Takanori Gomi will be the first light-heavyweight to ever headline a PRIDE event in the upcoming PRIDE BUSHIDO 5 on October 14 in Osaka. Gomi's overwhelming power and techniques have brought him 3 back-to-back KO victories. Now he's got his eyes set on destroying the "Crazy Horse" and fighting in PRIDE's New Year's Eve show.
I guess it's the best position. All positions have a role to play, whether it's the first fight or the last fight. From a fan's point of view, they want the last fight to be exciting and leave them with a good feeling when they go home. In that sense, it's a special position.
You've fought as the main event in Shooto before. Is it different this time?
This fight will be the biggest for me this year. Everyone has said that my fights were good and the fans' response to my fights has been great. I feel very motivated to finish the year with good results.
I've heard that your opponent this time, "Crazy Horse", is a wild fighter.
I'll think about next year when it comes. This year I want to move up. I was planning on taking a rest after the 3 victories but if there is a chance of moving up, I won't let it slip by. Each fight has its own meaning and motivation for me.
You've been fighting at a really high pace this year, compared to the past. How has that affected you?
Nothing much. I'm a little uncomfortable with the Osaka crowd. (laughing) I can relax much more in Nagoya. Nagoya is more refined, while Osaka is extreme. I am very happy that I will be able to fight in the Osaka Castle Hall, though.
After winning 3 consecutive matches in BUSHIDO, what does the PRIDE ring mean to you?
It's brilliant. That's hard to explain but the reaction is so great that it really motivates you. I want my 4th fight to be even more exciting than the last 3. I've got a great balance in my training and will be in my best shape on fight day.
Do you feel that you have already brought out 100% of your potential?
No. I don't want people to say that I was only able to win because I didn't have the pressure of the main event on me and my positions were easier. I'm going to fight hard in the main event. I don't want to just play it safe and scratch out a win.
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