Post-PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round Interviews with Vitor Belfort and Yoshiki Takahashi

Vitor Belfort

Pride Fighting Championships: That was a great win. Were you going for the KO from the beginning?

Belfort: That's exactly right. I'm back to my old self. My hands are stronger and the Vitor Belfort that the fans wanted to see is back.

Pride: So, if you were to grade your fight today, it would be a high score?

Belfort: My coach gave me an A+. It's a very good score. There've been a lot of things in my private life over these 3 years. My sister was kidnapped and everything around me was crazy. I wasn't able to concentrate on fighting or training but now everything has been solved and was able to concentrate. I was blessed with a good coach in this return.

Pride: What is your next target?

Belfort: It doesn't matter who my next opponent is. It's a pleasure to be able to fight in PRIDE. I will fight whomever the promoter chooses. I will fight for my teammates, my coach, the fans and everyone.

Pride: What did you learn from your last fight in which you lost against Alistair Overeem?

Belfort: That was a difficult fight. It was difficult mentally and physically. I was shaken when I injured a tendon in my leg and I got too close to Alistair. I made the wrong choice, pain ran through all the nerves in my body and I was tired mentally and physically. In order to get back in the PRIDE ring, I underwent rehabilitation for 8 hours every day. My speed and punching were good so I think I was winning that fight until I became injured.

Pride: Would you like to have a rematch with Alistair?

Belfort: I would definitely like that. I think everyone wants to see it and it would be interesting.

Pride: Are you satisfied as a Middleweight?

Belfort: I think it's an incredibly good division. It's a wonderful division with strength and power.




Yoshiki Takahashi

Pride Fighting Championships: Did you see Vitor's punch?

Takahashi: I didn't see it at all. It was a straight punch? I didn't see it.

Pride: Do you remember the fight?

Takahashi: I remember being tackled and taken down.

Pride: It was a short fight but what is your impression of your opponent?

Takahashi: I didn't feel any pressure so I don't think anything in particular. I wasn't careful and I'm disgusted with myself.

Pride: Did you let your guard down?

Takahashi: I didn't let my guard down but I tried a game plan different than what I've done before. It wasn't like myself and I ended up being knocked out, losing like I did because of my strategy

Pride: What will you work on in the future?

Takahashi: I have to train more. I've lost all of my fights by KO and my training style has become rigid as I've grown older and I want to train more intensely, like when I was younger.

Pride: Did Kosaka say anything to you after the fight?

Takahashi: He said I should fight again. I can' t end it like this and Fujita worked hard, so I have to keep working hard too.