TOTAL ELIMINATION PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH MURLIO "NINJA" RUA
04/24/2004

Ninja's making the move from Middleweight to Heavyweight. PRIDE General Director, Nobuhiko Takada, described Ninja's upcoming battle with Kharitonov as the "hidden main event."

Pride Fighting Championships: What do you think of your opponent?
Murilo "Ninja" Rua : I think everyone is strong, not just Kharitonov. It's going to be a great fight.
Pride : Have you seen any videos of him?
Ninja : I've only seen his PRIDE 27 fight but I don't really make strategies for each opponent. If I just relax and fight like always, it will be fine.
Pride : Have you done any simulation fights?
Ninja : Not really. I think he's probably good on the ground so I trained for that.
Pride : What is your current weight?
Ninja : 100kg
Pride : How have you been gaining weight?
Ninja : I've taken a lot of care about my food and lifting a lot of weights.
Pride : Are you going to keep fighting as a Heavyweight from now on?
Ninja : Of course.
Pride : If you win this fight, you will probably have to face one of the big 3.
Ninja : I'm not scared of any of the fighters. I will just do the same as always.
Pride : Are you confident to win?
Ninja : I think it will be a tough fight but I'm confident in my techniques and my stamina.
Pride : (Wanderlei) Silva, how do you see the Grand Prix turning out?
Wanderlei Silva : Ninja will win. I think Ninja is going to show you some new things in this fight.
Pride : What advice have you given him?
Silva : Winning is important but having a good fight is also important.
Pride : How has Ninja changed the most?
Silva : His power. Ninja's punches are definitely stronger. I think the fight will end quickly.
Pride : Other than Ninja, who are you interested in watching?
Silva : There are a lot of good fighters but Ninja's the one.