TOTAL ELIMINATION PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW WITH ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA
04/24/2004

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira held an open-training session on April 19 th . Nogueira, who will fight against Hirotaka Yokoi in the upcoming Grand Prix, came to Japan earlier than usual this year. He didn't have many words but he confidence was clear.

 

 

Pride Fighting Championships: How have you been training since you came to Japan?
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira : The GP is a really big event. I usually come to Japan 5 or 6 days before but this time I came 11 days before so I can get used to Japan, of course, and get rid of the jetlag. I've been training really hard for the past 2 days. I'm going to give it all I've got until the fight. Specifically, I wake up early, run in the morning and work on my physical and technical training in the afternoon. It's still dry in Japan so it's very good for running.
Pride : Have you simulated a fight with Yokoi?
Nogueira : I never know what's going to happen in a fight so I don't do simulations. Yokoi is still young and he has great technique. He's got guts too so I think it'll be a good fight. However, I've got more experience and more skill. I think I will show some stand-up work this time.
Pride : Your special boxing training? Nogueira: Yes but I was already training in muay thai with my coach. I want to show what I've learned.
Pride : I heard that Yokoi is training with Sakuraba. Does that bother you?
Nogueira : I think it's a good thing for Yokoi. Sakuraba has a lot of experience and he's got an aggressive attitude. If Yokoi fights like that, it will be an even better fight.
Pride : Do you want to win by punching?
Nogueira : As I said before, a fight can't be predicted. Yokoi is a great ground fighter but I can fight on my feet, too. There's no mistake. I will win.
Pride : Is there any other fight that interests you?
Nogueira : There are a lot of different types of fighters here. Ogawa interests me. If he wins, I definitely want to fight him.
Pride : Because Ogawa is a judo champion?
Nogueira : That and because he's a really strong fighter. His fighting style is completely different from Yokoi and he's very recognizable. I think it would be a good match.
Pride : (Mario) Sperry, what do you think of Nogueira's condition now?
Mario Sperry : We've come as a team to support Nogueira. He's ready on both the ground and standing. He's faster and stronger. I think Yokoi has gotten a good chance here. He's motivated and it's a really good thing. Yokoi's not the Champion and he doesn't have a title so he can fight without that stress. Nogueira is still going to win, though.