Yasuhito Namekawa has been picked to face Mauricio Shogun in the 10/14 PRIDE BUSHIDO 5 event to be held at Osaka Castle Hall. Shogun has beaten his last two Japanese opponents. Namekawa is always looking for a "battle to the death" so this will be a war.




Pride Fighting Championships: At the press conference you said that you want to "beat Shogun and become the Shogun of Osaka Castle." One-liners like that are pretty rare for you.
Yasuhito Namekawa: Yeah, Shimada, the referee, told me to say that. (laughing). It wasn't my idea. Sorry.
Pride: What?!
Namekawa: Shimada was standing behind the reporters and giving me the thumbs-up sign. (laughing)
Pride: Were you telling the truth when you said you'd put your life on your line, as if fighting to the death?
Namekawa: That's what I've thought since I heard who my opponent is. If I'm dead at the end of the fight, I'm ready. I'm not afraid of death.
Pride: He's that strong?
Namekawa: Well, I always try to put my life on the line every time I fight. (laughing) This time is special though. I'm putting everything on the line.
Pride: What do you think about Shogun?
Namekawa: I had never though about fighting him before but when I was approached, I thought that he's an opponent worth fighting. Fighters that are aggressive are actually easier for me than fighters that are passive and just try to tackle all the time. I'm more relaxed that when I fought Valavicius in BUSHIDO.
Pride: He's easier for you?
Namekawa: The last fight was a revenge match so I thought if I lose, there wouldn't be any more fights. This time I can go all out against a strong opponent and that feeling is easier for me.
Pride: When did you get so cocky?
Namekawa: I don't remember. (laughing)
I want to stay calm and fight hard.
Pride: Shogun won his last to fights against Japanese fighters by KO (Shoji, Gono).
Namekawa: It was a shock to see Shoji and Gono lose like that. I want to get revenge for them.
Pride: Thinking about your fighting style, this fight should be a striking battle.
Namekawa: Yes... but, would it be un-cool for me to say it's going to be a striking battle and then go for a takedown? (laughing) When I get angry, I can only see one thing so I'd rather stay calm and fight hard.
Pride: I heard that you hurt you neck when you fought in Korea in June. How is it now?
Namekawa: It was numb for a long time but it's fine now. I was kneed while in the 4-points position but that was against the rules in that fight.
Pride: Knees are allowed in PRIDE. If you had known that he was going to kick you, you would have been able to avoid it?
Namekawa: Of course. I was fighting under those rules so I thought he would go for a spinning choke from the 4-points position. My opponent is a Brazilian Top Team member so I was careful of that. Then, he kneed me. (laughing) Everything went black and went unconscious for a second. (laughing)
Pride: Not a very clean ending to the fight.
Namekawa: That's why I want to refresh myself with this fight, regardless of whether I win or lose. Living up to expectations is a pro's job.
Pride: You've gotten in shape, haven't you?
Namekawa: Yeah, I've lost a lot of weight. I didn't cut weight on purpose, though.
Pride: What will you do to prepare for the fight with Shogun?
Namekawa: I'll be strong enough to fight for 2 hours if I have to.
Pride: 2 hours?
Namekawa: Shogun's stamina is amazing. I heard those brothers (Shogun & Ninja) don't lose stamina as time goes on, they gain it. I've got to be able to fight like we are trying to kill each other for 2 hours.
Pride: It sounds like it will be a great fight.
Namekawa: I hope so! I don't want to get everyone's hopes up and then have a bad fight. (laughing) Living up to expectations is a pro's job so expect a good fight.