Mach 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!

Hayato "Mach" Sakurai appeared at the press conference with a Mohawk-hair style and was all smiles from beginning to end. Sakurai appeared to be in a bright mood, nodding his head as Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara spoke. Exploring his role as the "mood maker" for the Japan team, Sakurai elicited laughs from the gathered reporters.


"Regarding my fight, I don't know anything about my opponent" Sakurai said but nothing else followed. Asked why he didn't continue speaking, Sakurai explained, "Well, I hadn't thought of anything to say. Then, they told me to speak in English so I'm very confused at the moment. (laughing)"


After pausing for a moment, Mach continued and showed off his fluent (?) English, "If I have to speak in English about this fight, I can saypunch, kick, hizawait, hiza is "knee" in English. Oh, I can say "keep on going." That's about it."


"I lost big at the casinos when I went to watch the last Las Vegas PRIDE event. Several years ago I lost to Matt Hughes in the UFC too, so I don't have any good memories in Las Vegas. So, I want to make up for my losses and I'm going to take out my losses on Danzig," Sakurai promised to take out his frustration on his opponent, Mac Danzig, but everyone seemed more interested in Sakurai's casino losses.


Asked by reporters how much he lost at the casinos, Mach made a sour face and said, "It's a secret." Sakakibara, however, more was more than willing to expose Sakurai's secret, "You wouldn't believe how much he lost. Apparently, he lost several tens of thousands of dollars in about five minutes."


Naturally, audible gasps of surprise could be heard from the reporters. Sakurai laughed and said that it's just one more reason he can't afford to lose his upcoming fight, "To make it even worse, that was borrowed money that I have to pay back. I'll be fighting my best so I can repay my loans, too."


Incidentally, Sakurai lost his money playing baccarat and explained that he didn't understand the rules very well. Sakurai's previous experiences in Las Vegas have all apparently been negative and he's going to bring that frustration, and the need to repay his loans, into his fight against Mac Danzig on February 24th!