At a March 14th press conference at the Dream Stage Entertainment office in Tokyo, the first appearance of Mitsuhiro Ishida, who became the SHOOTO Pacific Welterweight Champion this February, was announced on the PRIDE BUSHIDO 10 card, to be held at Tokyo's Ariake Coliseum on April 2nd. His opponent will be Paul Rodriguez.

"It's an honor to be able to fight in the greatest event in the world. I've always wanted to fight strong foreign fighters and now that I have the (SHOOTO) belt and to have that dream come true in this way, I'm very happy," Ishida spoke about his first appearance in PRIDE.
"I know that this will be the first time for many people to see me, so I hope that they will see what makes me unique," Ishida said about his upcoming bout. "Of course I want to show of my pounding but I also want to show that I can keep moving for the entire 15 minutes." Ishida intends to make an impact on the BUSHIDO ring and make this a battle of willpower and stamina.

Ishida's opponent, Paul Rodriguez, is an experience fighter who has also fought in the UFC and has a submission wrestling/jujitsu base. He has a reputation for excellent groundwork and defense.

Ishida said that he has seen Rodriguez fight live at a Pancrase event and spoke about his impression of Rodriguez. "I think he's a very strong, all-round fighter. I hope that Paul and I will be able to create an exciting fight."

Will Ishida's tackle, which he claimed cannot be defended against, work on Rodriguez? "Even if he wants to defend it with a knee kick, it's not something you can easily time and I'm not worried about it," Ishida said with confidence.

Ishida is a member of the T-BLOOD gym, along with Tatsuya Kawajiri, and was ringside when Kawajiri lost to Takanori Gomi. However, Ishida said that he wants to give a fight even better than Kawajiri's and that he's only after one man, the PRIDE Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi.