We caught up with Makoto Takimoto and Sanae Kikuta to ask them their thoughts and feelings on their upcoming December 31st fights at PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005, to be held at Saitama Super Arena.

Makoto Takimoto:

I want to fight soon so I can relax. SHOCKWAVE is always exciting, so I'm excited in that sense. I haven't seen Kikuta's videos. I never watch them. I haven't heard anything Kikuta has said, either. That's what I always do.

I'm always getting knocked around every day so I think my defense has probably improved. (laughing) I train striking and grappling equally.

Am I a striker now? The way I think is that if you can't find a way to use strikes, you can't get to the grappling. I don't think that striking is more important, though.

I was surprised at the booing after the last fight. I never thought that would happen. I think it was the opposite of what they expected. I want to fight so that everyone will say that I clearly won, no matter how you look at the fight.

He's the best grappler in the world? Well, it'll be cool if I am submitted by that level of fighter, then. I'm not worried about it, though. I may lose on the ground. (laughing) I'm not thinking about it. I want to use everything allowed in the rules to win. I will be aggressive at everything.

I want to fight so that everyone knows who the winner and loser is. KO or submission? I don't know much about Kikuta so it's hard to predict. He probably knows that I'm a medallist but I don't think that's an honor from my past. I'm not concerned about it.

I want everyone to win on New Year's Eve and we can rename it the Yoshida Dojo Festival. I will do my best.




Sanae Kikuta:

I'm in good shape. Right now I'm 100%. I feel really good mentally. I'm relaxed and happy.

I worked on my punches a lot this time. I want to win on the ground so I have to be ready to trade strikes because he might not want to grapple. You have to have punches to be able to take it to the ground. If he's worried about my grappling and holds back, I'll use striking. I will have the advantage then.

I looked overconfident? I don't think so. He took the top position in judo and I wasn't successful in judo, but I did win in Abu Dhabi, right? Winning at Abu Dhabi is hard and I just want to prove how big of a thing it was.

Takimoto was leaning towards striking so it's hard to tell about grappling. He fights with a lot of spirit, so I don't feel like he fights according to a theory or a strategy. I don't think anything about him so he's not particularly difficult to fight. Even in the Olympics, you can't win if you are submitted or pinned. I think I have enough strength to keep him from finishing me.

Is there any specific submission I want to use? Yes, but it's a secret. It's nothing I used in the public training session. I still don't eve know if he's going to wear his gi. I don't care either way. I think this fight will be exciting. It may be us hard fought match, with both of trading strikes and bleeding from the nose. I want this fight to be different than the other Japanese matches, though. I want to win by an amazing move in the end.

I am unusually motivated. In many senses, I think this is fat. I will talk about what kind of fate after I win the fight. (laughing)

I don't have any good memories in PRIDE? Well, I guess that's true. (laughing) Life is long so I think it's about time for my turn to come around.