CARD ADDITION!
03/31/2004

Dream Stage Entertainment announced 4 additions to the PRIDE 2004 Opening Round. Among them is Hirotaka Yokoi; answering General Director Nobuhiko Takada's call for Japanese fighters.

Yokoi is a 3 rd degree black belt in judo and after winning 3 consecutive bouts in the amateur Shooto heavyweight division and 1 pro Shooto match, he joined the RINGS Japan Maeda Dojo in April of 2001. Yokoi quickly gained attention and made a new RINGS record when he made his debut in just 4 months. After the collapse of RINGS, Yokoi has been active as a pro-wrestler in ZERO-ONE and amassed a 10-0 MMA record. He made his PRIDE appearance in PRIDE 23, November of 2002, gaining a win over K-1's Jerrel Venetiaan. In March of 2003, he became the Light-Heavyweight Hook n Shoot Champion. Yokoi always maintains his calm during his fights, relying on his 16 years of judo experience and the submissions skills he learned directly from Tsuyoshi Kosaka.

Not only is he one of few heavyweight Japanese fighters, he's also a young fighter with a lot of potential. In response to Takada's call for Japanese fighters to volunteer for the Grand Prix, Yokoi showed his heart by quickly responding with "I want to fight Nogueira in the first round." This new fighter, highly regarded by industry insiders, will surely add energy to an already exciting lineup.

In addition to Yokoi, 3 non-Japanese fighters were also announced: winner of his GP survival match in PRIDE 27, Sergei Kharitonov, PRIDE GP 2000 Champion, Mark Coleman and Giant Silva.

Kharitonov is the pride of the now Fedor-less Russian Top Team and carries a sambo background, declaring that he was "born to fight in vale tudo." He already has 2 victories in PRIDE and showed impressed technique in his February 1 st victory in Osaka. Kharitonov is a young fighter with a bright future, prompting Kazushi Sakuraba to say, "Kharitonov may take down the big 3 ( Mirko, Nogueira, Fedor )."

Mark Coleman, the 1 st Grand Prix Champion, is burning to regain his title. His neck, which has been a problem for years, has completely healed. "I'm in the best shape and I'm not afraid of Mirko"

Giant Silva made his first vale tudo appearance in last year's New Year's Even show.