Post-PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round Interviews with Edson Drag, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Edson Drago

Pride Fighting Championships: Please give us your impression of the fight and your opponent.

Drago: I wasn't able to get a win in my first fight here and Nastula was able to use his strategy against me, which was very good. I hope to be able to fight in the PRIDE ring again.

Pride: How much grappling training do you do?

Drago: I really trained a lot. Nastula was just a little better than me. I thought I would be able to knock him out from the guard position but unfortunately, I couldn't. I'd like to fight again after I improve my jujitsu.

Pride: Is Drago your ring name?

Drago: It's my ring name. It's from Dolph Lundgren's character in Rocky 4, Ivan Drago.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Pride Fighting Championships: What is your impression of the fight and your opponent?

Nogueira: I didn't feel there was much distance between us after the fight began, so I wasn't able to use good punches and other techniques. Little by little, I closed the distance, I was able to pass his guard, get in a good position and win. Alistair kicked a lot this time and it was a difficult fight.

Pride: This was an important match for you, the Second Round of the Grand Prix. How do you feel now that you've won?

Nogueira: Today's match was extremely important and Alistair is one of the best fighters in the Middleweight Division. Beating him means a lot to me. I will definitely be able to compete for the title and I will definitely become the Champion in the 93kg division.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Pride Fighting Championships: What is your impression of the fight and your opponent?

Nogueira: I think Fabricio fought well today. He's a good, tough fighter. Our styles are very similar so I knew that it would be difficult to fight on the ground. Our styles are similar so it would have been difficult to finish the fight. I think my stand up skills are better but it was an extremely difficult fight. I will work on the areas that I need to improve and come back for the Final Round.

Pride: Josh has wanted a fight with you for some time. Is there anyone that you would like to fight?

Nogueira: All of the fighters that won today's Grand Prix fighters are excellent fighters but I want to fight Wanderlei. I think we could have a good fight and I think we could both use the skills that we are good at. I would like to beat him with joint locks. I would like to face Silva.

Pride: I heard that the person you wanted to fight the least was Fabricio. Why was that?

Nogueira: Basically, he's a submission fighter with similar techniques and it would have been difficult to end the fight with joint locks. He's an extremely difficult fighter. We both know everything about the other's skills. I almost had the guillotine but he's a good fighter and I couldn't finish it. I wanted to knock him out standing but I wasn't able to.

Fabricio Werdum

Pride Fighting Championships: How do you feel about your fight?

Werdum: I think it was a fight with lots of action. I had a throat inflammation before I came to Japan, so I skipped the press conference but I think today's fight was good.

Pride: How was Nogueira's striking?

Werdum: Nogueira's striking is very strong. His punches are strong and I was knocked down several times. I thought that he's a really strong fighter.

Pride: What did you think of his jujitsu techniques?

Werdum: Minotauro is a jujitsu specialist and I think he showed a high level of jujitsu skills. I didn't expect that he would be able put me in guard or escape. I thought that he is very skilled.

Pride: How did it feel when you had him in the side choke ["katagame"]?

Werdum: I was able to get into good positions several times and I think I was close to finishing it. My blood pressure fell before the match due to my throat inflammation. I wasn't able to finish it because my blood pressure is low and I couldn't use my strength. Minotauro was in better shape than me.

Pride: When did Mauricio die?

Werdum: He died two weeks ago and I considered pulling out of the fight but my team supported me, so I fought for him because he wanted me to become the Grand Prix Champion and I fought for myself. I brought a tee shirt with Mauricio on it. Minotauro also praised him.