Murilo Bustamante will face off against Dan Henderson in the Final Round of the Pride Welterweight Grand Prix 2005 on December 31st at PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005, to be held at Saitama Arena. We asked Bustamante, also referred to as "professor" about his philosophy of fighting.




Pride Fighting Championships : First, congratulations on advancing to the Welterweight Grand Prix finals.
Murilo Bustamante : Thank you. I've very happy.
Pride: Did (Brazilian) Top Team review your fights as soon as the Opening Round fights were finished?
Bustamante : Yes. I quickly discussed the fight with my teammates. Everyone said that I moved much better than they expected.
Pride: Please tell us what you thought of your fights, beginning with Suda.
Bustamante : I was worried but it was a good start. I knew about him before our match and I was careful of his punches. He was faster than I expected and I was probably a little slower than I should have been. Honestly, there were times when I was in a bad position but I was able to stay calm and counter-attack.
Pride: You were calm.
Bustamante : Yes. It's a high-level match so if you can't win if you don't always have a grasp of your opponent's movement and condition.
Pride: You said before the fight that you were in "great shape." That really left an impression.
Bustamante : I was in control of the fight but you never know what's going to happen in martial arts. That's why it's important to be in great shape for the fight. In the ring, you always have to grasp your opponent's speed, movements and your own feelings. Winning the first match gave me more confidence though, because it was proof that all of my training until then, and my conditioning, was good. My mind and my body both really prepared at that time.
Pride: How about your fight with Minowa in the Semi-Final Round? You taught Minowa at BTT.
Bustamante : He's become stronger. I think Minowa fought very well in the Semi-Final Round, but I was in the best condition in my life, technically and physically, for this tournament. My stamina was great, too. I continued to pressure him technically and make him tired.
Pride: Has Minowa grown from before?
Bustamante : As a human, he is really great. All of the Top Team members like him as a human. That's why, in my heart, I didn't want to fight him. If Minowa says he wants to come to BTT and train again, and he trains for a long time, he will be a stronger fighter.
Pride: Minowa has been using nature in his training lately. Is that a correct training method?
Bustamante : Of course. Nature is wonderful. I think it's important to train in that kind of beautiful environment. My own opinion is that it would be better to create an environment where you are surrounded by friends and strong fighters and make yourself better. There is a limit to what you can do by yourself.
Pride: You did a Chute Boxe-style stomp. Do you train stomps at BTT?
Bustamante : That came from realistic training. Everyone at BTT, not just me, thinks of all the techniques that we can use within the rules, we research fights, create new techniques and use them in our fights. Our motto is to try, and we will continue to try new things in fights.
Pride: You are 39 years old but you don't seem to be declining at all.
Bustamante : The reason I have been able to continue this long is my heart. I've always continued to chase after my dream of becoming strong, no matter how old I am. Other than soccer, there was no sport in Brazil that I could make my livelihood from. The reason that I was able to continue for tens of years in this sport, until I could make a living from it, was my love of jujitsu and mixed martial arts. It's important to continue doing what you love. In order to do that, I choose natural foods and work hard. I believe that teaching young people, as a BTT instructor, is entrusting my dream to them. That's also very important.
Pride: Your next dream is to become the Pride Welterweight Champion on New Year's Eve?
Bustamante : That's exactly right. I have dreamed of becoming the Pride Champion since the first day that I fought in PRIDE. Dan Henderson and I will settle things and I will be the one that wears the belt.