Gomi speaks about upcoming Las Vegas PRIDE
01/23/2007

Dream Stage Entertainment held a press conference at the Aoyama, Tokyo office on January 23rd to announce four fight cards for the upcoming February 24th event in Las Vegas, Nevada, PRIDE 33 THE SECOND COMING. At the press conference were CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara and four announced fighters Takanori Gomi, Kazuo Misaki, Kazuhiro Nakamura and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai. These four PRIDE samurais will shock America!

Four years since his debut in PRIDE, current Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi is preparing for a new challenge. "Two years ago, I wanted to fight at Saitama Super Arena. My goal in my 2nd year (in PRIDE) was to win the Grand Prix and my goal in the 3rd year was to take everyone on. I'm happy to now be faced with a new challenge this year, my 4th year. I do not intend to linger on the New Year's Eve events, and I want meet new challenges. There will be four Japanese fighters going this time, so I want all four of us to win and show the real strength of PRIDE fighters. We will all do our best to bring a win home," Gomi said.

Today's press conference announced the dispatch of active PRIDE fighters as Japanese representatives. PRIDE's "four horsemen" will travel to fight in the upcoming February 24th Las Vegas event and their captain, Gomi, has boldly sworn to show the American fans, and the entire world, the strength that is required of PRIDE fighters.

Gomi's opponent, Nick Diaz, has primarily fought in the UFC and with the exception of one local fight; his last 10 fights have all been in the UFC. Diaz won his November 2006 UFC fight by TKO. Although Diaz is well known among American fans, Gomi seems unconcerned, "Diaz is a jujitsu fighter and he's fought in SHOOTO, too, so I don't think of him as a UFC fighter." Jujitsu-based fighters have proven to be difficult opponents for Gomi, but Gomi is going after a clean win like his victory over Mitsuhiro Ishida on New Year's Eve, "Diaz isn't the same kind of fighter as Aurelio. He fights aggressively, at his own pace. I want to destroy him like I did (Ishida) in my last fight. I will fight at my pace, not his."

This will be Gomi's first fight overseas in four years. Gomi, however, isn't worried. Rather, he's looking forward to fighting in a new place, "It's a fresh feeling. It will be my first time in Las Vegas. I'm looking forward to it." Gomi continued, "I saw how excited (the American fans) get when I watched the video of the last Las Vegas event. It's amazing. It's never quiet and everyone is having fun. I want them to enjoy all of my fight, from the entrance to the finish."

"The past is in the past. I'm already thinking about the future," Gomi said, explaining that he restarted his training on January 9th. "I'm making my body stronger, so I will be able to fight even stronger foreigners. This year will begin early for me. Although I'm training with the wrestling club at Kokushikan University, I also want to focus on building my strength up this year. Without forgetting the spirit I had when I started (MMA)."

Gomi also said that he would like to fight half of his fights overseas this year. In his 4th year in PRIDE, the PRIDE Lightweight Champion will lead the charge to America!