the beginning of the fight. Was there something there?
Barnett: Mirko had an eyelash in his eye so I told him.
Pride: Were you able to recover from the damage you took in the Nogueira fight during the interval?
Barnett: In terms of damage, I was fine. My right eye was my fault. I dived into his guard. My body would not move. I have to find the solution to that.