TOTAL ELIMINATION PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH SENTORYU
04/24/2004

Daijiro Matsui's body was thrown around several times as he held the punching mitts. Sentoryu's destructive punching power lived up to the rumors. His broad chest and huge shoulders spoke volumes about the training he's conducted over the last 2 months.

 

       

 

Pride Fighting Championships: The fight is getting closer. How do you feel?
Sentoryu : I'm a little nervous because it's my first fight but I've been doing sumo for 15 years so I'm used to fighting in front of people. I'll be fine once I see my opponent standing across from me in the ring. I'll do my best to win.
Pride : There's a big difference in height.
Sentoryu : Yeah, very big. I was small in sumo as well and I've beaten opponents bigger than me. It's the same as in sumo. You beat your opponent, regardless of who he is. I'm not worried about it.
Pride : The body punches you showed us in practice today, are they for Silva?
Sentoryu : I haven't actually seen him before so I don't know how big he is. (Stretching his hand out) I just try to guess when I'm training. I don't think I'll be able to punch him in the face when we are standing so I'll pretend that his body is his face and start punching.
Pride : What about long hooks and uppercuts?
Sentoryu : If I tackle him and he goes to his knees, I think my punches will reach him. That's when I'll give him a long hook.
Pride : Which of his attacks are you the most concerned about?
Sentoryu : I've been working on avoiding his punching reach, since I watched his fight with Herring. He's big so I think he'll strike but it will only be punches.
Pride : How much do you weight now?
Sentoryu : I'm 135.6kg now. I was 145kg when I was in sumo. I dropped down to 129kg at one time after I began training at Takada Dojo. Then, I started gaining more muscle and my weight increased.
Pride : Has your body's shape changed?
Sentoryu : I've gained muscle in my shoulders and lost fat in my stomach.
Pride : There's a little concern about your conditioning, though.
Sentoryu : I was training for an hour before we opened the practice today so I was already breathing hard. I've been taking small breaks while training in MMA for the past 2 months. I'm accustomed to sumo but I am a little tired from training for PRIDE. I will be ready on the 25 th , though.
Pride : How much ground training are you doing?
Sentoryu : (Silva) can't fight on the ground so it will be standing fight. If he gets on top of me though, it would be a big problem so I've been training how to escape.
Pride : Since there is a weight difference, you can elect to allow knees to a downed opponent. What are you going to choose?
Sentoryu : I haven't decided yet. I'm still studying now. I'm only thing I'm thinking about is how I can knock him down and how I can win.
Pride : Can you imagine your victory?
Sentoryu : I'm going to beat him senseless the second he falls down.
Pride : Who do you want to fight in the second round?
Sentoryu : I would like to fight Nogueira, Mirko or Fedor. I want to show everyone how much I can do.
Pride : Did you receive any advice from your elders in the sumo world?
Sentoryu : They want me to protect the strong image of sumo.
Pride : You were strong when you were doing sumo. Do you think that will transition to MMA?
Sentoryu : Yes. If I use my own fighting style, the chances of me winning are high. I was always the type to just go straight out to the opponent. If I can do that in the ring, I can win.