Hidehiko Yoshida: My state of mind is the same as always. I'm always like this before my fights. I always sleep very soundly. Everyone is strong, so there's nothing to gain by thinking about my opponent all the time. I do have a plan but my fights don't go according to my plan. I don't think about my opponent. I do what I have to do, when it's time to do it. It's important to be able to switch over like that because I've already done everything I can.
PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA & FABRICIO WERDUM
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: This is an important event for PRIDE and for myself. I've trained very seriously for this fight. Many of my teammates and friends have come to support me this time, so I will be able to relax and fight. I've extremely happy that I will be able to fight in the same ring as my brother, Rogerio, and my teammate, Drago. In that sense, I will be very relaxed in this fight.
PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA & ALSTAIR OVEREEM
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: This is my first fight in a long time but my conditioning is really good. I've been training in Brazil the entire time and I've been focusing on boxing over this past year. I've trained with Top Team members, of course, and professional boxers. I also train boxing with Murilo Bustamante and at Claudio's academy.
Yoshihiro "KISS" Nakao: I'm nervous and excited now that the fight is getting close. I'm making the best use of the little time remaining until the fight. The effects of changing my name? I don't know how they did it but someone found out my e-mail address. Now I get more than 100 e-mails every day, most of them saying that thanks for changing my name like they wanted. I only got 70 e-mails after I fought Herring, so I'm thinking of changing my address.
Kazuhiro Nakamura: I feel the same as always. I've lost a little weight so my movement is good, too. I didn't train overseas this time but I've had some very good experiences until now. I decided to train in Japan rather than fly all over the place this time.
PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW JOSH BARNETT & MARK HUNT
Josh Barnett: After the Opening Round, I intended to relax at my house in Seattle for two weeks but I had a lot of other business and I wasn't able to relax very much. I've been training in Anaheim since the beginning of this year and just haven't been able to take any time to relax.
Wanderlei Silva: There's no particular reason for growing my hair out longer. A lot of girls mailed me saying that I would look handsome if I grew my hair out, and that's why I grew it out. That's a joke. (laughing) I've always shaved my head so I just wanted to see what it would look like if I grew it out. It was even longer before I came to Japan but my wife said it looked bad and cut it. (laughing) I may shave my head again before the fight.
PRE-FIGHT INTERVIEW PAWEL NATSULA & EDSON DRAGO
Pawel Nastula: I won't know for certain until the fight actually begins but I think my conditioning has gotten much better since the last fight. My stamina has been the main reason for my previous two losses. For that reason, I have been doing training along with my head coach for the past seven months just to improve my stamina. I've improved my techniques and breathing, and gained enough stamina to be able to fight for the entire 20 minutes.
Vitor Belfort: This is the first fight in Japan for me in a long time but I feel really good. Over the past year, I've fought in boxing matches and I fought Alistair Overeem in America. I train about four to six hours every day. I wasn't able to overcome the effects of leaving Carlson Gracie but finally, I've created an environment where I can work on Team Belfort.
BARNETT VS HUNT: THE OTHER MAIN EVENT
Josh Barnett was interviewed by the press on June 28th in a Tokyo hotel. Barnett will face off against Mark Hunt at the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round, to be held at the Saitama Super Arena on July 1st.
WANDERLEI SILVA IS READY FOR CRITICAL COUNTDOWN ABSOLUTE
PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva answered reporters' questions soon after arriving in Japan on June 28th. Silva will take on Kazuyuki Fujita in the PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix 2006 Second Round, to be held on July 1st at the Saitama Super Arena.
ONE LEFT HIGH KICK FOR CHUCK LIDDELL PLEASE
THIS IS IT. THE FINAL BATTLE BETWEEN PRIDE AND UFC. It's no suprise that CROCOP is in the semi-finals against the UFC'S CHUCK LIDDELL after destroying Mike Tyson, Lawerence Taylor and Jack Lambert, three of the toughest men on the planet. PRIDE FANS UNITE AND GIVE MR. LIDDELL THE **LEFT HIGH KICK** HE'S BEEN WAITING FOR!!
CRITICAL COUNTDOWN ABSOLUTE '06: ORDER OF FIGHTS
The order of the fights for July 2nd's CRITICAL COUNTDOWN ABSOLUTE '06 has been officially been announced:
PRIDE FIGHTING AT DIRECT TV FAIR
On Thurs, Jun 22nd, PRIDE FIGHTING was at the annual DIRECT TV Programmers Fair Segundo with hundreds of giveaways such as DVD's, posters, calendars, key chains and much more.
3 MORE BOUTS ADDED TO CRITICAL COUNTDOWN ABSOLUTE
Three more non-tournament bouts have been added to PRIDE FIGHTING'S upcoming July 2nd event, CRITICAL COUNTDOWN ABSOLUTE 2006.