Tuesday, February 27, 2007

PRIDE: Day-After Press Conference

A post PRIDE.33 press conference was held at the Press Center inside Caesars Palace the day after the big event. Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Shogun Rua, Sokoudjou, Dan Henderson, and Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara made their appearance.

Looking back to Saturday's event, Silva admitted that he wasn't in the best condition. In fact, he had swollen tonsils and a fever one day prior to the main event. He also confessed that fighting under Nevada rules is a rather difficult adjustment for him. Despite his loss to Dan Henderson, Silva hopes to have a rematch to reclaim the belt.

Shogun expressed sadness and regret towards Silva's loss to Dan. Perhaps to avenge Silva's defeat, Shogun declared that he wishes to fight Dan Henderson at his next match.

Defeating Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO in a mere 23 seconds of the first round, Sokoudjou "African Assassin" is the new star of the Middleweight class. Mr. Sakakibara announced that he will be fighting again at PRIDE.34 "Kamikaze" although his opponent has not yet been decided. Sokoudjou is willing to fight anyone except Dan Henderson. When told that Sokoudjou wishes to see PRIDE being held in Africa, Mr. Sakakibara replied, "If we're going to have it in Africa, I would like to hold the match in the savanna instead of on the ring, and see Sokoudjou fight a giraffe."

Dan Henderson was at a loss for words, but did mention that it was a moment when his power and strength paid off. When asked about the splint on his right hand, Dan stated that he thinks he hurt it in the first round, but would watch the video later on to speculate on it. He believes it is very likely that his right fist is fractured or broken, but will know in greater detail once it is examined by his physician. Dan couldn't have been in any better condition for Saturday's bout. He said that he felt calm and relaxed from the very beginning, and that he felt even more comfortable because Silva's punches did not hurt. Now that Dan has two titles to defend, he will be a very busy man. He plans to wait until his right hand recovers, and then figure out his schedule from there.

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