Interviews with Fighters after
December 12, 2002
Translated by Roberto Pedreira
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
"Once again I had a tall and heavy opponent to
fight. At the beginning I thought Schildt was a technically strong
opponent. But somehow I was able to finish him off. I think I could
prove that jiu-jitsu is the best. What is the key to beating a
huge [dekai] opponent? The key is technique. I think that if I fight
Feodor I will be much better than he is. I will fight anyone."
"I think I did a good fight but it is
regrettable that I got finished by a triangle. I think I was stronger
than Nogueira but I fell into his trap [wana 罠 ni hamatte shimmatta yo].
When Nogueira's armlock was coming, I rotated, but in reality it was a
triangle. I have seen this happen to many of Nogueira's opponents,
though. I didn't get damaged, so there won't be a problem for me
to fight in K-1."
I injured my knee during sparring. [Q. Was it because
of that that it took 3 rounds to defeat Arsenne?] Yes, but not only
that. His defense was strong too. Regardless of the result, either win
or lose, I wanted to fight the way that the result would be clear to
everybody. I didn't want to drag on to a decision. [What were you
talking to Takada about on the stage passage before the fight?] I
"Sakuraba was extremely strong. I only had two
weeks before the fight to train, so because of that I could only show 50
% of my power. I could fight with that Sakuraba until the third
round. That makes me feel better at least. I want to participate in
Pride again after 2 or 3 months. My shoulder is in bad condition. I hope
to have time for recovery. "
"As I was thinking what is the most important in
my first vale tudo was how to take my opponent to the ground avoiding
his striking, it went as I planned. I was thinking I could avoid his
punches to my face depending on the position after taking him to the
ground. It was good for me that I could put myself in a good position to
enable me to attack anytime there is a chance. [Q: Who do you want to
fight next?] The fight has just finished now, so I need time to think
"It went as I was
expecting it to go. I fought a good fight. I could show all the results
of my training up to now. I think I was able to win a real
victory. I want to fight Silva. Really, today I'm thinking that I
can fight him. After all, I want to be the middle weight champion.
I want a belt like Nogueira's. I think today was a good test. "
"Kanahara's Muay Thai was very good and he had a
great fighting spirit [konjou 根性]. I hope more and more
challengers with a fighting spirit like him come along..
I am not afraid of anyone. I will do anything to win. My
next goal is Pride 24. I definitely want to fight Yoshida. There isn't
anyone who can beat me in the middleweight division.."
"When the end came, I still thought that I could
fight on. I was thinking that my fight would start
from now, so it was too bad. [Q: You think the towel was thrown in
too soon?] That's right. I thought I could still do it. I felt I could
do it, because could see the punches coming clearly. My knee felt a
little unstable, but I felt I could go on the attack in the second half.
I wanted to exchange strikes with him some more. I want to fight
him one more time".
"Everyone, I think you
enjoyed my fight. What was my bad point was I was off my guard in the
end. Herring was a good fighter as an opponent, and he was strong
physically. But I thought I had more power than he did during the fight.
I think Nogueira is the strongest kakutougi fighter at this point. I
want to do anything as possible as I can.
The last time I lost 16-20
pounds due to the kidney calculus, so my condition was terrible. I
am happy to win in Pride where big and strong fighters get together from
all over the world. Yamaken [nickname of Randleman's opponent]
weighs about just 70 kgs [152 lbs.]? In that case, I respect him for
fighting me. I will proclaim something here, which is that
I will definitely take the middleweight title. I will never be
defeated in Pride. Remember that."
"I wanted to continue to
do it, because I felt that his power was getting weak from the third
round. I was aiming at a chance from the bottom when his [udegarami]
shoulder lock came. Mr. Takada was my inspiration and the top reason for
me to have come to Tokyo. I wanted to show my part which has grown up
and improved in his retirement fight. I wish I could have won. I wanted
to fight with a feeling like doing a street fight and being back in my
teenage years "
Comments were not included by Ninja, Don Frye, Heath Herring.
(c) 2002, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.