KIYOSHI TAMURA INTERVIEW 2/21/2006
02/21/2006

On February 16th, PRIDE interviewed Kiyoshi Tamura in his U-FILE CAMP Noborito Gym. Tamura will fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the PRIDE 31 UNBREAKABLE event, to be held at Saitama Super Arena on February 26th.

Tamura's dream of fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will finally come true. However, this won't be their first fight. On October 9, 2000, Tamura and Nogueira met in the First Round of the RINGS' KOK Tournament. Nogueira won the match at 2 minutes and 29 seconds in the first round by arm-bar.

"The last fight was a lot of fun. Since then, our positions and the whole environment have completely reversed. I'm the challenger this time and I will bring everything I've learned in my 36 years to this fight," Tamura said, full of resolve.
Nogueira has grown since then, now standing along Fedor and Mirko in the top 3 of PRIDE's Heavyweight Division's. Since their fight in RINGS, the difference in their positions in PRIDE has become glaring. "I think 80 or 90% of the people believe I will lose but, right now, I don't feel like I want to win. I feel that I AM going to win. I don't have anything to lose," Tamura said, eager for the fight with Nogueira.

Tamura also said that he has not watched Nogueira's fights to study him. "I'm not like regular guys, using my head to think up a plan. I attack and then I have to change my strategy on the spot, depending on how my opponent responds. I train so I can respond to punches, low-kicks, ground fighting, submissions and anything else my opponent can throw at me."

According to Tamura, he hasn't received any offers to fight in the upcoming Open Weight Grand Prix, even though the February 26th event will be the preliminaries for that tournament. "If you asked me whether I will fight or not fight, I probably won't fight," Tamura said, not showing any interest in the tournament. PRIDE General Director Nobuhiko Takada said at a recent press conference that he wants to have a Japanese-only Welterweight Tournament and that he wants Tamura to fight in it, but the only thing in Tamura's sights is this week's fight with Nogueira, "I might be able to fight in the Open Weight tournament or the Welterweight tournament but honestly, I'm not thinking about it at all right now."