A press conference was held in Hollywood, America on January 11th at the Hyatt West Hollywood on Sunset. Along with Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara, PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva and PRIDE Welterweight Dan Henderson spoke about their upcoming Middleweight Championship title match at the February 24th PRIDE 33 SECOND COMING event.
More than 100 members of the press and industry insiders gathered for the January 11th press conference. In addition to Gilbert Melendez, who fought an intense battle against Tatsuya Kawajiri on New Year's Eve, a famous movie producer, and self-proclaimed PRIDE fan, was also present.
After Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara spoke about PRIDE Fighting Championships' 2nd event in America, to be held on February 24th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, former Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee took the stage! Energy ran through the conference at the appearance of Lee, a big martial arts fan, of PRIDE in particular, that also studies jujitsu. In addition to the martial arts press, there were also reporters for the large media outlets, such as CNN and ESPN, in addition to more local outlets, such as the LA Times, proving once again that PRIDE draws attention from not only the martial arts industry but also from the mainstream media.
Following Tommy Lee to the stage were PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson. Both fighters had already engaged in a war-of-words on a recent broadcast of the popular FOX SPORTS NETWORK sports show, BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD. Asked again for a comment about their upcoming bout, Silva continued his challenge to Henderson, "I respect Dan but I'm going to knock him out in February. I am the Champion!" Henderson slipped Silva's verbal jab and smiled, responding, "He's a funny guy, isn't he?"
Henderson appeared to be very relaxed, perhaps due to the event being held in his home country. "This time, I'm going to become the Middleweight Champion with a knockout. It's going to be a busy year for me because once I dominate both weight classes, I'm going to have to defend both my Welterweight and Middleweight titles."
Silva, not one to let a slight go unchallenged, repeated his promise of a knockout, "On the day of the fight, he'll realize how wrong he is. I will be the winner."
The eyes of America, Japan and the entire world will all be on this match-up of Champions.