INTERVIEW WITH GIANT SILVA
06/16/2004

Giant Silva arrived at Tokyo's Narita Airport on July 16th, just 4 days before he is scheduled to take on Naoya Ogawa at the PRIDE GP 2004 2nd Round. Silva told the gathered press that he has been studying judo to beat Ogawa.

When a man twice the height of normal men stepped into the arrival lobby, there was quite a commotion in the airport. Silva's face was still while those around him seemed stunned. It's been said that the legendary pro-wrestler Andre The Giant developed a lifelong hatred for Japanese people because of the strange way they stared at him. Silva, on the other hand, didn't pay any attention to their stares and was happy to pose with children for pictures.

Although he is stared at as if he were a monster, the truth is that Silva's a very intelligent man. He was a member of the Mexican Olympic Basketball Team and loves to read books. His speaks politely and is can be very serious.

For him, vale tudo is another sport that he can make the best use of his body in, just like basketball and pro-wrestling. He said that his debut fight on New Year's Even opened his eyes to new possibilities and he soon after enrolled in a Renzo Gracie-affiliated dojo in New Jersey to begin jiu-jitsu training.

There are many fighters that claim to have studied jiu-jitsu, despite only having a brief experience with it. Silva has a humble respect for jiu-jitsu, "Jiu-jitsu techniques aren't something you can master easily. I'd like to train for a couple of years and be able to submit people." Silva truly is an intelligent monster.

However, Silva began to study judo, rather than jiu-jitsu, when he heard Ogawa was a judo player. "I've been studying under a judo black-belt instructor in New Jersey. I'm focusing more on how to prevent being thrown, rather than throwing someone." He also said that he trains with a gi and is confident in his jiu-jitsu skills, "Even if he is able to throw me and we go to the ground, I can fight with him there"

Silva's humility also extended to his opponent, "He's an aggressive, powerful fighter. I respect him. It's definitely going to be a great fight." He's not going to back down, though, "I'll crush his head with these giant hands."

When Silva heard that Ogawa was training in basketball, he replied, "basketball is great for increasing your endurance. I think he'll be able to improve his condition a lot."