PRESS CONFERENCE: PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2005
11/18/2005

Following the November 15th press conference held in a Tokyo hotel, Yuki Kondo, Sanae Kikuta and DSE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara answered reporters" questions.

Yuki Kondo:
I can't lose, and that's not because I'm Japanese. I can't lose because I've already 3 consecutive fights.

I will also be fighting in this year's New Year's Eve event and since there will be a lot of people that will be matching but don't know much about martial arts, I want to show them the excitement and entertainment of martial arts. That's what I always think.

I've been on a losing streak this year and I'm done trying to win "for Pancrase." (laughing) I just want to win and have a good fight.

I'd never really considered Nakamura as a possible opponent. Apparently, he's training in Brazil right now and I'm also trying to think of some new training to do. I don't have to worry about weight difference so much. I'm about 87kg right now and this is the best weight for me.

Kikuta will fight on the same day. At one time, we were both in Pancrase and both fighting together, so I'm very happy about that. I hope that we can both win our matches and have a title match next year.

Sanae Kikuta:
It's been a while since I've fought but I've been training new things during that time, so it's not a problem. My training is close to a real fight and we punch for real.

PRIDE fights are 10 minutes in the 1st round and 5 minutes in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I don't really like long fights, though. (laughing) I'm not really worried about it but I would like to finish this in the 1st round.

If Takimoto wears a gi, it will be to my benefit. I don't use my opponent's gi but it will be easier because there is less slipping. He's shortened his sleeves so other than being less slippery, there's not really any advantage.

Throwing a Gold Medallist? A mixed martial arts fight doesn't finish when you throw your opponent so I'm not worried about that. Rather than throwing, I'm concentrating on submitting. In the judo world, he's a World Champion and I'm a dropout. I feel like I'm on top in mixed martial arts and I will fight Takimoto in my 10th year in mixed martial arts.

When I was also in PRIDE, the rules forced you to be more aggressive. So, if I don't move aggressively, I won't be able to win.

Kondo said that we should both win and this fight a title match? That sounds great. It doesn't have to be a title match, though. I would like to fight Kondo. This fight has more meaning though, and I have to win this fight first.

Nobuyuki Sakakibara, DSE Chief Executive Officer:
When you think about a free broadcast and you think about people watching in their living rooms, Japanese match-ups are easy to understand, even in terms of getting ratings. With that in mind, we have match-ups among Japanese that share PRIDE's view of the world. I want them to fight a hard fight with the same thrilling feeling as always, so people won't say that the level of Japanese fighters is low. Fights are about winning and losing, so I think they will have their own strategies and ways of fighting but they need to show the fans what PRIDE wants to show them. Today's mood was more relaxed that yesterday's (press conference) and they don't have any particular bad blood between themselves. However, I expect them to fight as hard and as actively as they can.

There's no reward just for winning these fights. What are you going to do with everyone in the world watching you? The road ahead will open up depending on whether your fight is good, not whether you won or lost. As professionals, I want you to take advantage of this chance. Kondo isn't the only fighter on the edge. Every fighter is on the edge. Broadcasting on free TV is a double-edged sword because if you fight a bad fight, you'll give the impression that you are a "bad fighter" to a lot of people.

We can get viewer ratings on a minute-by-minute basis now and we'll know which fight has good viewer ratings. Until now, it has always been that the popular fighter gets the highest numbers but who will get the numbers in a show that lasts 5 hours and 20 minutes? That will be a vital factor in determining whom we use from now on. Among all the PRIDE shows, we are particularly aware of viewer ratings for this show and the fighters will be judged accordingly.

This makes 4 Japanese versus Japanese cards and we still have to put together Sakuraba's card. I want to talk to Tamura and hopefully realize a Sakuraba and Tamura fight. And, I want add some depth to the matches deciding who will be the top Japanese fighters. Once we've had these Japanese fights, I think we can bring out Silva, Shogun, Fedor, etc. to decide who are the top foreign fighters.