Mark Coleman's neck problems have affected his fights in the past. However, he had surgery 6 months before, in preparation for the Grand Prix. Coleman will challenge the Champion in front of his father, the first time in 3 years since PRIDE 16.




Pride Fighting Championships: The fight is almost here. How are you?
Mark Coleman : It's an honor for me to be able to fight the strongest fighter. I'm grateful to PRIDE. I think it will be a big match. I'm confident that I will win.
Coleman : I'm going to give everything I've got and fight like usual. His style has helped me evolve. I've been working on sweeps just in case I get on the bottom. He's a dangerous opponent, though so I want to be on top, always.
Pride : He's also a sambo fighter.
Coleman : MMA isn't one style. It's all-around. I've been working on submissions, too. I won't be that easy to submit.
Pride : It's a match-up between the old Champion and the new Champion.
Coleman : I want to show everyone that the Champion is still alive. I haven't been able to practice well for the last 3 years because of my neck injury. It bothered me in fights, too. I had surgery 6 months ago, though and I've been training well since. It's not just a re-starting point for me. I think this match will be bigger than that.
Pride : What do you think of Ogawa fighting?
Coleman : He's famous and I think the Japanese fans like him. I hope he can win. I will be cheering for him.
Pride : You're father has come with you to Japan.
Coleman : He's supported me since I was doing amateur wrestling and he inspires me. I want to do my best without feeling pressured. If I get into trouble, I'll get him to jump into the ring and help me out. (laughing)