Pre-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interview with Mauricio Shogun and Kazuhiro

Pre-PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2006 Interview with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Kazuhiro Nakamura



Mauricio "Shogun" Rua: My condition is good. I don't have any injuries and I'm prepared for my fight. After my the Las Vegas event in October, I spent time with my parents and I started training against assuming that I would fight on New Year's Eve.
The knee-bar that I submitted Randleman with in Las Vegas is one of my favorite techniques. It's just a question of timing and opportunity. My timing was good in that fight, so I was able to submit him. I learned that from Nino "Elvis" Schembri and Cristiano Marcello while training in jujitsu.
Kazuhiro Nakamura is an excellent fighter. He can fight standing and on the ground, so he's worth respecting. I have to be careful of both. Nakamura proved he is an incredible fighter when he fought Wanderlei Silva. He had courage, even in striking, and decided to trade strikes with Wanderlei, so I think it was an incredibly good fight. He took his gi off in the middle of the fight but I think he should have just left it on. Will he wear a gi in our fight? I don't care either way because I will just fight my own fight. He shouldn't take the gi off in the fight, though. (laughing)
I think judo, Nakamura's base, is a great sport and I also think Nakamura's judo techniques are excellent. His throws, in particular. I've done a little judo a long time ago but now I do jujitsu and muay thai. Do I want to take out Yoshida if I beat Nakamura? I just want to focus on this fight with Nakamura so I'll think about the next step after that. We weren't allowed to use stomps and soccer-ball kicks in Las Vegas so I may use two event's worth of them in this fight. My style is to fight aggressively, so I'm certain I will use stomps and soccer-ball kicks this time.
It's been a long time since I've fought in Japan. I'm going to show the fans a non-stop, aggressive fight, as always. I know the fans that always cheer for Chute Boxe want to see that kind of fight and I want to give a fight that will make everyone happy. I also want to prove that PRIDE is the number one mixed martial arts event in the world.
Kazuhiro Nakamura: I'm wearing sunglasses because my eye is a little swollen. I took a hit a couple of weeks ago in training. It was just my normal sparring, though. Now, I just want to fight. I'm looking forward to it. I'm more excited than nervous. I don't feel anything special because my opponent is Shogun, though. I'm always watching Shogun's fights live, so I just watched his videos once. I've got an image of the fight and I've been going through the usual simulations.
I will just leave the strategy up to my body. I worked on some clinch defenses. I haven't trained too hard. I trained effectively this time. Shogun's tough, so you get nervous right? I was able to train over a good period. I'm motivated even in my normal training. I haven't done any special boxing training. I spoke with Daisuke Ishii (Former MMA fighter and current Yoshida Dojo striking trainer) and we considered a lot of things as we trained together. What I learned in particular from Ishii was the mental aspect. That's what determines the winner and loser.
Shogun is a fighter that likes to move forward too, but I won't know if we'll slug it out until I actually try. Looking back on this year, I think there were moments where I gave everything I had. This is a fighter against whom I absolutely have to give everything. I suppose I feel similar to how I felt when I fought Silva. Of course, I'm not going to wear a gi this time. (laughing) I want to give everything I have and just collapse in the ring when the fight's over. It's not a theme, though. Even if I say I'm going forward, I'm still going to avoid his attacks and he's still scary.
I worked on kicking and cardio at RIKIX Gym because it was very effective when I did it before the Las Vegas event. It's important to be able to climb into the ring at my own pace and fight at my own pace.
Thank you to everyone for watching this event. I know that New Year's Eve is a very busy time. My opponent is an extremely strong fighter, so please watch as I take him head on.