Chute Boxe top guns, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, spoke with us at Tokyo's Narita Airport about their upcoming bouts in the PRIDE Grand Prix 2nd Round, on July 26th at Saitama Super Arena.

"The Finals will be fought by Chute Boxe members," both Silva and Shogun agreed. Following the end of the Grand Prix Opening Round, Chute Boxe held a meeting and Fujimar warned them, "if you two have to fight each other in the Final Round, fight like it is a real fight." He also told a reporter, "If they both go to the Finals, it will be a day that the fans will never forget."

Neither fighter has any doubts about his chances at victory. Silva promised to "give the fans the KO victory the want to see," while Shogun is also confident, "if we stand, I'll KO him. If we go the ground, it's no problem, either." Although Shogun said that he is concentrating on this fight, and not the Finals, it's obvious that both fighters are already thinking about advancing to the Final Round.
Silva, upon hearing that his opponent Kazuhiro Nakamura may wear a judo gi in their match, declared his confidence and his indifference, "I wasn't able to submit Yoshida but Nakamura is shorter and I can probably submit him. I don't really care whether Nakamura wears a gi or not, though."

Silva is more concerned about Nakamura's striking than his gi techniques. Nakamura traveled to Brazil this time to train with muay thai fighter, Marco Ruas. Silva told us, "You could tell from his last fight that his striking has improved. I have to be careful about his strikes." Silva has definitely proved his ability to defend against ground techniques in his last two bouts with Yoshida. There seems to be no way to take out this king of the ring expect with strikes. Nakamura is more comfortable striking than Yoshida and Silva seems to be cautious of Nakamura's hard punches.



Shogun, who will face Brazilian Top Team's Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, in a battle between two of the toughest teams in MMA, is focused on his upcoming fight, "Of course, I know it's a team vs. team match because our two teams are best in Brazil. I just want to have a good fight, though."

Hearing that Hidehiko Yoshida has said he would like to fight the winner of the Grand Prix on New Year's Eve, both fighters were ready to accept his challenge. "Of course I will accept if I have a chance to fight Yoshida on New Year's Eve. I expected to fight him again next year but New Year's Eve is fine with me," Silva said. Shogun's comment was to the point, "No problem at all."

On this day, the Back Street Boys also arrived in Japan and their fans were there to greet them at the airport but the real excitement began when the fans spotted Silva's group, proving their popularity in Japan.