Q & A: RYO CHONAN
07/24/2006

Dream Stage Entertainment held a press conference in their Tokyo office on July 18th to announce match-ups for their upcoming PRIDE BUSHIDO 12: PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round event, to be held on August 26th at the Nagoya Rainbow Hall. Ryo Chonan's match with Paulo Filho, a contender for the Championship title, was confirmed and Chonan was in a tense mood when he attended the conference.


"I don't have anything to say. I just want to carry out the mission I've been given," Chonan, who seemed to be in a bad mood, spoke only those few words. No matter what Akihiro Gono did to make the gathered reporters laugh, Chonan's sullen expression never changed. The conference felt tense, pressuring the reporters.

Even when questioned, Chonan would say nothing more than "It's a secret," "Filho? Anybody from this group is fine," "I just want to do my best," "I won't go overseas (this time). I want train as much as possible in Japan." The atmosphere in the press conference felt heavy and BUSHIDO's Public Relations Director Shigeru Saeki followed up, saying "He's not in a very good mood today apparently he's unhappy about something."

Even when asked by Saeki to have a Q&A session with reporters, Chonan refused and went home after commenting, "I don't have anything to say."

Chonan has always been tight-lipped before his fights but today's tense attitude was unusual even for him. Saeki, who has watched Chonan since he was young, said that today's Chonan "reminds (him) of the fight with Mach."

On September 15, 2003, Chonan faced Hayato "Mach" Sakurai in a DEEP event at the Otaku Gymnasium. Mach was scheduled to appear in PRIDE BUSHIDO two weeks later and Chonan, who was still unknown at that time, boldly declared, "Don't look past me. I will not let you fight in BUSHIDO." Just as he promised, Chonan broke Mach's orbital bone, winning an upset victory.

Saeki's comment was to the Chonan back then, when he was at his brightest, hungry to fight and aiming for the top.

"Today was the first time to meet him in a long time. Apparently, the whole world bores him I don't know why he's so upset. Even I can't get close to him. I haven't seen him like that recently. He's become somewhat normal recently but in the end, a wild animal is still a wild animal."

Has Chonan gone back to his mental roots in order to prepare himself for his fierce opponent, Paulo Filho? It looks like fans in Nagoya might see the old Chonan that was fond of threatening to kill his opponents.