FINAL CONFLICT ABSOLUTE PRESS CONFERENCE
08/27/2006

On August 22nd, a press conference was held at the Dream Stage Entertainment office in Aoyama, Tokyo to announce additional matches for PRIDE FINAL CONFLICT ABSOLUTE, the Final Round of the Open Weight tournament, to be held on September 10th at Saitama Super Arena. Kazuhiro Nakamura and Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao were present at the conference.


PRIDE General Director Nobuhiko Takada spoke about the merits of the two additional Open Weight Grand Prix cards announced today, "In the first half of the 2nd ROUND, there was something missing. In the last half, the Wanderlei VS Fujita and Yoshida VS Mirko fights were much heavier. If we are going to be the greatest event in the world and put on event events fitting for PRIDE, we can't just depend on the last half of the event. We want to consistently provide matches that increase the heat of the event and the excitement of the fans, beginning with the first match.

Regarding Nishijima and Cyborg, both fighters were completely dominated in their previous matches. Cyborg lost to Kazu [Nakamura] and Nishijima lost to Kazu's teacher, Yoshida. They lost without being able to show anything of themselves, and they know it better than anyone else. In particular, there are high hopes for Nishijima in particular and he has worked over the past six months to live up to them. I want him to prove to his next opponent that he has grown. If Nishijima doesn't dominate his opponent like Kazu dominated him, it will be difficult for Nishijima to advance from here. In that sense, this will be a card with a lot of meaning for those that are watching. His opponent is a Chute Boxe fighter known for his striking. We expect the incredible standing war that we have waited so long for and we expect they will set the venue on fire.

Regarding Nakamura VS Nakao, both fighters showing the differences in their philosophies and attitudes at the 2nd ROUND press conference is still fresh in my memory. The result of that is this match. I definitely want these two Japanese fighters to give the fans a tough fight that will be even more exciting that the Grand Prix matches. This will be a fight that goes beyond emotion, a fight about pride, and I want them to satisfy the fans."

Nakao said, "This is Japanese versus Japanese and wrestling versus Judo. I just want to make an impact with this fight. I want to be called Mr. PRIDE." Nakamura replied with spirit, creating an unusual mood at the conference, "It doesn't matter what you want or don't want. When you beat that guy in the 2nd ROUND and said, "PRIDE is the greatest", I was thought what the hell is this guy talking about? That's okay. I'm going to show you how tough PRIDE is. Nakamura maintained this "killer" attitude throughout the press conference and in post-conference Q&A with reporters.

"This fight is a joke, so I didn't feel anything special when I got the offer."

"He comes from a wrestling background and he's probably strong buthe's still (Nakao)."

[Regarding the Mr. Pride comment] "He's free to say whatever he likes but I don't get it. If he had beaten someone like Mirko, I would understand. You can't demand something like that if you are new here and have only beaten that kind of (low-level) fighter."

"If I can completely break him mentally, that will be enough for me."

"He needs to understand how tough PRIDE is. If he still wants to fight in PRIDE after he learns that, that's fine, and I think he will see how tough PRIDE is in our fight."

During the photo session following the press conference, Nakamura refused to even strike a fighting pose beside Nakao, saying, "I've fought many different kinds of fighters before but there's something different (about Nakao)." It doesn't seem to be a burning hatred but Nakamura apparently holds a lot of unpleasant, hostile feelings toward Nakao.

"It may be a one-sided thing, but I really like (Kazu)," Nakao said, smiling. "He's cute. Something will happen in this fight." Nakao also shrugged off Kazu's comments that he would teach him how tough PRIDE is, and even went as far as saying that Kazu is just a stepping-stone, "(Kazu) seems kind of small to me. I think he will be bigger, more active as a professional, by fighting me. I've always wanted to fight Hunt, so I want to win well here and move of to a fight with Hunt. The fight with Nakamura is nothing more than a stepping stone." Nakao continued, throwing gas on the fire, "Considering how much trash talking he has done, if he kissed me first, I don't know what I might do. That's what I have to watch out for the most. (laughing)." The heat between these two fighters is more than anyone around them expected and if their pre-fight comments are any indicator, this could turn into one of the biggest grudge matches of the past few years.

Additionally, since his PRIDE debut against Hidehiko Yoshida, Yousuke Nishijima has been practicing judo, in addition to his training at Takada Dojo. Although Nishijima won't reveal his name, Nishijima has apparently been working out in a gi with a famous judo competitor, and said that his grappling defense has greatly improved. Nishijima has also invited a boxing coach to continue improve his boxing background as he prepares for his next fight. Nishijima's opponent will be Evangelista Cyborg, a rough, violent striker from the Chute Boxe team. "Cyborg is a Chute Boxe fighter, so I expect that he will come out punching, and I want to knock him out with punches. But I will use my skills to slip (Cyborg's) punches and hit him with my own," Nishijima replied that he would hit, without being hit, when asked about a message that Cyborg sent, challenging him to a head-on striking battle. Nishijima's long-term goal is Mike Tyson, with whom PRIDE recently announced they have a cooperative relationship. "Tyson is a superstar," Nishijima acknowledged. "But, if I get the chance, I'd like to fight him. Since it would be in the PRIDE ring, if I can fight him, I want to fight him under PRIDE rules."