All of the following information was provided by Luis Cruz, who attended PRIDE 32 “The Real Deal” in Las Vegas, Nevada with media access. Here is his post-show notes, including a lot of interviews and exclusive news.
Matt `The Law’ Lindland
I spoke briefly with Matt Lindland after the PRIDE 32 “The Real Deal” weigh-ins. He told me there was nothing going on with the UFC at the moment and those were all rumors circulating that he was going to fight Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title.
James `The Colossal’ Thompson
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: James, are you going to be on the February card when PRIDE returns to the states?
James Thompson: Well, I was actually supposed to be on this card but things didn’t work out so hopefully they put me on that card.
Dan Henderson (post-Belfort fight)
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: Dan, did this fight go how you planned, was Vitor [Belfort] a little less competitive than you anticipated, or tougher?
Dan Henderson: Well a couple things went easier and a couple things went harder. The takedowns were a lot easier than I thought, I thought he’d be a little better in the clinch [and] a little stronger. But ah, the ground and pound I planned on getting up a little more and throwing a lot but he held me down and close.
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: Did Vitor tire at all that you noticed?
Dan Henderson: A little bit, but I was tired at the end as well. I should’ve pressed it a little more but I had him broke by the end of the first round, so.
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: Thank you Dan.
Dan Henderson: No problem man.
President Nobuyuki Sakikibara (post-PRIDE 32)
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: How do you feel this event did by way of attendance and also are you expecting big PPV numbers?
Nobuyuki Sakikibara: Attendance was pretty good. The PPV buys I have no idea, hopefully we did really well.
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: How long do you think it would take to compete with the UFC in the MMA market in the U.S.?
Nobuyuki Sakikibara: I respect Dana White and the Fertitta brothers because they brought MMA to where it’s at now. I respect them a lot.
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: Do you think you can work side by side with them (UFC)?
Nobuyuki Sakikibara: No no, not yet. (laughs)
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: In the future?
Nobuyuki Sakikibara: I hope so very much.
Luis Cruz for MMANews.com: Thank you.
Nobuyuki Sakikibara: You’re welcome.
PRIDE 32 Post-Fight Press Conference Notes
-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was asked about his submission win over Kevin Randleman and if he was surprised it took Randleman so long to tap. He replied `I used up a lot of strength because he is very tough but he helped me secure the kneebar when he rolled.’.
-Fedor Emelianenko was asked how the change in rules affected his performance. He said he had no problems because he had set it in his mind he wasn’t going to do it (stomps, knees, etc.) and he didn’t.
-Fedor was asked about participating in the next PRIDE Vegas show and he replied that he did not have any plans for 2007 yet but he would love to fight in front of the American crowd again.
-Fedor was then asked what Heavyweight he would like to fight next. He said he already has chosen his opponent, Josh Barnett, who was seated next to him and was joking around with him the entire press conference. They both shared a laugh so who knows how serious he was. Fedor then said “Today we compete in drinking vodka.” In which Josh replied he had a headstart already. They got a laugh from everyone.
-Fedor was also asked how he felt when Coleman brought his little girls into the ring and then met them, if he was uncomfortable. He started to reply and said he was very uncomfortable, then he was cut-off by Phil Baroni who seemed to have taken a little offense to the question and got a little emotional while talking. Baroni replied `I don’t really understand the question, he did what he felt was right so his girls knew he was ok. It was important for his kids to see, it was the first time they’d seen him fight live. Mark loves those girls more than anything in this world and he would do anything for them, I just really didn’t understand that question.’
-Wanderlei Silva announced he would be fighting on the February card in Vegas and called out Chuck Liddell yet again. Silva stated that he was now on his (Chuck’s) turf and there is no excuses.
-Mirko Crocop also indicated he will most likely be on the February card.
-Jason Statham and Chuck Norris were a couple of the celebrities on hand.
-There were a couple after parties held. One was at the Hardrock Caf and the other was at Pure nightclub (which I attended) hosted by Phil Baroni. All throughout the event, Baroni was extremely fan friendly and entertaining to the people. I was invited up to his VIP section where we had a great time laughing and dancing. Jason `Mayhem’ Miller was also on hand there, along with Josh Barnett who all were having a great time.
-This was an overall great experience. The fights were entertaining, the fighters were media and fan friendly, and the fights were all entertaining. Big props to the production crew of PRIDE. The pyro, effects and entrances are something one must see live in order to really appreciate the experience of it all. I HIGHLY recommend every fan of MMA to go check out a PRIDE event live as there really is nothing else like it. You will absolutely have to attend again after going once!
Chat with Luis Cruz about PRIDE 32 event week in the MMANews.com forums.