Takanori Gomi and Mitsuhiro Ishida Interview after the Press Conference
12/07/2006

A press conference was held on December 7th to announced additional cards for the upcoming PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006, to be held at Saitama Super Arena on December 31st. Following the press conference, Takanori Gomi (Kugayama Rascal) and Mitsuhiro Ishida (T-BLOOD) spoke to reporters.

"This has been a disappointing year. I've fought in December of every year since I was in SHOOTO, so I actually feel sort of lonely if I don't have a fight in December. In that sense, I decided to fight this time as a way to wrap up the year," Takanori Gomi explained his motivation for fighting in the New Year's Eve SHOCKWAVE event. After his fight with Aurelio, Gomi said that he came to his senses. "After that fight, I was able to train without thinking about my opponent so much. When I fight a jujitsu fighter or someone with a tight defense, my strategy becomes a little superficial. Now I'm training like my old self." Gomi also explained that he has reviewed his Lightweight Grand Prix fights from last year and his fight with Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. "I'm analyzing the way I was then. I have to give the fans, and myself, a match with Ishida on New Year's Eve that is as good as or better than the Grand Prix fights or the Mach fight. There are good cards in the other weight classes but I think everyone will be satisfied if we give them a fight like the one I had with Mach. Stiff fights aren't exciting and I believe that I will be able to fight in a new way without over-thinking everything."
Asked about his opponent, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Gomi laughed, "Ishida said that he wants to have an exciting fight that is only possible with me and him. If so, I hope they will ban tackles!" While Gomi recognizes the power of Ishida's "unstoppable tackle", he's also confident in his own wrestling abilities, adding, "there is no tackle that absolutely can't be stopped." The truth is that Gomi and Ishida have already competed against each other once at the 2001 All Japan Combat Wrestling tournament, a submission wrestling event that ended with Gomi winning on points, 2-1. In response to Ishida's comment that "Gomi is not an unbeatable opponent", Gomi, the PRIDE Lightweight Champion, replied, "I don't like to say this buthe's nervous. It's the quiet guy, not the guy trying to start a fight, that's always stronger." With that comment, Gomi ended his impromptu Q&A session and the gathered reporters were left impressed with his newfound confidence.
Mitsuhiro Ishida, on the other hand, again spoke about how happy he is to fight in SHOCKWAVE. "I thought that this year was already over when I finished my November fight. I was surprised and happy when the offer (for SHOCKWAVE) came." Ishida also spoke calmly about receiving a chance to fight Gomi in advance of the Lightweight Grand Prix rumored for next year, "I don't feel like ranking fights but SHOCKWAVE is a big event and I will be fight the best fight in the world at 73kg, so I realize this will be an important match." Ishida laughed and added, "If Gomi wants to ban my tackles, I want to ban his punches!" While Ishida was joking post-conference, neither he nor Gomi would meet eyes during their press conference photo session. "I could feel Gomi's presence as the Champion when I was standing near him. I also noticed that his fists are big. Other than that, I wasn't looking. I can look at his face when we are in the ring." Apparently, Ishida hasn't created a strategy for Gomi yet but plans to as New Year's Eve approaches, "I will work up a strategy with my striking coach, Takeshi Yamada."