Tatsuya Kawajiri's Comments

Tatsuya Kawajiri (T-BLOOD) spoke to reporters following the December 5th announcement at the Dream Stage Entertainment Tokyo office that he would face Gilbert Melendez at PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 on December 31st at Saitama Super Arena.

"I work on basic training and boxing with my Takeshi Yamada, my trainer at JB Sports Club, three times per week. I practice grappling at Paraestra Matsudo and the DEEP Gym. My training is well balanced and my body feels good, so I believe that I will be in good condition by New Year's Eve," Kawajiri explained about his current training. Kawajiri continued speaking with confidence about his goal of improving himself this year, "I'm have gotten so much stronger. I like to joke around a lot but I've gotten so much stronger that I feel embarrassed about saying I was strong when I fought Gomi last year. I've gotten so much stronger in striking, wrestling and basic strength that you shouldn't even consider me to be the same guy." Even though Kawajiri has went toe-to-toe with some of the world's best fighters, including Takanori Gomi, Vitor "Shaolin" Riberio and Caol Uno, takes his current opponent, Gilbert Melendez, seriously. "I know if he's the best in the world but Melendez is definitely at the top." Continuing, Kawajiri predicted the outcome of his fight. "I've never had a swollen face or injury from any of my fights. Even if I win (this fight with Melendez) though, my face will probably be beaten body. I'm ready for it and I'll be ready to fight. I don't know if Fedor and Hunt are going to slug it out but Melendez and I are going to trade punches whether we're standing or on the ground."