|PRIDE GRAND PRIX 2005 2ND ROUND WEIGH-INS
Public weigh-ins were held for the upcoming PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 2nd Round. "These fighters that will battle in the event of the century are fully prepared," commented DSE Chief Executive Officer Nobuyuki Sakakibara. Taking the microphone, PRIDE General Director Nobuhiko Takada spoke excitedly about the upcoming event, "No matter how you look at the 8 cards or which fighters you look at, there are a lot of themes in this event. I think this lineup has a lot of heat and deep meaning. Everyone watching, at the event or on TV, is looking forward to one of the greatest events of the century. We pray that these 16 fighters will aggressively try to win and find a strength that will exceed even their best. We are also praying that there will be no injuries and that this will be the greatest event ever.
Shogun and Silva had trouble with the weigh-ins last time but both this time, both passed on their first attempt and appear to be in top condition. Sakuraba wore a loin-cloth to the last weigh-in. Always the entertainer, this time he came to the weigh-ins with muscles drawn in with a magic marker and the Japanese character for "muscle" written on his forehead. At 87 kg, Sakuraba is the lightest of the competitors but he doesn't seem bothered by it, saying that "(the fat) just came off naturally when I was training." He was also a little full of himself, joking about his new-found "muscles", "If Anjo says he's 300%, then I've become 400% stronger" and "now I can submit anyone in the Heavyweight division." Takada, Sakuraba's trainer, commented on Sakuraba's condition, "He hasn't had any trouble with his knees during sparring and he's in his best shape of the last 4 years."
All of the fighters were in great condition and we can be sure that the 2nd Round will be even hotter than the first.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (92.9kg):
There's no mistake, it will be a great fight. I will do my best
when I fight.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (92.3kg):
I want to give the fans a good fight. I'll fight for my team.
Alistair Overeem (92.6kg):
Look forward to my fight. I think it's going to be great.
Igor Vovchanchyn (91.6kg):
It's an honor to be in the Grand Prix.
Ricardo Arona (92.2kg):
I guess the fans in Japan will be cheering for Sakuraba but I will
still do my best.
Kazushi Sakuraba (87.0kg):
I'll give it everything I have.
Wanderlei Silva (92.4kg):
Tomorrow is going to be a special day because (the Grand Prix) will
be broadcast live in Brazil. I've got a lot of motivation because the fans, and
my family, will be cheering for me and I will give a great fight.
Kazuhiro Nakamura (92.9kg):
(After weighing-in completely naked) I can relax a little now that
I've lost some weight. Please look forward to my fight because I know it's
going to be tough.
Pride Fighting Championships: Why have you changed into a muscle man?
Sakuraba: My opponent is muscular so I'm just copying him.
Pride: You didn't look at him even once during the photo session.
Sakuraba: He was just staring at me and I was embarrassed. We're not really friends, anyway. From a long time ago we've just said hello backstage but, he doesn't talk much. He doesn't try to talk to me at all.
Pride: What do you think about weighing 87 kg?
Sakuraba: It came off naturally when I was training. I'm not really worried about it. I'm in much better condition that the Opening Round. I took about 2 or 3 days off after the Opening Round and started training again.
Pride: If you were at 100% during the Opening Round, what are you now?
Sakuraba: It's difficult to put it into percentages but if Anjo says he's 300%, then I've become 400% stronger
Pride: How do you think the fight will turn out?
Sakuraba: I won't know until the fight but I want to have a clear ending, win or lose, by either submission or KO.
Pride: Before the Opening Round, you said that you could submit anyone in the Grand Prix. What do you think now?
Sakuraba: Now I can submit anyone in the Heavyweight division. (laughing)
Pride: Arona said this would be monkey versus tiger.
Sakuraba: Not a monkey. This will be a tiger versus prey. Wait...that means I'll be eaten! (thinks for a moment) Well, when he gets close, trying to eat the prey, the prey may start chasing him. (laughing)