As the snow began falling on the morning of the event, I was worried about whether the fans would be affected. Both Nogueira and Mirko left the bus mid-way and had to ride the bullet train to the event but I'm happy that their matches were still able to begin on time. I'm also happy about the performances of Chonan, Minowa and Gomi. I think they showed us the spirit of BUSHIDO.

Mirko's match and the Heavyweight Title match each had their own themes. Both fighters in the Title match knew each other's style well, had thoroughly researched their opponent and fought a high-level match. Fedor won this time but I look forward to seeing a 4th match-up, after both fighters have further evolved. I believe that Mirko has added another accomplishment to his record and moved one step closer to his goal. I hope to have a (Heavyweight) Title match for him early next year.

I'm grateful to Hunt for accepting his fight against Silva on such short notice, and I'm proud of the fight that Silva gave us. I don't think the loss in this match will negatively affect Silva's popularity or career. Silva didn't say it publicly but he was injured all over his body. His left hand was injured so he couldn't punch properly and he fought despite his ribs not being completely healed from his match with Jackson. Furthermore, he caught a cold the day before and still fought an amazing fight despite having a fever. I would also like to thank Hunt for accepting the fight, even though he too was injured.

As the representative of DSE, I believe these 11 matches were all incredible fights, fitting of PRIDE fighters. As a fan of MMA, I'm completely satisfied with this event closing out this year.

Following up on the participation of Rulon Gardner in this event, FILA, International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, has promised to issue pro licenses to deserving candidates, such as (Olympic) gold and bronze medalists, and have them fight in PRIDE.

(Regarding the decision protest by Chute Boxe) It was a close decision. The rule is that if there is a dispute regarding the decision by referees and/or judges, a letter stating this must be received within 2 weeks. Then, a conference will be held to investigate. If Chute Boxe cannot accept the results of the fight, they can protest and we will verify the referee/judges' decision. I know that emotions tend to run high among corner-men when the fight has just ended. However, I want both sides to cooperate in good faith. We have come a long way together, so I think we will be able to come to an understanding.

The Sentoryu vs. Takimoto fight, as a match up of different styles, was a fight for position. Sentoryu said that he had found confidence. Takimoto showed us his potential and his heart. Yoshida also showed us his fighting spirit. Although he's not a proficient striker, he automatically punched when he was punched. Gardner fought a stiff fight against Yoshida. We thought Gardner would lift and throw Yoshida. Actually, we expected him to do this but since this was his first MMA fight, he was a little stiff. I think for that reason, Yoshida couldn't find an opportunity to finish either and it was a tough match for both of them.

Nobuyuki Sakakibara
President, Dream Stage Entertainment