Puroresu, Bessatsu Tokigo (special winter supplementary
by Yoko Kondo
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
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.
So you didnft want to make it longer?
Actually I was wondering what to do. But a short fight is OK
sometimes, isnft it? (smiling)
Mr. Inoki said that you would have a hard fight with him. Do you think
he was right in some sense?
Yes, thatfs right.
Did you have in your mind to catch him with an unique technique, if
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.
You didnft have much information about him. Did it give you some
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.
Did it come to your mind that things will go bad if you are defeated
by him, a no-name fighter?
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.
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]
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.
Besides, dosukarasu was on the stage too.
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].
Are you going to do one more fight this year?
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.
One of the Gracies is likely to ask for the next fight again.
I will think about what to do next after my holidays.
It is said that Ryan wants to fight with you in Pride before the end
of the year.
I will think about if after my holidays.
What is your impression about the fight of Takada [vs.
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.
You were not in a good condition last time, but how about this time
mentally and physically?
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.
Who do you want to fight with next?
Someone who I never fought with before.
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.