Post-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interviews
01/01/2007
Gilbert Melendez & Tatsuya Kawajiri

Pride Fighting Championships: How do you feel after your fight?
Melendez: I'm happy that I was able to control the in-fight. I'm happy that I was able to win a back-and-forth fight that was like a war. This fight was a test of my mental strength. I think Kawajiri showed incredible mental strength, too.
Pride: How did Kawajiri's strength compare to what you expected?
Melendez: That was about the strength I expected and hoped for. He's the #3 fighter in the world, after all. His punches have improved. He was exactly the fighter that I expected.
Pride: What are you goals for next year and who do you want to fight?
Melendez: I want to become the PRIDE Champion. I want to fight Gomi. I want to fight Gomi so I can become the Champion. I have a lot of respect for Gomi.
Pride: Did you watch Gomi's fight?
Melendez: I saw it. It was an amazing fight and he showed us that he has extremely brutal abilities and talent. He is a truly great fighter.

Pride: How do you feel now?
Kawajiri: I used everything that I have, but my opponent was tough.
Pride: Are you unsatisfied with the decision?
Kawajiri: I knocked him down in the first round and I thought I won but I'm not the one that makes that decision. That's up to the judges to decide, so I'm satisfied.
Pride: Where was Melendez strong?
Kawajiri: His stamina. And he just keeps coming. He can also take a punch.
Pride: Did you take any punches that really hurt?
Kawajiri: I took the punches on my forehead, so there's not much damage. They were strong (punches), though.
Pride: Are you going to compete in the February SHOOTO event?
Kawajiri: That is my plan.
Pride: Which fighters would you like to fight?
Kawajiri: Hansen lost easily, and I lost too, so I don't know right now. I'll leave it up to Mr. Sakamoto (SHOOTO promoter).
Pride: Do you have any goals for the New Year?
Kawajiri: I have to be more careful about everything. I have some rough spots in my striking and grappling. Today's fight was a new experience for me. It was back-and-forth and there was really only a slight difference between us. I lost but I think I gained a lot.
Pride: Did you watch Gomi and Ishida's fights?
Kawajiri: I saw them. Gomi was strong. The two of them are the only ones that really know about their fights, so I don't really have anything to say.
Pride: What about next year's Grand Prix?
Kawajiri: I lost so I don't know if I will be able to enter. It's back to square one.