Pride Fighting Championships spoke to Mark Hunt following his victory over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in the January 31 PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005.




Pride Fighting Championships: What did you do after your fight on New Year's Eve?
Mark Hunt: I went to Yoshinoya and ate gyudon (beef on rice). Yoshinoya's gyudon is one of my favorite Japanese foods. (laughing) After that, I went back to the hotel and went straight to sleep.
Pride: You didn't go out drinking and partying?
Hunt: No, I didn't. I'm going to lead a moderate life for my next fight, so I'm not going to go crazy.
Pride: That's very stoic.
Hunt: Of course! I only fought once in 2005. I'm be careful of my conditioning and thinking about my body now so I will be able to fight a lot this year.
Pride: I'd like you to look back on your fight with Mirko. How did it feel to fight him?
Hunt: I think it was a good fight. I think his strategy was probably to make me tired but I didn't like it because Mirko wouldn't come out to face me.
Pride: You looked frustrated during the fight. Did you feel frustrated?
Hunt: Exactly. I was frustrated many times. If you run around like that, you can't fight a real fight and I wasn't able to do what I wanted to, either. So, I'm not just frustrated with Mirko. I'm frustrated with myself, too.
Pride: You wanted to strike more with Mirko?
Hunt: Yes, because that's what a good fight is.
Pride: You personally hate fighters that just look for counters and keep their distance?
Hunt: It's not about liking or hating him. That kind of fighting style isn't a fight. The fans buy tickets and come to see a fight. You have to show them a fight in your match.
Pride: It seems that Mirko had a cold and his foot was injured. What do you think about that?
Hunt: I didn't know anything about it. When I fought Mirko in 2001, I only had 2 weeks (notice) before the fight. But, I don't want to make that into an excuse. A loss is a loss, no matter what the reason. If Mirko's condition was really bad, that's too bad. I'm not going to hold back because Mirko's sick and our positions were reversed, I wouldn't want Mirko to hold back just because I'm sick. When you're a pro, you give your best in the ring, no matter what the conditions are.
Pride: I see. What were you thinking of doing in the fight?
Hunt: I want to stagger Mirko with munches and the body-slam him from the top rope. (laughing)
Pride: You're not allowed to use the ropes. (laughing) For example, did you want to ground and pound, since you have been doing MMA training?
Hunt: No, I just wanted to KO him with punches.
Pride: When did you hurt your leg during the fight?
Hunt: I don't know exactly when but I think I hurt it because I was always blocking Mirko's kicks.
Pride: You perfectly defended against Mirko's specialty, his left high kick. Was that something you planned before the fight?
Hunt: My conditioning was good and I was able to see his movements. I trained on defense a lot, too. And even if I'm hurt, I recover quickly.
Pride: Did you feel rusty during the fight after being away for so long?
Hunt: I didn't think it would affect me so much but really looking back on it, my timing was off and I wasn't able to lead the fight like I wanted. I think it did affect me.
Pride: I think a lot of your punches actually hit their mark. Did they feel good to you?
Hunt: I wanted them to be better. I wasn't able to grab Mirko well and after being away from fighting for a year, my timing was off.
Pride: You seemed to be throwing a lot of body blows yesterday. Was that something you had planned before the fight? Or did you think during the fight that they would be effective?
Hunt: I always thought that body shots would be effective. I used them during the fight to stop Mirko from running around.
Pride: Your wrestling was really good, too. Did you train especially for this fight?
Hunt: No, I train striking and grappling equally.
Pride: What gym do you train at? Do you have coaches for each area of your training?
Hunt: I have a coach that I train with. There aren't many fighters where I live in Oceania that can fight in PRIDE. For example, there are any good organizations like Brazilian Top Team or Russian Top Team. So, I want to create make that kind of gym.
Pride: Some fans and media in Japan are beginning to think that you might be the only one that can beat Fedor, since you beat Fedor's rival Mirko. What do you think about that?
Hunt: Fedor is an incredibly good fighter. He's good at striking and grappling. If have the chance this year, I'd like to fight him.
Pride: If you hit him with your punches, would Fedor go down?
Hunt: Sou desu. ("That's right" in Japanese).
Pride: After the event, Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Sakakibara said that there is a possibility of an unlimited weight-class grand prix. Are you interested in that?
Hunt: Is that fair? I would probably win if I just punched a fighter smaller than me. If I got an offer, I would fight, of course but isn't it dangerous to have me fighting in an open weight class?
Pride: I think a lot of Japanese fans want to see a fight that goes beyond categories, like your fight against Silva.
Hunt: But Silva almost weights 100kg. Silva is less than 93kg so he is a middleweight and I'm more than 93kg, so I'm a heavyweight. Personally, I think Silva and I are in about the same category.
Pride: If you think so, I think that's fine.
Hunt: Good because I just want to fight a lot next year!