Immediately after the end of PRIDE BUSHIDO Vol. 7, Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara held a press conference, along with Joachim Hansen, to talk about Hansen's participation in the July BUSHIDO event.




Nobuyuki Sakakibara: This was the first event after declaring that BUSHIDO would be solely a place for light-middleweights. However, the 1st match ended with a KO fit for a heavyweight, the main event ended by an amazing KO and I think that DSE, as the promoter, is very happy with this event. I'm very happy that fighters, both Japanese and foreign, have given us these results because they want to support BUSHIDO now that it is a unique event for light-middleweights.
Pride Fighting Championships : The Japan vs. The World matches in this event ended in 5 wins and 5 losses.
Sakakibara: Part of their performance is due to increased training because they know they will be watched by a lot of fans. Another part is that being watched by fans directly gives them some energy. That's how it was with Gomi. All of the foreign fighters today are at top-class fighters in the world, but I felt, despite that, that the Japanese fighters had a good showing today. Both the winners and the losers felt the pressure that comes along with fighting in PRIDE. Even Maeda, who lost in the 1st match, said that he lost to himself; he lost because he couldn't control the pressure. That is the kind of thing that will disappear as they get more experience, though.
Pride: Why did you decide to fight in PRIDE BUSHIDO?
Joachim Hansen: One reason is that I think PRIDE has the best 70kg class in the world. I've always been a PRIDE fan but since there was nothing but heavyweight and middleweight classes, it was impossible for a small fighter like me to fight. Now that they have a lighter class, it's like my dream of fighting in PRIDE has come true. I'm very happy that I have been given a chance to fight in PRIDE.
Pride: What did you think of this event?
Hansen: I think it was the most interesting BUSHIDO yet. It was a great event with the top fighters from all over the world. Minowa and Baroni's fight was especially good, and Gomi in the main event. I was really excited watched Gomi's fight. I think Azeredo was a big challenge for Gomi.
Pride: Gomi said that if he fights you, he'd do the same thing that he did to Azeredo today.
Hansen: Gomi says all kinds of things before the fight. I know that Gomi wants to fight me. I'll fight Gomi anytime.
Pride: Tell us what is next for BUSHIDO.
Sakakibara: First, the next event will be on July 17, at Nagoya Rainbow Hall. All of the fights will be single matches. Based on the results from that event, we are planning to hold a BUSHIDO Grand Prix at the end of September. We are thinking of having a ??E3kg and ??E3kg Grand Prix at the same time. The rules and the number of participants (8 or 16) will be decided from here on. I think we have seen some good rivalries develop, especially in the ??E3kg class, now that the top fighters have come to PRIDE. I want to see a Japanese match-up and this will be an exciting card. The time has come and I think there will be a Grand Prix from autumn.
Pride: It will basically be held in September and November?
Sakakibara: Yes. However, the New Year's Eve show is also coming up and I want to give the fighters a fitting stage on which to have the Final Round and show their intensity. A lot of amazing light-middleweights have come from all around the world, so with the assistance of Fuji Television and the media, we will make an announcement once everything has been decided.