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  • 07-15-2006, 12:31 AM

    good article with Wanderlei Silva

    from editor's note:I meant to write interview.

    PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) spoke with Saturday afternoon hours before it was announced he would likely fight Chuck Liddell (Pictures) in November.

    What does Silva think about fighting in the U.S., which he says he thinks will overtake Japan as mixed martial arts chief market in three to five years? And how does he match-up with his fellow PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix semifinalists? Thank you for joining us. How are you?

    Wanderlei Silva (Pictures): Fine. That was the first question. The second will be the last in English. (laughs) Congratulations on your victory. Did it go as well as you were hoping for?

    Silva: It was even better than I thought because I represent myself very well and I did a spectacular knockout. And the public loved it and I was also very happy with the end of the fight. When you learned you were matched up with Fujita and you knew the rest of the people in the tournament, what was your first impression of him as a competitor?

    Silva: (In English) He’s very big, you know. (Translation) He was a very strong man. He was never knocked out before. He was a real fighter because I did several knockdowns on him and he would stand up and continue fighting. I thought it would be over when I a heard big noise on his arm, like broken bone inside of his arm. But even that, he continued fighting. So when you had him in the armbar, you injured his arm?

    Silva: I believe it was a big lesion to the arm. I don’t know exactly. But I believe it was the elbow and was also the shoulder because I heard the noise. But I don't know what kind of lesion it was. Did you have an opportunity to watch any of the other fights in the tournament?

    Silva: I saw “Cro Cop.” I only saw “Cro Cop” and the other ones I didn’t watch. [Mirko Filipovic (Pictures)] beat Yoshida pretty easily. You fought Yoshida twice and went the distance both times. Why do you think he was so successful in stopping Yoshida the way he did?

    Silva: [English] Kicks to the legs. Very strong. And when you fought him, you didn’t consider doing that?

    Silva: No I didn’t think so but the next I will consider it. (laughs) You fought “Cro Cop” already. It was when he had just started. Talk about the [fighter] you fought then, compared to the [fighter] that just beat Yoshida.

    Silva: [English] He’s a very good fighter. [Translation] He’s a great a fighter and I really want to fight him. I think he is doing really well and I’m looking forward to fighting him. And this time the rules are different and I’m gonna with my guts towards this fight with him. I think every one would love to see you fight “Minotauro.” Would you like that fight? He specifically mentioned you in the post-fight press conference. What’s your impression of fighting him?

    Silva: He’s a perfect fighter. He fights very well standing. He fights also very well on the ground. I’m gonna practice a lot because I believe he is going to be in the finals. He will be one of the finalists. And to take him after “Cro Cop” it’s only for somebody like Silva to do. [English] (laughing) One night fight “Cro Cop” and “Minotauro.” Do you have any what the match-ups are? Who are you going to fight in the semifinals?

    Silva: I would like to see “Cro Cop.” It would be a good match. Very emotional. And the fourth finalist, Josh Barnett (Pictures): He looked very good against Mark Hunt (Pictures). What’s our impression of Josh Barnett (Pictures)?

    Silva: He has a very good technique. I don't believe he will pass “Minotauro” but he does have a good strike. But I don’t think he will pass “Minotauro.” So you believe two Brazilians will be in the finals?

    Silva: I hope so. (Smiles) Better than the World Cup team.

    Silva: (laughs) I think so. The winner of the tournament is supposed to fight Fedor. How much would you enjoy the opportunity to test yourself against someone like him?

    Silva: He is the one to be beat right now. I like him as a person and he’s a good fighter. Even though my job is so hard that I’m not even allowed to have friends because right now if I win the tournament I will be fighting him. The fighter, they live out of big challenges and of course I’d love to fight him. And I believe that what the public would love to see, you know the public likes to see big wars and challenging one another. You seemed to have fun against Fujita. The fight was classic Wanderlei Silva (Pictures). Was that because you felt like you didn’t have as much pressure in the fight, there weren’t so many expectations put upon you?

    Silva: I believe it was a little bit of that because the other fights I have a lot of pressure on me and even one of them I was not able to do my job really well. From then on, I made a new though in my career, a global thought, and then I decided now it’s “all or nothing.” And I believe it is what the fans wanted to see. To see the fighter going for everything and having no counts. They wanted to see the challenge, not a boring [fight]. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, the important thing is the entertainment, the show. Is that a lesson you learned after the fights with Arona? Did you never want to have fights like that again?

    Silva: It was the lesson that I learned because I have used the same technique with all the fighters. It’s my style and I don’t get out of my style anymore.

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