GTR Archives 2000-2020












Short Comments by Fighters after 


Pride 16





October 25, 2001

Translated by Roberto Pedreira


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Noguiera: Coleman is a great athlete. He's the strongest one in the heavyweight division, maybe. I respect him so I'm happy that I defeated him. This time I trained a lot of striking skills so I thought I could knock him down with strikes.  I'm a professional jiu-jitsu fighter so I knew that if the fight went to the ground I would finish him with jiu-jitsu. The fight went as I thought it would. The fact that I defeated him by using what I practiced in training proves me to be better than him. Coleman's punch was surely very strong. Especially his right hand. It might have looked like I took some shots during the fight but I rolled with them calmly. I watched Coleman's fight videos almost everyday and studied them. The only mistake I did was when I threw a high kick at Coleman's head I slipped and fell back.

Q: Were you trying to draw him into ne-waza (ground fighting)?

Nogueira: No, it was a real mistake that I did (laughs).

Q: Who do you want to fight for the final showdown?

Nogueira: I don't choose my opponents. I'll fight anyone who is selected for me to fight. 

Q: What's your next goal?

Nogueira: I won the Rings KOK championship in February, and today I knocked off the King of Pride. In the future I want to keep on fighting increasingly good fighters in Pride. 

Q: Do you want to get involved in the matches between the Inoki team and K-1 at the end of the year?

Nogueira: Yes, if I can join the Inoki team I want to meet Jerome Le Banner.

Q: Next Pride Sakuraba and Silva will meet again.

Nogueira: I'm a Brazilian so I'll be rooting for Vanderlei. The fight should be a good one, because Sakuraba is also a great athlete. But, I think Vanderlei will win.



Mark Coleman

No comment was reported by Mark Coleman. 


Ricardo Arona

Arona: The fight today was really very hard. But I watched a video of my opponent and studied him, and trained [for him] and that's why I won today, I think.

Q: It seemed that you were in a "pinch" in the 2nd round.

Arona: It might have looked that way, but I was just taking a rest......As a result of today's result, I received a "ticket" for a fight with Sakuraba. Sakuraba has won until now, but the reason is that the guys he defeated had a low level of jiu-jitsu technique, I think. 

[Ricardo didn't mention names, but obviously Royler, Royce, Renzo, and Ryan are the guys he is talking about. The exact sentence is: "maketa hitotachi no ju-jutsu no gijutsu ga hikukatta kara, da to omou". Of course, Ricardo doesn't speak Japanese so whatever he said in Portuguese might have had a different nuance, such as maybe that the jiu-jitsu guys defeated by Sakuraba didn't have a high enough level of jiu-jitsu technique to avoid being defeated by him.]    


Guy Mezger

Arona is a tough opponent. When I fight outside of my own country, I lose by decision and there's nothing I can do about it. As you know, there was a serious terror incident in America last week. I have family in New York and one of my friends was a fireman who got killed. Coming to Japan this time was hard,  and my mind was somewhere else. Japanese people made a lot of donations and I appreciate that. Japan is my second home. 




Don Frye

Don: I was out of action for a long time.  I think it would be better if I had more time to prepare myself. I think that's the reason I was damaged this time as much as I was. 

Q: What about Yvel's "samingu" [thumbing]? 

Don: Frankly speaking,  It was really terrible.

Q:  How about your head butt to Yvel? Was it accidental?

Don: I can say it was intentional (laugh). Concerning Yvel, I didn't expect what happened to happen. I want a rematch. 

Q: You want a rematch in the Tokyo Dome?

Don: Whether it is in the Tokyo Dome will depend on how fast I recover from my injuries.  One week before the fight I got injured during training. During today's fight it started to bother me again so I think it will depend on how the recovery goes.


Gilbert Yvel

Q: What about the samingu [thumbing]?

Yvel: I admit that I did it, but he was grabbing [something] too, wasn't he?  What about head butts? I am the one who got head butted! The referee didn't say anything about that! Frye is very strong but his stamina was lacking. A rematch would be no problem. Anyway, everyone, including the referee, is afraid of me. He wouldn't let me fight. We touched gloves and I tried to fight but the referee wouldn't let me fight. That's why I'm so angry! I want to fight, but Fujita, Igor, they're all afraid of me. I don't have that kind of attitude. This was the cause of my loss today.

 Murilo Ninja

Ninja: I trained punching and kicking precisely and that's why I could do it. I am happy to get revenge for Pele who is my teacher.  I dedicate this victory to my teacher, "Pele."

Master Fujima  [Master of the Chute Boxe]: My students' performance in this event touched me. Our team is number one in the world. 


Q: Weren't you confused about the way the referee stopped the fight?

Matsui: I have no excuse to make. He was just stronger than me. 

Q: You are aiming at Silva?

Matsui: It isn't limited to Silva. It is the Chute Boxe team. Losing that way, seeing Silva do that "guts pose" [both arms up in a victory pose], made me want revenge. 

Q: It's something between their academia [Chute Boxe] and your dojo [Takada Dojo]?

Matsui: A little bit, but for me it's absolutely a personal matter. I couldn't show what I can do trained in the fight. I am still far away from perfection.  My parents and friends from my little home town of Okayama came to see me win. It is disappointing that it didn't happen. 

Semmy Schilt

Semmy: I didn't know my opponent would be Shoji Akira until two days before the fight. I didn't know him hardly at all, but I thought he was a very good athlete through the fight. He was short but he has a lot of experience, made good results so far, and has a good spirit. Being taken down was my own mistake. It happened when I kicked. But I didn't feel in any danger on the ground. Pride is really big, it's a good organization. I'm really happy I could fight in this event. 

Q: What about the Taidojuku World championship?  

Semmy: Absolutely I am thinking that I want to enter. It is a good event because it puts our spiritual strength to the test. Since I'm a pro, I respect every athlete in the Taidojuku more than before. Because they don't fight for money, they fight for their pride [literally, they fight for their own "kokoro" [heart, mind]: jibun no kokoro no tame ni tatakatteiru kara]. 


Shoji Akira

Shoji: I don't make any excuses about the difference in height between us. It's just the way it was.  I have to do everything over one more time from the beginning. If I got him into the ground, I could manage it somehow, I thought. But his punches reached me much more than I thought. I was surprised. It was the first time I got knocked out by punches.  I don't remember if it was the punch or knee, but when something crashed into my head and I was paralyzed and couldn't fight back. I didn't expect to be reversed on the ground. It is out of the question at the moment when I was reversed. I've never been reversed like that so far. I didn't feel fear for Schilt, but when I stood up before him I felt a pressure thinking how big he was. 

Q:  Why did you accept 4-point attack? [In Pride, when the weight difference between the fighters is more than 10kg, the lighter one can choose the rule with or without 4-point attack]

Shoji:  I thought it would be better for both of us to fight under the same rules. 



(c) 2001, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.