Interviews With Paulo Filho and Gregory Bouchelaghem
06/03/2006

Paulo Filho: This was a difficult time for me to prepare. I had to face a lot of difficulties and I overcame them. I'm 100% now. Compared to the hard training that I've been doing, the fight will be easy. The fight ends in a day and compared to training, it's only a short time. The training that I've been doing was really tough, tiring training.

The reason that I trained with Rickson Gracie this time was that I was able to contact Rickson through Fernando Margarita, a jujitsu friend of mine. I heard that Rickson would be in Rio de Janeiro for a certain time and I told him that I wanted to learn more jujitsu and improve my techniques. Rickson's ground techniques are excellent and his family is a great family that created Brazilian jujitsu.
When I contacted him, Rickson was happy to train together with me. My goals were to polish my Brazilian jujitsu techniques and improve my ground techniques but Rickson taught me some of his best mixed martial arts techniques. Of course, they were all techniques that I can use in this Grand Prix. I will be able to use the things Rickson taught me for the rest of my life, not just in this Grand Prix.
I met Gregory Bouchelaghem at the press conference and he was friendly and polite. He saw me, came over to me and introduced himself, saying that he was glad to meet me. I could feel that he is a professional and although we will fight on Sunday, I pray that he will continue to be given good chances in the future.
He received his purple belt from De la Riva? I'm very familiar with De la Riva. He came from Carlson Gracie's academy. He's amazing. If my opponent was training at his student's place, then he's worthy of my respect.
It's an honor to be able to fight Takimoto in this Grand Prix. He's an Olympic champion and I've also done judo, so I respect him. I think it would be an exciting judo vs. jujitsu match if both Takimoto and I wore our gi. I've done judo for about 10 years and received my black belt when I was 17. I've competed in judo tournament inside and outside of Brazil. I've competed in Europe twice. I've also competed in the Junior World Championships. I've also competed against Carlos Honorato, who broke Yoshida's arm.
My goal is to win the Grand Prix and to submit my opponents. As a fighter, I don't want to think about losing. I think the members in this Grand Prix were chosen very well. I respect all of the fighters but I will do my best to win. Look forward to my submissions.

Gregory Bouchelaghem: I am prepared, of course, because PRIDE is an important event. There was less than two weeks left when I received the offer but that is enough time to prepare myself. I fought just one month ago so my body was already in shape to fight. I'm very happy that I can fight in PRIDE for the first time. I've been doing mixed martial arts for ten years and fighting in PRIDE was a big goal for me. PRIDE is world-famous and the fighters, and the tournament quality, are the best in the world.
I don't get into the ring just to win. I also want to make the fans happy. Paulo Filho has power and his fighting style is extremely strong. However, he has a weakness in his striking. I don't think I will lose to him in terms of power, and I don't think I will have any problems even if he takes me down to the ground. I will create chances with my striking.
I did karate for 4 years and then Brazilian jujitsu. I'm also doing muay thai. I haven't competed in any big jujitsu tournaments but I have won smaller tournaments. My instructor received his black belt from De la Riva and opened a dojo in France. I received my purple belt from him. He has promised to give me a brown belt if I beat Filho. That's not enough to satisfy me, though. I want to win this Grand Prix, and get both the PRIDE belt and my jujitsu black belt.
To the fans, keep your eyes wide open when you watch my fight. Pay attention to my knees in particular. Make sure you are watching when I drive my knees into Filho's face!