Global Training Report
doesn’t come from nothing."
Kakutogi Tsushin No. 329
July. 23, 2003
Translation by Yoko
you a K-1 fighter or a Pride fighter?"
"I am fighter, period"
Q: Your victory over Heath Hearing was a perfect
victory, wasn't it? Considering that it was your first fight under Pride
rules and your opponent is one of the four best fighters, I expected
that it would be a considerably dangerous debut.
Mirko: I didn’t think Heath
was such a dangerous opponent. What made you think so anyway?
Q: It seems that your past
opponents didn’t have a finish pattern with a joint-lock technique
except Sakuraba. However, Mr. Hearing can use striking technique and he
has a strong technique of joint lock to finish with.
Mirko: Regarding his striking,
nothing bothered me at all because I am a professional striker. But my
bad point on it was that I got a low kick two times.
Q: Despite such a splendid
victory, is there still more you have to review?
Mirko: Of course. Review and
study, and a hard training are indispensable to be a perfect fighter.
Q: I see. How was your study
about his ground technique?
Mirko: First, I assumed that he
wouldn’t be able to get me on the ground. As far as tackling igoes,
Fujita is better and faster. And Mike, who is a teacher of MMA, lost to
Overeem due to too much tension, but he is really good at tackling.
There is no doubt that training with him turned out to be useful in the
Hearing fight. Heath’s tackles were not as good as Fujita’s and
Q: That is, you did a training
for crushing the tackle over and over again before you are taken into
the ground, didn’t you?
Mirko: I had reinforced a basic
movement to stop tackles by moving to left and right, and a sprawling
training. Nullifying tackles is a key to make use of my strong point,
striking. I heard that Heath has been training striking in Holland, but
I feel that it blunts his natural characteristics instead. A short cut
to a constant victory is to know yourself and analyze the ability of
Q: You are like a samurai who
revived in this modern time!
Mirko: I can’t survive without
studying how to defeat my enemy all the time. Besides there will be no
progress either. Oh! Excuse me. (He seems to have been besieged by a lot
of reporters, so a light meal is carried to Mirko here)
Q: Is it a time for meal?
Mirko: Yes. Would you mind if I
answer your questions while eating a meal?
Q: Not at all. But are you going
to eat only rice and fried chicken breast without bone and skin?
Mirko: I’m paying a careful
attention to the menu too. I am studying under a physical trainer of a
soccer team which is a representative of Croatia, and he makes a menu
for me. I have to build up a physical condition to enable my body to
move organically by taking in amino acid, zinc, and magnesium, etc. It
is a natural thing to do for the first-class athlete though.
Q: And, you use only salt and
paper, don’t you?
Mirko: I don’t use sauce at
all. I’ll never eat yakiniku (grilled beef), if it is not
well-done. And I ate a beef tongue for the first time, but it was not so
Q: Well, you can start eating
please, and let’s back to the story of the Hearing fight.
Q: I heard that it was you who
chose Hearing as your opponent.
Mirko: In fact, I wanted to
fight with Fedor. But I had no experience fighting under the 100% Pride
rule before, so I wanted to ascertain my position in Pride by fighting
Q: Your positon?
Mirko: Heath had fought with
Nogueira and Fedor. So I can have a clear view of how far I could go in
a fight with Nogueira or Fedor by fighting with Heath.
Q: Does it means he was in a
position like a litmus test paper? But what surprised me in the fight
was your striking. It looked a little dull in the fight with Vanderlei
Silva, maybe because you were afraid of his ground technique. However,
in the fight with Hearing, you displayed your quick and decisive
Mirko: I had a little hesitation
in the fight with Vanderlei, because I had no experience yet and I
thought that I needed to focus on defense on the ground. But in the
fight with Fujita, I could establish some attack patterns after being
taken into the ground such as dropping a knee-kick on the head. With my
own style established, then all I have to do is just to fight with my
favorite striking in standing. So I think it was manifested in the fight
Q: What kind of training have
you been doing specifically? I think there are some readers who want to
be like you.
Mirko: I train with
jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and striking sparring partners, one after another.
There are four partners on occasions, and seven gathered at most.
Q: Are you sparring with your
partners of three different sports in one day?
Mirko: Sometimes I do the menu
on a week-basis, and sometimes do all the menu in one day. As for a
sparring partner, I chose one depending on my opponent of the next
fight. In the fight with Bob [Sapp], I went to Ukraine to spar with
Vitali Krichiko who is the first rank in the world of WBA boxing.
Q: You have been investing time
and money like that, haven’t you?
Mirko: As I am a professional
fighter, it is natural to make an effort as much as possible.
Q: Victory doesn’t come from
nothing. Everything was well-prepared, wasn’t it?
Mirko: Before the fight with
Heath, I studied him by watching videos so many times until they wore
out. I thought he would jump and land me a knee-kick at the same time
with the gong, so I was preparing a countermeasure for it. As the fight
between Don Frye and Mark Coleman lasted long, I repeatedly trained the
movement to stop the jump and knee-kick coming from my partner even
while I was waiting for my turn. Heath didn’t use it in the
fight after all, but everything was well-prepared.
Q: Could you explain your left
middle kick which you finished with? (A video of the fight has just
arrived, so we start watching it.)
Mirko: It is as you saw. To tell
the truth, I don’t like to talk about my opponent or the fight which
was already finished, because I already showed the result in the ring.
Q: It seems you got injured on
your right arm.
Mirko: When Heath came to hold
my arm, I pulled it out by force so that a ligament seems to have been
overstretched. It just became swollen a little bit, so everything will
be OK after a rest for a while.
Q: You defeated Hearing even
under such a condition, so I’m eager to watch your fight with Fedor
Mirko: The day will come
sometime for sure. I have to be careful about his punch attack on the
Q: From a view-point of a
professional striker, is his striking scary?
Mirko: I’m not scared of it.
He showed the limit of his ability after taking a right hook from
Fujita. But he has, like me, his own style of striking that he lands
punches after controlling his opponent on the ground. If I am trapped in
it, things will be difficult.
Q: Do you think that you will
have an enough chance to win if you can defend only his punch attack on
Mirko: In the fight with Fujita,
Fedor limits in the striking in standing were revealed. However,
he made a counterattack and finished Fujita with choke-sleeper. While he
exposed his weak point, he showed his potentiality to break a deadlock.
I must not overlook it. I feel as I have been improving myself, but he
has been improving himself as well.
Q: Mr. Yoshida expressed his
entry to the middle-class tournament. There is a possibility to fight
with him, isn’t it?
Mirko: I have respect for
Yoshida. He is an Olympic champion of judo, and I respect his glorious
fighting history that he became the top of the world by winning all by ippon
in the middle of the pressure from the country to win. I have some
feeling that I want to fight with a man like him, if possible.
Q: Fedor, Yoshida, and Nogueira---There
are still more fighters left for you until you become known as the
Mirko: I want to fight with Mike
Tyson too. In fact, I got an offer to fight with David Tua (the second
rank in the world of WBA).
Q: Is it a boxing fight?
Mirko: I don’t care even if
it’s a boxing fight. Nothing has been decided yet, though.
Q: What are you who is trying to
challenge all kinds of fighting? Are you a K-1 fighter or a Pride
Mirko: I am a fighter, period.