WE CAUGHT UP WITH ALISTAIR OVEREEM IN TOKYO
08/26/2005

We caught up with Alistair Overeem in Tokyo and he declared that he is confident that he will beat Shogun in the semi-final round of the PRIDE Grand Prix 2005 Final Round on August 28th, at Saitama Super Arena.

"I just woke up 20 minutes ago. I'm still sleepy," Alistair said when he appeared in front of the reporters, despite it being late afternoon, apparently still suffering from jet lag.

"I haven't done any special training. I've been training hard as usual. I feel overworked but that's the same as always. I'm not especially overworked," Alistair continued, declaring a KO victory. "I'm a striker, just like Shogun, so I'm confident. I will knock him out in the 1st round."
'Our striking styles are similar. I think we are similar. We'll see the difference on August 28th." Alistair was a man of few words on this day but when told that Shogun said Alistair couldn't submit him with a guillotine choke, Alistair replied, "I don't know. I'm more confident in knocking him out than I am of submitting him with a guillotine choke."
Who does Alistair think will remain in the Final Round? "Everyone's tough so it's hard to predict. I don't know who will win but it's good motivation for me," Alistair replied. "I hope Wanderlei Silva wins. I want to beat Silva completely. Either a KO or a submission would be fine."

Alistair squinted, wrinkling his forehead, when asked about the fans wanting to see a Chute Boxe match-up in the Final Round. 'Of course the fans want to see that. Both of their fights are really aggressive and that's probably what the fans expect. I will try to show off my strengths and give the fans a good fight, though."
Alistair also trained with Fedor Emelianenko at a famous gym in Holland. "We trained together and he gave me advice. He has fought Nogueira so if I fight Arona in the Final Round, he told me I should fight the same way he did. I also trained with many other guys, as usual."
Other than Alistair, from Holland, all of the competitors in this final leg of the tournament are Brazilian. There's a lot of pride on the line between two big martial arts countries. However, Alistair also wants the supports of the Japanese fans, "I'm representing Holland but I also feel like I'm representing Japan. All of the Japanese fighters lost to Brazilian fighters in the 2nd Round, so I want to get revenge for them. I want the Japanese fans to support me in my fight. I don't want to let them down."
"I haven't taken a vacation in the past year, since the Grand Prix finished, so I'd like to take some time off," Alistair said but he has a plan for after he wins the Grand Prix, including a double title match with the UFC Champion. "After that, I want to get revenge on Rogerio Nogueira, who I lost to in February. Then, I want to rematch Chuck Liddell, who I lost to by KO in the Middleweight Grand Prix 2 years ago. Chuck's the UFC Champion now, right? I wouldn't mind putting both belts on the line. I was still young the last time we fought. It will be a different fight the next time and I'm confident I will win."
Alistair said that he would train in Japan until the 28th and be in perfect condition for the fight, as he takes on the biggest challenge of his life.