Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira participated in an August 5th Tokyo talk show, only 5 days away from his August 10th bout at the Saitama Super Arena.

Under an air-conditioned tent, fans were shown the actual ring to be used in the August 10th PRIDE Grand Prix and they formed long lines to get a chance to see one of the most popular fighters.

The already-hot August day seemed to get even hotter when Nogueira appeared on stage at 1pm. Nogueira looked a little bigger and in good condition, doing some shadow boxing for the excited fans. His secret...3 months training in Holland.

This was Nogueira's 5th trip to Holland. In addition to therapy for his back, he also trained with K-1's Peter Aerts in Muay Thai for 1 month. With the help of a trainer, Nogueira was also able to do some body-building. "I didn't have time to work on conditioning last year because of all my fights." Nogueira continued "This time I had a lot of time so I was able to adjust my schedule and get in some good conditioning training." The time off definitely seems to have benefited Nogueira.




Nogueira seems confident about his future, as well. "Rico is a great fighter but I will prove that PRIDE fighters are better than the UFC's. I will beat him. I lost to him in Abu Dhabi but I won't lose in vale tudo. Beating Fedor is my goal now. I want to fight him again and show everyone that I am the best heavyweight."

Nogueira also did the fans a favor by having a triangle-choke "seminar." Asked for volunteers than didn't mind being choked out, many fans raised their hands but only 2 were selected to become prey. Of course, they tapped out immediately. The 2 volunteers later commented that Nogueira is a lot more flexible than he looks on TV. Next was an omo-plata "seminar", followed by picture taking with the fans.

After the event, Nogueira showed his confidence again when speaking with reporters. "I'm better than Rico standing and on the ground. I'd like to finish with striking since I've been doing so much Muay Thai training. Rico is heavier so I don't want to be on bottom."

As his followers know, Nogueira's talent really shows when he's fighting from the bottom. However, Nogueira must have re-thought his strategy since he lost beneath Emelianenko Fedor last time. In the current field of PRIDE fighters, it's dangerous to be on bottom, even if you have the skill level of Nogueira. Nogueira has improved himself all around, including his ground work. The proof? He sent Mario Sperry to the hospital with a wrist injury from their sparring. Nogueira may just be able to show us a new side and beat Ricco Rodriguez from the top.