Q & A: BUSHIDO FINALIST KAZUO MISAKI
10/03/2006

A press conference was held at the Dream Stage Entertainment office in Aoyama, Tokyo on September for the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix 2006, to be held on November 5th at the Yokohama Arena. After the conference, Kazuo Misaki, who will face Paulo Filho in the Semi-Final Round, spoke with reporters, saying that he would like to fight Dan Henderson again after he wins this tournament.


Before Misaki's last fight against Dan Henderson, BUSHIDO Public Relations Director Shigeru Saeki said that Misaki had no chance of beating Henderson. This time, too, Saeki commented that it will be difficult for Misaki (and Gono) to make it to the Final Round. According to Misaki, these negative comments have become a source of motivation. "I want to send a message to Mr. Saeki. I am grateful to him because I am going to win this tournament just to put him to shame."

"It doesn't feel real to me," Misaki said of his victory over Dan Henderson in the Second Round. "I went to train with Ricardo Almeida before the fight but his reaction (to the win) was big. He was shocked and asked me again if I really won, and that was when I realized that I had done something amazing."

"The tournament isn't over yet, though, so I can't be satisfied with just this one win," Misaki said. Misaki continued, declaring that he wants to fight Dan Henderson again after he wins the Grand Prix, "I think if I win the Final Round, become the (Welterweight Grand Prix) Champion, challenge Dan Henderson and beat him again, that will be the time for me to celebrate."

"Of course, I want to fight him again. The belt Dan has now makes him the strongest fighter in the Welterweight Division. I want it. I think the he knows if he screws up the next fight, he'll have to start thinking about retiring and he'll fight that much harder, so I have to be prepared for the worst," Misaki explained.

When Misaki climbs in to the ring on November 5th in an attempt to be the first Japanese Grand Prix Champion, he will be fighting to achieve both his dreams and those of his Japanese fans.