A press conference was held in a Tokyo hotel on March 30th to announce the participation of MMA-legend Tsuyoshi Kosaka in the First Round of the May 5th PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006, to be held in the Osaka Dome. Kosaka will put it all on the line in this event, literally, saying that he will immediately retire if he loses.

"Fedor," Kosaka immediately responded when asked whom he would like to fight in the First Round of the Open Weight Grand Prix.
"He is without a doubt the best fighter. I've fought a lot of fighters and seen a lot of fights but I have never thought anyone was as strong as I do about him. That's all. I can tell that he's become even stronger since we fought. He's probably getting stronger right now. That's the kind of guy that I want to fight and beat," Kosaka explained.

Kosaka continued, saying that there's no way to without going through Fedor, "Fighting the strongest guys and eating away at them is my style. Considering this is the Grand Prix, a huge event, it's better to go after the top guy."
Although it's not clear whether Fedor will be ready in time for the First Round, Kosaka is still putting everything on him, saying "I'm not thinking of anyone except Fedor now."




Just as he promised following his dramatic KO victory over Mario Sperry at PRIDE 31, Kosaka is betting his retirement on the Open Weight Grand Prix. "If I lose, I will retire right then and there. Of course, I'm not thinking about losing, though. Even if I win (the Grand Prix), I will retire. The fans won't forgive me? Well, I'm not fighting for anyone else. I fight for myself."

Of course, Kosaka "I'm grateful to many people. I'm grateful that I've been able to continue this long as a fighter. I don't want to sound patronizing, as if I'm fighting for someone else. I think the best way to pay everyone back is just to go out there, as myself, and give everything I have."

Soon after beating Sperry and securing his place in the Open Weight Grand Prix, Kosaka became a father. "I feel like I have come a littler closer to becoming an adult. It doesn't have anything to do with this fight, though." Kosaka bears the weight of his entire life as a martial artist on his back as he sets off for his final battle.