A Press Conference was held on Thursday, March 13th at the DSE office in Aoyama, Tokyo, where fight cards were announced for PRIDE.34 "KAMIKAZE," scheduled to be held on Sunday, April 8th at the Saitama Super Arena. Shinya Aoki, Makoto Takimoto, and DSE President & CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara were in attendance.
Aoki Shinya, whose match may be the only Lighweight bout of the event, expressed delight towards being able to participate in the PRIDE number series. "I was only in junior high when PRIDE.1 began. I'm happy to be able to appear in an event that carries so much history."
One can sense PRIDE's ten-year history through the fact that an individual from the generation of those who grew up watching PRIDE.1 will fight on the PRIDE ring. Aoki, however, possesses the audacity to shoulder the weight of history.
"I want to be able to stand at the top even after 10 years. I think my opponent will aim to make a fortune at one stroke, but I can't give in to that," Aoki declared, expressing that his goal is to secure four consecutive wins. He acknowledged his intention to become this year's Lightweight GP Champion, "I hope to make a good start towards GP, and be the one holding the belt at the end of GP."
Aoki observed that "the Lightweight division is in chaos" ever since Takanori Gomi lost to Nick Diaz in February at the Las Vegas event. "My hope is to be the first to break away from there," he revealed.
He went on to say, "I seek to do what I please, and have the spectators enjoy themselves. I hope to use the occasion to gather momentum towards GP and become the next Champion. Do I want to fight Gomi in the first round? Why not?" There is no fear in this man.
Although his opponent Brian Lo-A-Njoe lost to Genki Sudo in September of 2001, it is a matter of no importance to Aoki. "That happened 4~5 years ago, right? It doesn't concern me." That is not to say, however, that Aoki underestimates him. He mentioned, "I just need to concentrate and advance with all my might."
Aoki displayed his new technique "Itotoushi" at the Shooto Middleweight Championship held in February 2007. When asked if he will also demonstrate his new technique at the next event, he replied, "He looks like a pretty bad guy, so I'm thinking about taking him down with an arrest technique that I've learned for 2 months (laugh)." A former police officer, Aoki amused the press with his witty humor.
Aoki meant that he will "arrest" Brian by submission, making reference to Brian's prisoner outfit that he wears at the entrance scene.
In regards to his yellow tights, which has become his trademark, Aoki stated, "People may think I'm running out of new ideas, but I want to show that I'm capable of doing much more."
With much enthusiasm, he also announced his investment in new tights. In many ways, it will be an interesting battle.