|Q & A: JOSH BARNETT AND MARK HUNT
Post-PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round Interviews with Josh Barnett and Mark Hunt
Pride Fighting Championships: Was it your plan to take the fight to the ground?
Josh Barnett: No, it wasn't. I wanted to trade (punches) with him like in the K-1 Grand Prix but Mark fell down by himself. I was fine with standing and trading with him. I train with strikers. I wanted to bring out my opponents strengths and give him a chance.
Pride: You may get a chance to have a revenge match against Mirko. How do you feel about that?
Barnett: I haven't thought about it at all but if you think about the nature of the Grand Prix, it's important to be ready no matter who your opponent is. I will concentrate my training to suit all of the fighters that won tonight.
Pride: You seemed relaxed from the moment you made your entrance. How did you feel?
Barnett: I felt a different kind of energy today. I think it's energy from not being broadcast on TV. I've never been nervous before a fight and tonight I was able to gain energy from the fans and enjoy myself.
Pride: Apparently, you gave Kosaka a strategy for taking Hunt down in the First Round. Were you able to use it yourself and what kind of strategy was it?
Barnett: I wanted to give Kosaka a nice present tonight. I think it was a nice present. I watched Hunt's previous fights to see how he moved on the ground and how he avoids submissions.
Pride: I think it's difficult for any fighter to take Hunt down but you did it quite easily. Did the takedown feel easy to you?
Barnett: It was easy. I trained very hard for this. I was able to take him down easily because I listened to my trainers' opinions.
Pride: What did you learn from the fight? Was there anything that you still need to work on?
Barnett: It's a wonderful trophy. I've added another one to my collection. My tee shirt and shorts smell like sweat but I'll wash them tomorrow. Then, I'll work on whatever I need to work on.
Pride: Are you going to buy something at Yodobashi Camera?
Barnett: Actually, I've already gone. I bought an air gun for myself. If I can, I want to go back tomorrow, look at everything in the game section and buy the new "Fist of the North Star" game.
Pride: Your conditioning seems good recently. You've started to look like Kenshiro [character from "Fist of the North Star"]. Will you look more like him next time?
Barnett: I will do my best. My Nanto Seiken isn't very good so I'll keep working hard to be more like Kenshiro.
Pride: I know that you are good on the ground but what do think of a fight between yourself and someone else that is good on the ground, like Nogueira?
Barnett: I can win, even on the ground. I can make my opponent tap out. I think if I fought at my own rhythm, I would give Nogueira problems on the ground.
Pride: Who would you like to suplex?
Barnett: I want to suplex everyone. I had a chance the second time but it turned into a waist lock. Someone will become target of my suplex.
Pride Fighting Championships: How do you feel about the fight?
Hunt: That wasn't a fight tonight.
Pride: Were you worried that he might try to submit you?
Hunt: Yes, I was.
Pride: How is your arm?
Hunt: It's hurt.
Pride: Do you plan on fighting before New Year's Eve?
Hunt: Yes, of course.
Pride: What did you and Josh talk about after the fight?
Hunt: He was making me feel better. He said he'd buy me a beer next night. He's a really nice fighter.
Pride: Do you think Barnett will win the Grand Prix? He's about 10kg heavier than the other fighters.
Hunt: Hmm. I think he'll probably win.
Pride: What did you learn from your fight tonight?
Hunt: It was so quick that I will have to start over and work on everything.
Pride: What are your future plans?
Hunt: I planned on winning so all of my plans are off now. At the current moment, I don't have any plans.