Post-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interviews
01/01/2007
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira & Josh Barnett

Pride Fighting Championships: Your boxing techniques have improved a lot. What kind of training have you done?
Nogueira: I've been training in boxing for three years, since 2003, so I think I have improved a lot. I was able to use my right a lot and my straight was good, too. I also train in muay thai. I think that training showed.
Pride: It was a quick rematch. Was that what you wanted?
Nogueira: Yes, I was asking the PRIDE promoters for a rematch as soon as the last fight ended, actually. I knew I controlled that last fight, so I was let down by the results. This time, I think I fought a perfect fight.
Pride: Did you change your game plan from the last time you fought Barnett?
Nogueira: Yes, I changed it. I wanted to use more knee kicks from the clinch in particular. I caught a cold and wasn't feeling well but I felt very strongly about this fight, so it wasn't a problem.
Pride: Is this the end of fights between you and Barnett?
Nogueira: If I'm offered a rematch, I will gladly accept. Josh is good at submission too. He's a complete fighter. It is a challenge for me to fight strong fighters like Josh. If the timing's right, I'll gladly fight.
Pride: Was Barnett's front choke locked in?
Nogueira: I practiced the escape for that about 10 times at (Brazilian) Top Team about a week before I came to Japan. The choke was good but it wasn't all the way in.
Pride: Is there anything you want to say to Fedor, who successfully defended his title?
Nogueira: That was an extremely good fight. He's a Champion worthy of his title. I want to say congratulations. I also want to fight him once more. I believe that I am a fighter worthy of that.

Pride: That was a close fight. Were you unsatisfied with the decision?
Barnett: First, Happy New Year! This was a good year for me, and a good year for everyone. Thank you. I hope next year will be good, too.
Pride: What about the decision?
Barnett: I think I lost when the fight went to the decision. I always try to finish my fights before the decision because I hate decisions. When you leave it up to the judges, you can't complain about the decision. The Death Valley Bomb was good, though. (laughing)
Pride: Did you practice that?
Barnett: I used to practice it. Next time I will definitely go for a KO. (laughing)
Pride: Did your training with Karl Gotch help you in this fight?
Barnett: I didn't have many chances to use Gotch's techniques. I tried to use his way of thinking, though. I've been continuously fighting in tough matches for a year so my stamina wasn't good. Being on the bottom so much wasn't good. Next year I will try not to end up on the bottom.
Pride: Has Nogueira changed since the last time you fought?
Barnett: Not really. I can say that his boxing has improved. I lost because of my stamina. He didn't hurt me very much but he kept moving and never stopped. I think that gave a good impression to the judges. I don't want anyone to misunderstand, though. Nogueira is an extremely tough and strong, and is an excellent fighter.
Pride: Were you training differently for your last fight?
Barnett: I did the best training that was possible. My training before the Grand Prix was incredible. You wouldn't believe it. I was tired after that, though. I recovered a little before this fight but I didn't feel as good as I did in the Grand Prix. I had a lot of tough fights this year. People told me that I shouldn't fight Nogueira again but if I don't fight Nogueira, who will? (laughing)
Pride: What do you think about the announcement of Mirko's move to the UFC?
Barnett: It was a shock but it's probably good for him. I hope he adds a UFC belt to his collection.
Pride: There will be a lot of events in America next year. I imagine that you'll headline at least one of those shows.
Barnett: When I was in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, I said I am a New Japan pro-wrestler. Although I'm an America, I'm a PRIDE fighter. My ring is my nationality. I want to do my best to make people proud of whatever organization I belong to.
Pride: You'll probably have an opportunity to face Fedor in a title match.
Barnett: I'm aiming to be the best so of course, I want to fight if I am allowed to have a title match with Fedor. If I won, I think American and Japanese fans alike would be happy.