Pre-fight interviews with Chuck Liddell is now available online.




Pride Fighting Championships: What did you do after breakfast this morning?
Chuck Liddell: Just relaxed, bullshiting with people.
PRIDE: How many times have you fought here?
Liddell: 4th time in Japan, 3rd time at PRIDE.
PRIDE: Can you feel this sport getting bigger in the US?
Liddell: Yeah. It's the same for me but the fight is getting bigger. When I started in my first MMA fight in the UFC, I fought an open-hand fight. The guy never even took a shot. I kicked him in the head and knocked him out before that. My first real NHB fight was in the UFC and my second was in Brazil. I don't really know the sport without being in front of everyone and without it being a big show. I've fought a couple of small shows in my career but not many.
PRIDE: Would your attitude be the same if there was no one else here, just you and the other guy?
Liddell: Yeah, pretty much. Once you step in the ring, it's just you and him. No one else can help you.
PRIDE: Do you feel much pressure from being the UFC flag bearer here?
Liddell: It's a little bit of pressure but not much. When it gets down to it and I step in the ring, it's just me and the other guy. It's not who I'm fighting for. It doesn't change. I'm fighting for me, the guys I train with, my fans, my friends and my family.
PRIDE: Do you feel that you must get a KO to win, given the difference in the rules?
Liddell: I feel that anytime I fight, I have to try to finish the fight. If you leave it up to the judges, anything can happen. It is a different set of rules but I kind of like the rules here. You have to give up elbows but then you can knee to the head on the ground, which I like.
PRIDE: Most people are saying that whoever wins the quickest in the first fight will most likely win the whole thing.
Liddell: I don't think that's true. We should have sufficient time between rounds to relax. I've said it plenty of times before. I've fought kickboxing rounds and knocked the guy out at 1:15 in the first round. An hour later I could barely walk and probably couldn't have fought again for another month. I've also fought 30 minute fights where I could have fought again 10 minutes after I left the ring. So, it just depends on how much damage you take during the fight.
PRIDE: Do you feel nervous about Randy and Dana White being here?
Liddell: No, it doesn't bother me. They're here to support me. Like I said before, when I step in the ring it's just me and the other guy.
PRIDE: What do you do in the dressing room before the fight?
Liddell: I like to do about a 30 minute workout. Kicking thai pads, hitting the mitts and maybe some wrestling. Then I listen to my music and relax. Then, I may do some more stuff to stay sharp and to get warmed up. I usually try to do a 10-15 minute jog on the morning of the fight. If I don't, my body won't wake up.
PRIDE: What's your pre-fight music like?
Liddell: I listen to a lot of country music. I listen to some punk, too.
PRIDE: If you win the GP here, who do you want to fight next?
Liddell: Whoever they've got. I don't care. I really don't. I mean, I haven't thought very far past these 2 guys. I don't really care.
PRIDE: How great is this for the sport itself with you and Dana over here?
Liddell: I think any exposure for the sport is good. I think both organizations have great fighters and the more we can fight together, it will make it more easier to figure out who's the best rather than just guessing.
PRIDE: Ok, give us your guess on who you like in the Nogueira vs. Cro Cop fight?
Liddell: Y'know, I just heard about that recently and I really don't know. Cro Cop is tough, man. I mean, he's tough. It will be interesting. Nogueira is great on the ground. If he gets him down on the ground, he could cause some trouble. I haven't seen Mirko too much on the ground.
PRIDE: Yeah, he usually drops other people to the ground. Do you have any special game plan for Rampage?
Liddell: Nothing special. It's the same old game plan whenever I fight. I'm going to come out there and punch and kick. If the takedown shows up, I might take it. If it doesn't, I'll stand there and punch. Hopefully, that will put him down.
PRIDE: In the last fight, when you got cut and were bleeding from the head, it wasn't too long after that that the other guy was done. If you got stunned or cut, does that fire you up? Or if you see the other guy is cut, does that fire up your killer instinct?
Liddell: When stuff happens to me, it doesn't really change my fighting. When I see someone hurt, yeah, it kicks in. If I see someone hurt, I go to finish. I've seen it too many times when someone hurts a guy and then lets him recover. Then, it's too late and you've got to hurt him again. Once you get a guy hurt and you get on him, they're going to have to stop it because the guy can't defend himself or you'll put the finishing shot on him. If I'm cut and I'm worried that they might stop the fight, that will change my fight. I give it all then. I fight like there's only a minute left in the match. The last thing you want to do is have a fight stopped because of a cut. When you lost by a cut, your paycheck gets a cut as well.