I'm feeling good and well prepared. Actually, I trained the whole year and at the end of 2004, I started training really hard. I trained a lot with Rodrigo for his last fight on December 31. Then, I just had to lose some weight for this fight. I lost about 6 kilos or something like that.
Yokoi also lost 6 kilos. Exactly 6 kilos. You've obviously seen Yokoi fight. He gave Rodrigo a good fight in the first round of the tournament. What do you expect from him?
I'm a fighter. That's my job, if I'm invited. I will be training. If I'm invited, I will be there at 100%.
You've been a fighter for a long time and you've been successful, in and out of PRIDE. Where do you feel, at this stage of your career, are you best strengths as a fighter? Where do you want to improve?
I'm always chasing new skills and trying to get better. I just love to train and I just love to fight. I'm feeling better to the point that I really want to get better. When I was young, I just wanted to win. Now, I want to win and get better. I feel that my body and my mind are so focused for training and doing things well, getting more skills, test my self, pushing my limits. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. It's a spiritual thing. Everything. Training for the fight, the day of the fight, the fight itself, after the fight, everything is so good that I cannot live without that at this point in my life.
You are involved in every aspect. Business. Trainer. Fighter. Where do you see yourself in the next year, then? Do you want to continue to compete?
My goal last year was to try to see Rodrigo at the top. We did our best but he couldn't do it. I think this year, I'm going to focus on myself a little more. I'm going to split the responsibility of the other fighters with Bustamante and Duarte.
Rodrigo came very close. Why do you feel he was unable to achieve his goal?
First of all, Fedor is an amazing fighter. We knew that. I think the point that hurt us was that he changed his strategy. We were expecting him to do something and he did not. Of course, we knew we would face a monster again. We knew everything about him but we did not expect him to behave like he did in the ring.
He is doing alright. He understands that he did his best. He trained a lot. I think he's pretty relaxed because he did everything he could. This year, we are going to come up with new strategy and try to improve. Maybe we'll get another chance and see what's going to happen.
There is always new stuff. BTT is a funny place. There're so many guys and everyday I learn a new thing. That's why I love that thing. We have a fat guy, a small guy, a tall guy, a young guy, an old guy, a guy who has a good guard, a guy who doesn't do a good guard but passes the guard very well, strong takedowns, weak takedowns but good guard. We have all kinds.
Yes. We have other guys that are not professionals. They come up just to help and train, like a hobby. Those guys are very good also. There is this guy, one of our corners, he's a lawyer but he's been training for 25 years. He knows a lot of positions, he trains everyday, he's in shape, so we exchange a lot of information. Every day I learn something.