I'm very excited. Until now, PRIDE only had middleweight and heavyweight classes, so I didn?? have a chance to fight, but now that BUSHIDO was created, my chance to fight has come. It's a dream come true.
Yeah. I??e been a huge fan since the beginning. My favorite fighter is Wanderlei Silva. The truth is, I??e liked Wanderlei so much that I was watching his matches even before he was in PRIDE. I also like Fedor Emelianenko.
First of all, since PRIDE created BUSHIDO, it created a weight class that I could fight in, and the opponents that I wanted to fight are in this ring. Second, Shooto and BUSHIDO have a really close connection. I am also planning to continue fighting in Shooto matches as well. I want to show my best abilities in both events. Of course I am also planning to enter the BUSHIDO Grand Prix next fall.
Recently, a fighter by the name of Takanori Gomi has been flourishing in BUSHIDO. What kind of impression do you have of him?
He is a very good and tough fighter. After he lost to me by judge's decision, he then lost to BJ Penn. Even though he went through such hardship, he has been able to climb to the position that he is in today. He has incredible mental strength.
Yeah. I used to fight in FinFight (Finland?? mixed martial arts event) where headbutts are allowed. Being allowed to stomp or kick your opponent in PRIDE, that suits my style. PRIDE's rules will help me utilize my dangerous fighting style even more, and now I can show my complete skills.