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Global Training Report


Global Training Report


Interview with 



Shukan Puroresu,  Bessatsu Tokigo  (special winter supplementary issue)

December l5, 2000

Translated by Yoko Kondo


Q: What was your impression about the fight? [with Shannon the Cannon Rich; actually in the interview, the interviewer and Sakuraba refer to Shannon only as mumei no aite-- "the no-name opponent"]

Sakuraba: Well, it was a short fight. His first kick was so heavy that I thought it might be dangerous if it became a long fight. But I didnft expect to end up with it like that.

Q: So you didnft want to make it longer?

Sakuraba: Actually I was wondering what to do. But a short fight is OK sometimes, isnft it? (smiling)

Q: Mr. Inoki said that you would have a hard fight with him. Do you think he was right in some sense?

Sakuraba: Yes, thatfs right.

Q: Did you have in your mind to catch him with an unique technique, if possible?

Sakuraba: Yes, I did. It was Yurikamome! [translator's note: this is Sakuraba's name for the technique he had planned to use. Yurikamome is a kind of sea bird, maybe some kind of seagull (kamome means seagull; the writer of the related article to this interview, Ookawa-san, describes yurikamome as a secret technique (himitsu waza), which has never been seen in public, yet]. I was planning to finish him with yurikamome. However, the fight turned out to be good because it finished with an unexpected technique. An Achillesf tendon lock is not generally effective in vale tudo.

Q: You didnft have much information about him. Did it give you some pressure?

Sakuraba: Yes, it did. I got a video tape, but it was like a promotion video. It showed only his good points. Before the fight I was nervous in a different way from the way I usually am,  because I didnft know much about him.

Q: Did it come to your mind that things will go bad if you are defeated by him, a no-name fighter?

Sakuraba: Well, it doesnft matter to me so much, because when my time to lose comes, I will lose. However, I donft want to lose for nothing even when I lose.

Q: Why did you put on a mask of masukarasu? [translator's note: masukarasu and dosukarasu seem to be images from the stage of Mexican pro wrestling]

Sakuraba: There is no special meaning to it. Following my mask show in the fight with Royce,  there is nothing but masukarasu which can satisfy people, I thought.

Q: Besides, dosukarasu was on the stage too.

Sakuraba: Two are more fun than only one, so I took my brother with me just like the Gracies often do that. [the mask of dosukarasu was worn by team member Matsui Daijiro].

Q: Are you going to do one more fight this year?

Sakuraba: I donft know. I am planning to participate in a fight at Osaka Dome (Dec.31), because Mr. Shimada was shouting gOsaka Dome!h (smiling). If the fight in Pride 12 (Dec.23) is finished easily like today, I want to participate in a fight on Dec. 31. If I get a lot of damage, it will be difficult.

Q: One of the Gracies is likely to ask for the next fight again.

Sakuraba: I will think about what to do next after my holidays.

Q: It is said that Ryan wants to fight with you in Pride before the end of the year.

Sakuraba: I will think about if after my holidays.

Q: What is your impression about the fight of Takada [vs. Vovchyanchin]?

Sakuraba: I didnft watch the whole fight. I donft know how to sayc He lost in the end, but I think it is good for him that he could show the results of his training.

Q: You were not in a good condition last time, but how about this time mentally and physically?

Sakuraba: I was so-so this time. Last night I was in lucky at Pachinko [sort of the Japanese version of pinball]. I came back to the hotel after playing Pachinko around 12:30, and I played a game until 4:00. I got up at 12:30 p.m. today.

Q: Who do you want to fight with next?

Sakuraba: Someone who I never fought with before.

Translator's note: Describing his fight with Alan Goes, in a documentary made after Pride 6, Sakuraba said, moo ichido yaritai. It means, "I want to do it (fight) one more time (with Goes)". But now, he doesn't seem to want to.

For more Sakuraba interviews, see Interviews.

(c) 2000, Yoko Kondo, all rights reserved.