Kazuhiro Nakamura

Pride Fighting Championships: Your first MMA fight was against Rogerio Nogueira. What do you feel that you've improved on the most since that fight?
Kazuhiro Nakamura: I've gotten used to being in the ring.
Pride: Who are your training partners?
Nakamura: Kosaka, Yoshida, Yokoi, etc.
Pride: Will Yoshida and TK be in your corner?
Nakamura: Yes, those 3 guys.
Pride: We can see how much you've improved. You've become a good Japanese fighter. How do people react to you now?
Nakamura: I think it's just been a test period up until now. From now on will come the real fights. Some people do call my name when I walk around outside, though.
Pride: Have you noticed that with each fight, more of the audience is cheering for you? A lot of people are looking to replace Kazushi Sakuraba with a new Japanese hero? Do you feel comfortable being that person?
Nakamura: That's not my real goal. I want to be at the top, using my own style.
Pride: What are your hobbies?
Nakamura: Reading.
Pride: What kind of books do you like?
Nakamura: Japanese history.
Pride: Do you have a girlfriend or wife?
Nakamura: Not yet.
Pride: Obviously, you've probably watched your 1st fight with Nogueira again. Both of you have gotten better. Nogueira beat Sakuraba on New Year's Eve. What do you feel that you have to do this time to get a better showing against Nogueira?
Nakamura: I have the confidence to win but Nogueira is really good at ground techniques. It's not really a game plan but I think we will have a lot of standup exchanges.
Pride: Although this is a sport, it's also entertainment. The fans have to be entertained enough to come out and buy tickets. Do you concentrate on entertaining the fans, like Sakuraba doing a cartwheel, or are you more serious, just concentrating on the fight?
Nakamura: I focus on the fight.
Pride: Why did you get into MMA?
Nakamura: Yoshida is a big influence but the original reason was that I loved pro-wrestling.
Pride: How far away do you think you are from challenging Wanderlei Silva?
Nakamura: I don't know. His fights are scary. His fighting style is really rough but I guess you can't have a good fight, unless you feel a little scared. I don't think that his is particularly better than me, though.
Pride: If you met Yoshida in the Middleweight Grand Prix tournament, what would you do?
Nakamura: I'd try to beat him.
Pride: Who would win?
Nakamura: I can't say. (laughing)