Barnett demonstrates a new technique on Hunt, talks about 2007

Mark Hunt will challenge current PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko for his title at the December 31st PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006, to be held at Saitama Super Arena. Josh Barnett will face former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch following their exciting Las Vegas bout. Barnett and Hunt spoke with reporters at a Tokyo hotel on December 28th where Barnett used Hunt as an aid to demonstrate a new technique!

Josh Barnett invaded Mark Hunt's interview with reporters, telling jokes and being playfully disruptive. When Hunt's interview was finished, Barnett immediately began talking to reporters.

"The time before my last fight was short and the time before this rematch was short, too. Everything's short. (laughing) It's the same for Nogueira, though," said Barnett, joking time apparently over. "I want to win clearly this time and make sure that there won't be anymore rematches. I plan to finish this by KO or submission. Nogueira was saying a lot of stuff, like "he didn't lose", after the last fight, so I am going to shut him up. You can't control the decision, so you have to respect the decision of the judges."

When told that Barnett had been in every PRIDE event this year, excluding the BUSHIDO events, Barnett responded (in Japanese), "I am really tired." Barnett continued, revealing that he has pushed his body hard for the love of pro-wrestling, "I have pride as a pro-wrestler, though. I want to show everyone that pro-wrestling really is strong. I want to prove that pro-wrestling is an art. There were a lot of people that had forgotten about me, so I also wanted to show them that Josh Barnett is still here."

Barnett, a devoted pro-wrestler, had a pleasant surprise in late October when he visited the "God of Pro-Wrestling", Karl Gotch, for an interview with a Japanese martial arts magazine. Gotch is one of the main figures responsible for spreading catch wrestling in the United States. Barnett claims catch wrestling - a legitimate fighting style from the days when "pro-wrestling" was real - as his own style and openly declares that his roots trace back to Gotch.



"We were able to talk about a lot of things. We talked about pro-wrestling and catch wrestling because my goal is to revive catch wrestling. Even now I occasionally speak to Mr. Gotch on the telephone. If our schedules are open, I'd like to train with Mr. Gotch."

Asked if he learned any techniques from Gotch, Barnett laughed and asked, "Shall I show you?"

Hunt became the teaching aid when Barnett demonstrated a classic pro-wrestling joint-lock, the "Crock Head Scissors" on him by locking Hunts arm while pushing Hunt's face down with his knee and using his entwined legs to twist Hunt's neck. Barnett explained that he learned the secret to this technique from Gotch, "You finish it while the opponent is defending against the arm-bar. I would like to use in mixed martial arts if I get the chance." It would be an incredible way for pro-wrestling fans to ring in 2007 if Barnett was actually able to submit Nogueira using the Crock Head Scissors lock. Incidentally, after being used as a test subject, Hunt rubbed his neck, saying, "My spine hurts."

Barnett is out to get a clear win over Nogueira on New Year's Eve and go after the Champion next year. It looks like PRIDE's Heavyweight Division will revolve around Barnett in both 2006 and 2007. Barnett appears mentally ready for a title challenge, "If Mark becomes the Champion, I want to fight Mark and if Fedor wins, I will fight Fedor. Even if I end up in a rematch with Mark, fights never go the same way twice. I don't think that would be an easy fight because I know exactly how strong Mark really is."