INTERVIEW WITH TAKANORI GOMI
09/28/2004

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.

 

       

 

Pride Fighting Championships: Have you gained weight? Your face is round.
Takanori Gomi: No, I haven't. I've been doing a lot of striking sparring recently and my face is swollen.
Pride: That's good to hear, I guess. Back on topic, you'll be the main event this time.
Gomi: I'm really excited. I tried to fight all of my matches until now as if they were the main event so I don't think I will have any problems actually being in the main event this time. I plan on winning.
Pride: Do you think the main event is a special position?
Gomi: 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.
Pride: You've fought as the main event in Shooto before. Is it different this time?
Gomi: There are 2 different kinds of "main event." You can be ranked the highest and fight in the main event, or you can be the most entertaining.
Pride: How's your motivation?
Gomi: 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.
Pride: I've heard that your opponent this time, "Crazy Horse", is a wild fighter.
Gomi: If he wants to trade strikes, I won't lose. I'll keep pressure on him.
Pride: It seems that if you have a good fight and win, of course, you will probably fight in the New Year's Eve show as well.
Gomi: That's what I'm after, of course.
Pride: There are also plans for a BUSHIDO Grand Prix next year.
Gomi: 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.
Pride: You've been fighting at a really high pace this year, compared to the past. How has that affected you?
Gomi: I'm really happy to be able to fight. I can fight about once every two months.
Pride: That's how prepared you are?
Gomi: Yes. I don't have any physical problems. I played around a lot after the July 19th match so I don't want to wait around any longer for a fight. (laughing) I had nice summer vacation.
Pride: Have you thought about gaining weight?
Gomi: I'm 73kg so I don't think there is a need to try to raise it this year.
Pride: This fight will be in Osaka. What do you think about Osaka?
Gomi: 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.
Pride: After winning 3 consecutive matches in BUSHIDO, what does the PRIDE ring mean to you?
Gomi: 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.
Pride: Do you feel that you have already brought out 100% of your potential?
Gomi: 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.
Pride: Do you have a message for the fans?
Gomi: I hope you will all feel satisfied after seeing the main BUSHIDO event. It's going to be a tough fight so you should definitely watch!