Interview with Pride FC
July 16, 2002
|PRIDE Fighting Championships: What does it feel like to go pro?|
Hidehiko Yoshida: Well, when I was in the Olympics, there were a lot of people watching me. I think it will be even bigger this time. It’ll be in the ring this time, not on the tatami, so I may be a little bewildered. I’m a little concerned about how slippery or hard it is. Other than that, I’ll just do what I’ve always done in Judo.
PRIDE: Do you plan on training with anyone specific for the fight?
Yoshida: No. I’m just going to concentrate on Judo for the moment. I’ll watch some videos to study Jiu-Jitsu and think about it after that.
PRIDE: Are you going to watch your opponent’s videos?
Yoshida: Yes, I’ve been watching his videos, the ones sold in stores. (laughing) I saw his fight with Sakuraba.
PRIDE: What do you think the biggest difference is between Judo and Jiu-Jitsu?
Yoshida: You can win with Judo by getting a throw but in Jiu-Jitsu you have to go until someone gives up. That is a little new for me. Judo’s a part of me so that’s a little bewildering.
PRIDE: How do you plan on defeating Royce?
Yoshida: Well, to beat him, there’s nothing to do but get choke or a joint-lock. That’s what I’ve got to do. I’ll move from standing techniques to ground techniques at my own pace. It’s important that I don’t go at his pace.
PRIDE: I think you’d be at an advantage if you could throw him and get on top.
Yoshida: Yes, IF I can throw him. I’ll probably be able to get on top if I can throw him. I definitely want to throw him and get the mount, at my own pace.
PRIDE: Have you been practicing striking?
Yoshida: I’m going to practice hard from now on.
PRIDE: In a boxing gym?
Yoshida: I don’t knowï¿½ Maybe in street fights. I’m joking! (laughing) I’m not really planning on winning by strikes.
PRIDE: You want to win with Judo techniques.
Yoshida: That’s right. I want to use them well and get a win.
PRIDE: What did you think of Royce’s videos that you watched?
Yoshida: He looked like he uses his sleeves to do chokes a lot. I’d like to study using the pants and sleeves more.
PRIDE: Are you going to train at your own dojo?
Yoshida: I’ll think about that from now.
PRIDE: Are you going to train with Sakuraba?
Yoshida: If I can, I’d like to. Absolutely. He’s got experience, of course. I’d like to get him to think about what my best strategy might be.
PRIDE: Did you feel anything when you faced off with Royce?
Yoshida: I thought he’s tall. Of course, in doing ground techniques, going for submissions and applying the triangle from the bottom, having long legs is an advantage. I’ve got short legs. What I really hate is when they use their legs to defend. I got the feeling that he’s willing to take chances. I also felt that he’s really a pro martial artist.
PRIDE: There’s a big weight difference. Has there been any request from Royce for you to lose weight?
Yoshida: I haven’t heard anything about that. I don’t want to lose weight.
|Now see the interview with Royce Gracie|