TOTAL ELIMINATION PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH STEFAN LEKO
04/24/2004

Stefan Leko will make his MMA debut in the upcoming Heavyweight Grand Prix. He told us that this will be the opportunity to finally show the technique he has been thinking about for years.

 

 

Pride Fighting Championships: How's your condition?
Stefan Leko : Perfect.
Pride : How's your back?
Leko : No problem at all.
Pride : I noticed that you're sitting on a cushion...
Leko : I borrowed this from Takada Dojo. It's just nice to sit on.
Pride : What kind of training have you been doing at Takada Dojo?
Leko : Today was only striking but we also do ground work. I practice with Sakuraba and Matsui, especially Matsui. They're both very technical fighters and I've learned a lot.
Pride : What kind of advice did Sakuraba give you?
Leko : I've been training in groundwork with my team, even in Holland. Sakuraba showed me a lot of fine points like stopping takedowns.
Pride : Do you think you can use those against Ogawa?
Leko : Of course.
Pride : You're not scared of judo throws?
Leko : I can stop a real wrestler's tackle. I'm confident.
Pride : I heard that you've trained with Fedor before. Would you like to fight him?
Leko : I trained with Fedor for about 1 month. He's very strong and has excellent technique and physical capabilities. If we should fight, it would be a huge fight.
Leko's Trainer : Fedor has been training with Golden Glory members recently. They're good friends but they also train until someone gets injured. Neither of them will pull any punches if Leko and Fedor have to fight.
Pride : Have you imagined how you will KO your opponent?
Leko : Yes. I'll use my experience and technique. I'm going to show a new technique in my fight with Ogawa. No one has seen this before. I'm sure Ogawa has seen videos of me but he won't understand my strength.
Pride : What kind of techniques can you do?
Leko : I can't tell you. I'm going to surprise you so wait for the fight.
Pride : Have you developed anything to use against Ogawa?
Leko : A technique I've been practicing for a while. I've never had the opportunity to use it before. This fight will be my MMA debut so I think that chance has finally arrived.
Pride : What's the name of it?
Leko : I've never thought of it.
Trainer : How about the ??ickey Mouse??E (laughing)
Leko : Anyway, let's stop talking about techniques. If I talk about it too much, Ogawa will be scared and won't be able to get in the ring on the day of the fight.
Pride : Ogawa said that if you lose to him, you should do pro-wrestling as his underling.
Leko : That's the first I've heard about it. I'd do it for 1,000,000 dollars, I guess. He can talk all he wants about that. As far as fighting in the PRIDE ring goes, I respect Ogawa and I think he respects me.
Pride : PRIDE General Director, Nobuhiko Takada, said that if Ogawa's punches hit you, you might get KO'd.
Leko : I don't think so.
Pride : Did you know that Ogawa has been training at boxing and kickboxing gyms?
Leko : I didn't know that. As far as I've seen of him on video, I'll be able to predict everything he will do, even if his striking level does improve. I've fought more than 20 striking fights. I've fought guys that Ogawa has fought too, like Goodridge and Satake. No problem.