AKIHIRO GONO INTERVIEW PRIDE BUSHIDO10
03/20/2006

At a March 14th press conference at the Dream Stage Entertainment office in Tokyo, Akihiro Gono's participation in PRIDE BUSHIDO 10, to be held at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum on April 2nd, was announced. Gono will face off against Korean fighter Kim Dae Won.

Akihiro Gono lost by KO to Dan Henderson in the Semi-Final Round of the PRIDE BUSHIDO Welterweight Grand Prix in September 2005.
"I took a long break to take a look at myself again. I watched videos of my fights from the past, thinking about what I want to do in the future and things started to get brighter from September," Gono spoke about his time away from the ring. Although he restarted his MMA training in earnest from February, Gono said that he never skipped his boxing training.
Gono's opponent this time, Kim Dae Won, is called a genius in the Korean judo world and has a record strong enough for him to be chosen as a national representative. Gono analyzed Kim, saying that although he "can't win by strength alone", will win by out-boxing his opponent.

 

     

 

Gono also said that he doesn't have any information on his opponent, other than that Kim beat Gono's teammate, Yamamiya. Gono's comments at this press conference were unusually reserved.
"Since I don't know anything about my opponent this time, it's hard to talk trash. Maybe I could say I'm going to punch you across the East China Sea, all the way back to Korea' or something like that, but that's actually something that I stole from something I heard before. (laughing) I was trying really hard to think up something while everyone was talking today but now I've ran out of time."

A PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix is being considered for this year and will represent an opportunity for revenge for Gono, "If they are going to have the Grand Prix, I've got to give a fight good enough that I can enter it.
Gono was confident that he would make last year's Grand Prix exciting but this year, he'll have to compete with his own teammate, Kazuo Misaki. Additionally, Gono's rival, Yuki Kondo from Pancrase, will also be there.

"The quality of the event has improved with the participation of those two guys," Gono said, with unusual restraint. "I can't really say that I'm going to stand at the front of the line, can I? However, I want to make PRIDE exciting and I want to make PRIDE BUSHIDO exciting."
Gono will soon make his return to the BUSHIDO ring and only time will tell if it will be lights-out for his opponent and if he can shine the spotlight on himself.