DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara spoke to us on April 26 about Mirko's loss just one night before and the possibility of his return in the May 23 PRIDE Bushido 3 event.

Mirko lost to Randleman in the Opening Round but he hasn't lost his will to fight. Immediately after his fight, Mirko approached Sakakibara about fighting in Bushido 3 at Yokohama Arena on May 23.

"I spoke with Mirko yesterday but he was a little down, mentally and physically. I think he also had some regrets. He's a fighter, a politician and a movie star and he had too many things that required a lot of motivation and concentration. His political duties will lessen from May until summer so he said that he wants to fight again. That's why he asked to fight in May's Bushido."

Mirko has been fulfilling childhood dreams one after another since last year by becoming a member of the Croatian Parliament and becoming a movie star. Now the only thing remaining for him is his dream of becoming the PRIDE Champion.

Unfortunately for Mirko, chasing too many dreams can make a person too excited. It seemed that Mirko might have lost his focus on his last PRIDE fight.

Another possibility for his loss is, as Fedor put it, "Maybe he was too confident that he would win." Mirko's been known since his K-1 days as being very proud of himself.

Considering that Mirko didn't expect much trouble from Randleman because he was able to win despite being taken down by Ron Waterman, it's possible this attitude had something to do with his loss. However, Mirko's immediate appeal to fight in Bushido may be a sign that Mirko's become aware of his pride.

"Mirko's going to fight in May and June", Sakakibara continued. "So, he could be a reserve fighter for the August Grand Prix. I really want the top 3 to fight, regardless. Mirko wants to start again. I think he just had too many difficult situations around him. At the earliest, he will fight on May 23 rd ."

Sakakibara also said that Sentoryu, who lost his debut match against Giant Silva, has also asked to fight in the Bushido 3 event.




Takahashi and Yokoi pass inspection

Looking back on the previous day's fights, Sakakibara said that "Takahashi and Yokoi pass. Takahashi put up a good, exciting fight. He didn't tap out despite getting beaten so bad and I can respect that. When I saw Yokoi crying, it reminded me of when Sakuraba lost to Silva in the Tokyo Dome. You could really tell that he came to win, in heart and body. I was really moved by the beauty in fighting like that."

It seems that Sakakibara was moved by these 2 fighter's performances, despite their losses. "I want both of these guys to keep fighting. I'm going to give them another chance, of course. I'm certain they have the potential to continue fighting in PRIDE."

Hunt's contract problem? "No problem."

"I've already checked with our lawyers and the lawyers for Hunt's side. They both said there's no problem," Sakakibara confirmed. "The best place for Hunt to do MMA is in PRIDE and that's where he wants to fight. He said that he would also like to fight in the K-1 GP if he has a chance and we don't plan on trying to stop him. He wants to fight MMA in PRIDE and kickboxing in K-1. We didn't lead Hunt away, he contacted us. He said he was influenced partly by Mirko and Leko."