PRE-PRIDE GP 2005 SECOND ROUND INTERVIEWS WITH
SERGEI KHARITONOV AND PEDRO RIZZO
06/27/2005

Sergei Kharitonov

My condition is not bad. Of course, I was also doing special military training this time, too. The exact details are a secret, though. I can only say that I've trained both striking and grappling.

I didn't know who Pedro Rizzo was until this fight was signed. (laughing) I had seen a tape of him once. I would have liked to have been friends with him before this fight but never had the chance. (laughing). From what I saw on the video, he looks like a very good fighter. He's got a lot of heart and looks like he focuses on winning. I know he's good at low kicks. I don't know if he's extraordinarily tough or not but if he's in PRIDE, he is tough. I'll become famous in America if I beat him? I don't care about that. I only came here to win.

I don't know if this will become a stand-up battle. I don't believe in making predictions before fights. I want to make it a beautiful fight for the fans to watch. It will be great if I can use a lot of different techniques and have an intense fight. I want to show a variety of battles, not just a stand-up war.
Rizzo was apparently active in the UFC. Actually, I received an offer from the UFC a few days ago. I was preparing for that but it never happened for various reasons. If I get an opportunity, I'd like to fight in the UFC as the PRIDE representative.

We are about to open a training center that will become the base for the Russian Top Team. We will hold an event in August in commemoration of this event and I think I'll fight in that, too.

 

     

 

Pedro Rizzo

I've always watched PRIDE and I've always wanted to stand in this ring. PRIDE is the greatest stage in the world and this is where the world's greatest fighters gather. This fight will be the start of a new career for me and I'm very happy. I want to make a good start so I will give a great fight.

I've fought in the UFC for a long time but I want to challenge myself in PRIDE, in order to raise my motivation, because PRIDE has always had stronger fighters than the UFC. Another reason is that PRIDE rules will allow me to have a more exciting fight. I think PRIDE rules are the best rules for me.

Why? First, all striking is allowed on the ground. There are no elbows so there's no fear of losing by a cut. I won't be pushed up against the fence while my opponent stalls. The breaks are quick so we will be able to give an aggressive match. This will be closer to a real fight. I hate stalling the most. I want to show the fans a fight with a lot of action. The style of fighting is definitely different between the ring and the octagon but I'm originally a kickboxing and muay thai fighter so I'm already used to it. I'm really looking forward to showing that the ring is better than the octagon.

Kharitonov is an incredible fighter. I think he's one of the greatest. I'm glad that I can fight him and I think it will be a good step for me. He's a high-level fighter so it will be a good fight. His boxing techniques are great and he has a lot of striking power. He's got the same fighting style as I do, so I plan on trading strikes with him.

My leg kicks will probably a useful strategy to use against him. My low kicks aren't my only weapons, though. I've got a lot (of weapons). I plan on using everything in this fight. I don't think that my longer career is an advantage for me. It's a fact that Kharitonov is riding a wave now. I haven't won in this past year and anyone can see that Kharitonov has the advantage. He's a top star in PRIDE and he has accomplished a lot. It's exciting to fight that kind of fighter.

I'm concentrating on Kharitonov, not on the top 3 heavyweights. I'll think about other things after the fight is over. Of course, I'm fighting in PRIDE so I do want to fight them but this isn't the time to think about that. I just want to use everything I have against Kharitonov now. It will be a hard and aggressive fight and I'm going in to win. I will fight as if my life is on the line.