Interview with Pride FC
July 16, 2002
|PRIDE Fighting Championships: Did you request any special rules?
Royce Gracie: Actually, I was just talking with the promoters about that. This year will be the 50th anniversary that my father, Helio, and Kimura had their Jiu-Jitsu match. I asked the promoters how it would be if we had the same rules as my father and Kimura fought under. No striking and only grappling. My father will turn 90 years old this October and I would like to fight under those rules as a present to him.
PRIDE: What do you think about the number of rounds in the match?
Gracie: My father and Kimura fought three, ten-minute rounds. I asked them to make it the same for us.
PRIDE: Since you want to fight under the same rules that Helio and Kimura did, do you want to get revenge for Helio?
Gracie: I don’t want to use the word “revenge.” Revenge is something you do yourself, not something someone else does for you. However, this year is the 50th anniversary of that fight. It’s a historical year. I’d like to fight the same once in a lifetime fight that my father did. I’d also like to get as many members of the Gracie family to come to this event as possible. I definitely want my father to come.
PRIDE: Has Helio already been informed of the match with Yoshida?
Gracie: Yes. I’ve already told my father. I’m also consulting with him about strategy.
PRIDE: What did Helio say?
Gracie: I can’t talk about the strategies that my father advised me on. (laughing)
PRIDE: What do you think of the match itself?
Gracie: I said I think it’s a really good idea. My father seems really excited that I will appear in this match on the 50th anniversary. My father is a living legend.
PRIDE: If the match is decided within the three, ten-minute rounds, do you think it would be better to have a draw, go into an over-time or have the judges decide?
Gracie: I believe that when my father fought Kimura, if there was no winner within the three, ten-minute rounds, the match would be a draw. So, I think it should be the same.
PRIDE: Yoshida is a Judo player and doesn’t have any experience striking. I think you’d be much better off under Vale Tudo rules since you have a lot of experience in striking.
Gracie: I think fighting under Vale Tudo rules is a really great idea. I’d like to fight with Yoshida under those rules in the future. You can definitely say that I’d have the advantage under Vale Tudo rules. However, this is Yoshida’s first NHB match. I think a Judo Vs. Jiu-Jitsu match would be better for his first time. It would also be a good challenge for me. I heard that Yoshida is the top of Japan’s Judo players, his grappling is good and he can throw you anytime that he wants to. I think a match with gi’s will be real challenge. I like to challenge myself.
PRIDE: What do you think of challenging an Olympic Judo gold medallist?
Gracie: I think it’s a real challenge.
PRIDE: You said earlier that you want to invite as many Gracies as possible. Are you going to invite Rickson Gracie as well?
Gracie: Rickson has already been told about the match with Yoshida. When I told Rickson that I’m going to fight Yoshida, he asked me why and I told him that it’s because I like to challenge myself. But, I haven’t told Rickson that I want him to come to the fight yet. The reason is that nothing had been firmly decided yet. Today, however, the fight was finalized so I’m going to go back to America and ask Rickson to come.
PRIDE: What do you want to do after this fight?
Gracie: I want to go home. (laughing) I want to spend time with my wife and children. Since the match with Yoshida has been decided, the amount of time I can spend with my family has decreased. So, I don’t really like Yoshida right nowï¿½ sorry, that was a joke. (laughing)
|Now see the interview with Hidehiko Yoshida