PRIDE GRAND PRIX POST-PRESS INTERVIEWS
06/30/2003

A press conference was held in Tokyo on June 25.

 

       

 

Pride Fighting Championships: What do you think about the upcoming Grand Prix?
Arona: I'm very happy to be able to fight in the PRIDE Grand Prix with such great fighters. It is an honor. PRIDE is a place for the strongest fighters to come together so I will train even harder than usual. I promise the fans that I will give them great fights. You never know what will happen in the PRIDE ring and it's no different for this Grand Prix. Anybody can win. I think whoever trains the hardest will win.
Pride: Who would you like to fight the most out of these fighters?
Arona: They're all good so it's difficult to choose just one. I leave everything up to my promoter.
Pride: But if you had to choose?
Arona: I can't choose. I think it would be a great fight no matter who it is.
Pride: Compared to the other fighters here today, what is your biggest advantage over them?
Arona: Mental strength. I always feel that I have to win, regardless of whether I'm in a difficult position or not.
< a href="/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=fighters&fID=125">ALISTAIR OVEREEM
Pride: What are you thoughts on the Grand Prix?
Overeem: I'm very happy and excited that I can fight. I will win the tournament.
Pride: How will that hammer you're holding help you?
Overeem: I always bring it with me when I enter but if I need more strength, I can use my hammer (laughing).
Pride: Who would you like to fight the most out of this lineup?
Overeem: The fighters in this tournament are all very good so I don't care. It will be a great match no matter who it is.
Pride: Well, if you had to choose?
Overeem: I guess I would choose Mr. X (laughing).
Pride: What do you think is your major advantage over the other fighters here today?
Overeem: I've got balance whether I'm standing up or on the ground. I think my left knee is my strongest weapon.
< a href="/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=fighters&fID=154">WANDERLEI SILVA
Pride: How do you feel about the upcoming Grand Prix?
Silva: It is a great honor for me to participate in this Grand Prix. It was my dream. I will use all my skill and strength and prove that I am the PRIDE champion. All of these guys are great fighters I think all of the fights are going to be great but make no mistake; I'm going to win by KO.
Pride: Who would you like to fight the most?
Silva: I want to fight the most aggressive fighter. I'll fight anyone here. I train from morning till night in preparation for this event. I am ready. It doesn't matter who I fight because I'm going to win.
Pride: Chuck Liddell said earlier that he would like to fight you. Any thoughts?
Silva: Chuck is definitely a strong opponent but I can't choose my opponents. If it does turn out that Chuck is my opponent, he will get knocked out.
Pride: What do you think is your main advantage over these fighters?
Silva: When I get into the ring, I'm full of rage. My opponent becomes the source of my energy.
< a href="/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=fighters&fID=141">KAZUSHI SAKURABA
Pride: How do you feel about the Grand Prix?
Sakuraba: (Pointing to the light in front of him) That light is really hot (laughing).
Pride: Any words you'd like to bet on the Grand Prix?
Sakuraba: I just want to do my best and not get injured.
Pride: You're wearing a suit today. Something special?
Sakuraba: I figured that everyone would come in T-shirts so a suit would stand out more! (laughing)
Pride: Who do you want to fight the most from this card?
Sakuraba: Hmmm. Everyone is strong so I guess I'd like to fight the first person that loses.
Pride: That's funny but seriously, who?
Sakuraba: Mr. X (laughing)
Pride: Sorry for the abrupt question but would you like to fight Yoshida in the first round?
Sakuraba: I'd rather fight him in the final round rather than the earlier matches. Everyone will have taken a shot at him by them and his body will be in rough shape (laughing).
Pride: What do you think is your main advantage over the fighters here today?
Sakuraba: Hmmm, my main advantage? I guess my old age (laughing). (Note: Sakuraba and Liddell are the oldest fighters in the Grand Prix)
< a href="/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=fighters&fID=90">QUINTON JACKSON
Pride: What are your thoughts on the Grand Prix?
( Jackson slowly grabs the mike and stands. The conference room goes silent)
Jackson: It's an honor to fight in the Grand Prix. And, I'm glad that Chuck Liddell and Mr. White have come today (he shakes hands with both of them). I also really like the UFC but PRIDE is the best.
Pride: What do you think the Grand Prix will be like?
Jackson: This will be the first time for me to fight with so many strong fighters so I'm really looking forward to it. You can bet that I'm slamming somebody.
Pride: You seem to be behaving yourself today.
Jackson: (slight laugh)
Pride: Who do you want to fight the most from the people here today?
Jackson: (without missing a beat) Takada! (laughing)
T akada stands up and starts to take off his jacket.
Jackson: Really, really. I want to fight Takada.
Pride: No, out of the fighters who will be in the Grand Prix.
Jackson: (Jackson puts his hand on Sakuraba's shoulder) I'd choose my friend, Sakuraba. He's the only one who's ever been able to make be tap out. I'd like to get some revenge.
Pride: What do you think is your major strong point over the fighters here today?
Jackson: Video games! I don't lose to anybody in video games (laughing).
< a href="/pride2005/index.php?mainpage=fighters&fID=101">CHUCK LIDDELL
Pride: How do you feel about the Grand Prix?
Liddell: I feel great. I want to fight the guys here as soon as possible. Since I will represent the UFC in PRIDE's Grand Prix, I want to prove that the UFC is the strongest organization and take PRIDE's belt home.
Pride: Who would you like to fight the most?
Liddell: Wanderlei Silva, of course. He's been the PRIDE Champion for a long time and I've wanted to challenge him for a long time. I definitely want to beat Silva.
Pride: What do you think is your strongest point compared to the other fighters?
Liddell: I've got the guts to challenge anyone and I can fight standing up or on the ground.
D ANA WHITE
Pride: Who do you want to let fight in PRIDE next?
White: No one else at the moment. The UFC responded to a PRIDE request and sent a fighter. Next time it will be PRIDE's turn to send a fighter to the UFC. It doesn't matter which fighter or which weight class.
D SE PRESIDENT, NOBUYUKI SAKAKIBARA
Sakakibara: (When asked about Mr. X) Well, we really planned on making the announcement today but it looks like it will take another week to finalize it. We're in the middle of talks with a fighter that we definitely want to appear. I can't say who but I can say that he has fought in PRIDE before and he is Japanese.
Pride: How will the 2nd round in November be set up?
Sakakibara: We're going to listen to the fans and also look at how the 4 winners performed in the opening round in August and adjust the final rounds to make the most interesting card.
Pride: And the battle with the UFC?
Sakakibara: Speaking for PRIDE, we can have a double title match. We're interested in sending champion class fighters to the UFC. IF we were to have a double title match, and IF the PRIDE belt were taken, it wouldn't take anything more than a PRIDE fighter going over to the UFC and getting it back. Middleweights will probably be the priority but I'd like to have 3 or 4 matches, including fights with heavyweights such as Fedor and Nogueira. I think the UFC is going to get a big shock when it feels the quality of PRIDE in this tournament. (laughing)