GTR Archives 2000-2020













Global Training Report


Interviews with

 Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera, Renzo Gracie, 

Mario Sperry, Dan Henderson, Tom Erikson

and other fighters after

Pride 17


Gong Kakutougi

Plus VOL. 16

November 21, 2001

Translated by Roberto Pedreira 


Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera

In the first round a low kick came in and I raised my leg to defend, but when I put that leg down I got injured. My shin got injured too. At that point I could only try for a triangle. I really had no strength left in my leg. 

Heath Herring 

I'm a little disappointed, but this is an experience to learn from. I'm one of the youngest fighters in the world. Next year I want to put on a better fight. I didn't expect Nogueira to be that good at stand up. In the last two rounds I thought he was surpassing me. I think the reason I could escape many times from his joint locking attempts,  my ground technique was better than Noguiera expected. He is one of the strongest opponents I have fought with up to now.

Vanderlei Silva

Vanderlei's interview is too long to include here. Follow the link to the interview.


Mario Sperry

The fight ended the way I thought it would. Vovchyanchin is a very strong fighter. At the time that I found out I would be fighting him, I was very happy. He has fought with the best fighters in Pride, and always given a good account of himself. Today the jiu-jitsu, which I have been doing, and a study of videos produced a good result. [How about fighting with K-1 or pro wrestlers?]  I would like to challenge any opponent. But I won't fight with my own student. If I enter a tournament with Nogueira, I plan to drop down to middleweight. 

Igor Vovchyanchin

It is very regrettable, this loss. On the morning of the day that I left for Japan, I got an injury during training, and during the fight, it starting gushing blood after the first punch. [ It seemed that you tapped fast, but did you abandon the fight?] It might have looked like that but, I know the finishing technique well. I understood there was no way to escape from it, so I tapped. Ordinarily I can defend against a shoulder lock, but I was distracted by the injury so much that I gave him a chance for it. Sperry, he is super strong athlete,  a tough and good athlete.  When I recover I want a return match. 

Tom Erickson

I'm proud to represent Pride in handing a lose to a K-1 representative. I appreciate it. Skelton, who represents K-1, is an excellent and dangerous fighter,  so I was careful about his attacks on stand up. But I thought I could win if I took him down and controlled him.. As a finish, I kept on making a pressure in the throat to make a chance for aiming at a submission. As a result of that, I won. Thanks to this victory I have been offered another chance to fight in Pride (18) and I want to have another success.   

Matt Skelton

The result is a disappointment but not a big disappointment. Three months ago I was asked to join the members of K-1 side, but then I didn't hear anything about it after that.  It was one week ago when I was offered this fight after the Melbourne tournament.  I trained with Lee Hasdell only to avoid getting tackled.  I didn't do any ne-waza at all which is why I had no defense. In the future, if I get another offer to fight in vale tudo , I think I would like to enter the fight with enough training and well-prepared countermeasures.

Renzo Gracie

My opponent's power was strong but he didn't come to fight with leaning back to the ropes. Besides the weight difference was a lot, so it was difficult to take him down.  I gave him good punches many times to such an extent that my hand hurt, but he wasn't damaged. But he should have attacked me more aggressively.  Anyway, it's been a long time since I won a fight so I'm happy. My wife smiles much more than before, and this victory has a big meaning. Next, I definitely want to fight Mr. Ishizawa [who defeated his brother Ryan, after first being defeated by him] . Because I think he is very strong.  


I was baffled at the start. But My body is not tense, and I can move for 30 or 40 minutes. In this fight, I saw my opponent's weak spot and so I hope to have another shot at him. I couldn't get into the ground, but he didn't try to draw me in either. Maybe he was cautious too. Despite today's result, I hope to have another chance. 

Dan Henderson

It was a tough fight. It tested my spiritual strength. If it was a wrestling match, I would never let him take me down. But it was Vale Tudo, so I did knee-kicks and kicks and took the risk of being taken down. When the fight was over, I thought I won it. Ninja is a tough athlete with spiritual strength. I hit him with some good shots but he didn't go down. He is young so from now on he'll probably be getting more and more active. [Do you hope for a fight with Pele?] He was beaten by Matsui. He can't be called a top Pride fighter. I don't think it would be an interesting fight.  

Murilo Ninja

I think I won the fight. Henderson is a great fighter but the one who kept the good position was me. I didn't get caught by a guillotine and he didn't connect with any standing knees. Even his blitz of punches in the third round didn't work at all, because he ran out of stamina. [Head Coach Rudimar comments: "The decision was strange. It was inexcusable. Everyone thinks so and the people who saw it do too". Pele comments: "Silva already toppled Henderson, but I want to fight him next time."] 


  (c) 2001, Yoko Kondo. All rights reserved.




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