TAKANORI GOMI TO REMATCH MARCUS AURELIO ON NOV 5
10/09/2006

A press conference was held at Tower Records in Shibuya, Tokyo on October 7th to announce a title match for the PRIDE Lightweight Championship at the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix 2006, to be held at PRIDE BUSHIDO 13 on November 5th at Yokohama Arena. The current PRIDE Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi, will defend his title against Marcus Aurelio, who was also present for the signing ceremony.


The gathered fans went crazy when PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi took the stage. The Champ remained stoic as he took his seat next to the challenger, Marcus Aurelio, with the Championship belt in the center.
After the signing ceremony was finished, Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara spoke about the title match's significance, "There's little that I can say about this match. For Gomi, this is a match that he can't afford to lose, no matter what. He will either prove that (his loss against Aurelio in) April was just a fluke or if he loses again, he will leave the ring with a big question mark regarding his true abilities. The title is on the line, of course, but this one day will make a giant difference in determining Gomi's future. Of course, Aurelio doesn't believe that his first win was a fluke and he will want to prove that on November 5th. I'm happy that there is so much significance behind the fight for the Lightweight title."
The atmosphere at the ceremony was intense. Gomi battled hard for the Lightweight belt but the true value of the Lightweight Championship belt will be decided by Gomi's upcoming bout against Aurelio.
"I'm thankful for giving me another chance. It's my dream to become the Champion and now it's going to become reality. All of my training was to get this belt and I will use all of the strength to get it. I've beat Gomi once before so there's no mistake that I will win this time, too," Aurelio said, promising that this fight would be a repeat of his last meeting with Gomi.
Gomi, on the other hand, spoke calmly, "This will be my first title defense but I feel as if I'm the challenger. I've opened my own gym and I just turned 28 years old. I think this is an important fight and I want to stay at the top of the world as long as possible, so I will be fighting to protect both this belt and PRIDE BUSHIDO." While Gomi's expression didn't look intense, the weight of Gomi's words was heavy. He's not only out for revenge against Aurelio, he's also determined to defend both the PRIDE Lightweight Championship and PRIDE BUSHIDO itself.
In the following question-and-answer session, the fighters were asked how they would spend the remaining month. Aurelio replied that he would perfect his conditioning, "I will just train as usual. I want everything to be perfect physically, technically and mentally." As usual, Gomi replied with a few, meaningful words, "I will train hard and leave no regrets."
"I played around too much after New Year's Eve. That's it," Gomi responded when asked about the reason for his loss against Aurelio, making the fans laugh. "I can train at my own gym now. My environment allows me to focus on martial arts now. I've only got this fight and the New Year's Eve fight left this year, so I want to concentrate and leave a good record when the year ends." Gomi continued, "I did everything I could for the Nagoya fight butI was only at around 70%. (Asked if he will be at 100% this time) Yes, I will."
With Gomi right in front of him, Aurelio maintained his poker face. "Nothing has changed. I respect Gomi just as I always have before and just as I respect all the other fighters in BUSHIDO." Gomi replied, "I haven't really gotten a good look at him. I haven't even said hello to him." Gomi then took a quick look at Aurelio, drawing laughs from the crowd. While Gomi may seem reckless, it's rare for him to take such an attitude in front of his opponent. This may be a sign of Gomi's confidence in this match.
"I'm going to win this time, too," Aurelio declared. "I may not win by submission, though. I want to be able to handle the fight no matter how it turns out. If it's on the ground, I will be after a submission and if it's striking, I will look for the KO. I will be well prepared. If I can take the fight to the ground, though, I want to submit him, of course."
"This is a title defense but since I've lost once before, I consider myself to be the challenger. By getting revenge for my previous loss, I will be able to stay at the top of the (fighting) world. For that reason, this is an important match. Thinking about my future plans now that I'm 28, this is a fight that I can't afford to lose," Gomi said when asked about what this fight means to him. Just as Sakakibara said in the beginning, this fight will play a huge part in determining Gomi's future.
Both fighters maintained their composure and their cool, and no major fireworks were seen during the conference but it was clear that, in many senses, both fighters are putting their lives on the line in this match.