Helio Gracie, Royce
Gracie, and Pedro Valente Jr.
to Yoshida Hidehiko
August 28, 2002
Updated July 23, 2016
October 10, 2002
Translated by Roberto Pedreira
"I'm disappointed with Yoshida.
The guy's a liar!!" [吉田に失望した！あいつはうそつきだ!]
[Note: a comment enclosed in brackets like these: [
] indicates additional explanatory material provided by Roberto Pedreira.]
Helio: This newspaper came out today?
What the hell is this! First, listen to what I want to say about
Helio: We regret the hasty decision given by the
referee. Moreover, Yoshida lacked courage and morality.
didn't admit the misjudgment by the referee. Royce wasn't unconscious at
that time. Yoshida himself, he understood that well enough. and that's
why I say he has no morality. Can I continue to talk? Unless
the fight ends as a "No Contest", I regret to say
that we will consider the Japanese people to be unfair just like the
Q: All Japanese people!?
Helio: Yes. That's why I
want the fight to be "no contest".
Pedro: And there is one
more thing we want you to understand. An interview is acceptable, but
Royce won't answer the questions. So either Helio or I will answer.
Q: I understand. I also think the decision was a
complete misjudgment. And....
Royce [Abruptly]: Can I ask you something? What
is written in this newspaper? [note: the newspaper in question stated in
its headline on the front page that Yoshida killed Royce with a choke [ "よしだロイスを締め殺す”].
Don't you think that's
strange? This newspaper wrote that Yoshida won, didn't it? However, all the reporters who came for an interview today
admit that it was a misjudgment. Then how come the article comes
out like this?
Q: I think it's because at that time the decision was
that you lost, so it was written like that. I think it must
be regrettable for you.
Q: But, after the fight, Yoshida said that he felt
that the power was coming off from your body.
Royce: If Yoshida said that, he is a liar. That is
only thing I can say about it.
Q: Well then, you didn't pass out, right?
Pedro: (to Royce) I will answer it. The reason why
Yoshida is a liar is that he tried to apply sleeve choke [袖車、sode guruma],
but it was not a complete sleeve choke. He was just preparing for it.
Royce was defending it. So at the moment when the referee stopped the
fight, the choke was completely ineffective.
Royce (to Pedro): Show them how the choke was
demonstrates how he was defending the sode guruma, showing that Yoshida's
second hand was blocked from Royce's throat, and thus he was in no
After all, you
couldn't be choked unconscious?
Pedro: That's exactly right. Royce was completely
defending the choke. Even though the newspaper wrote that he was KOed
unconsciously, such a stupid thing could never happen. After all, Royce
immediately got up, didn't he? If he had really been unconscious, he
couldn't have been expected to have gotten up like that.
Q: Did you watch the video of yesterday's fight?
Pedro: I watched it.
Q: This is my impression
of watching the video with my unprofessional eyes, but
when Mr. Yoshida was applying the choke, the hand of Mr. Royce
appeared to have lost its strength.
Pedro: That is completely wrong.
Because he was blocking Yoshida's hand. In jiu-jitsu, power
is not used. If it looked like Royce was out of power, it was because he
was relaxing so that he could catch Yoshida's movement.
Royce: In a fight there is
win and a defeat. But being said that I was defeated the way like this
is past my endurance. I admitted my loss in the fight with Sakuraba,
didn't I? Therefore, I don't mean I'll never admit my loss. What
is regrettable is I was compelled to be a loser by a misjudgment. I have
Q: Does Mr. Helio think the same way?
Helio: Of course.
Q: With such a result,
it is meaningless that the rule meeting was continued until one
day before the fight, isn't it?
Pedro: Regarding the
rule meeting, there
is something I want to say. Royce didn't demand any change in the
rule. I want to make this point clear. What Royce has been emphasizing
was that he wants to fight by the rules determined at the first
contract. It was the promoter's side that wanted to change the
rules. That is the truth.
Q: I understand. Apart
from the outcome, what was your impression of fighting with Yoshida, a
judo gold medalist? Was [his] judo strong?
Pedro: Yoshida was an Olympic champion and Royce was
the UFC champion so I thought it
would be a great fight. (Suddenly Royce tries to leave the room.)
Q: Oh, excuse me, could you give us one word
about your impression of Yoshida?
Royce: I don't want to hear anything about Yoshida. I
am too excited to talk about him. At first I wanted Yoshida's autograph.
Because I was a fan. But not any more. I'm disappointed. He's a
liar. (Royce leaves).
Q: Well then, Mr. Helio, how did you see Mr.
Helio: He didn't do any judo at all, did he? He just
seemed to try to be doing some bad jiu-jitsu.
Pedro: Yoshida tried to do a leg lock, but that
technique isn't a judo technique, is it?
Helio: In the fight, Royce was the one attacking. Yoshida
was only on defense, wasn't he?
Pedro: I think you can understand if you watch the
video, but Royce grappled Yoshida at 7 seconds after the fight started
and went for a leg lock at 10 seconds. Even looking at the entire fight,
it developed in a manner that Royce attacked and Yoshida defended,
didn't it? Except for his attempted leg lock, Yoshida didn't attack at
Helio: Speaking clearly, Kimura, unlike Yoshida, came
attacking me. He was truly a man with
courage and he
was great as a human being too. Besides, in the fight with Kimura,
Carlos threw in the tower, and the referee asked me to make sure if it
was OK with me. Everything was different from the fight this time.
Kimura attacked, but Yoshida only defended. 
Q: After the fight, Yoshida announced that he
had confidence. Probably, he meant "this is all there is to Gracie
Pedro: Yoshida has confidence because the referee
helped him. I think that's a shame. I don't think Yoshida could sleep
well last night.
Q: Is it because Yoshida was lying about Royce being
Helio: Right. In this fight. It is Yoshida who
was afraid of losing in this fight..
Q: Concerning a rematch, do you insist that this
first fight must be declared a "no contest"?
Helio: It was really unfair. If it is not declared
"No contest" there won't be any next time, I think. We are at
a loss to understand the promoter's judgment.
Pedro: In this situation, the Japanese people will
never know the truth.
Q: Therefore, don't you think a rematch is in
Pedro: First, it should be declared "no
contest". After that, we can think about it.
Helio: Can I show you the choke now? I want to
show you what a real choke is. I'm so frustrated [kuyashii]. A man who
has been made unconscious cannot quickly stand up. Even if he gets up,
his mind will still be vague.. So that means that he [Royce] wasn't
Pedro: I proclaim that "He was 100%
Q: Immediately after the "Stop", what did
Pedro: He turned to the referee and said
"why did you stop it?", you know. "Why? why?" he
Q: While grabbing Yoshida, Royce said something to
the sponsor. What did he say?
Pedro: He said that Yoshiｄa should tell the truth
to the referee. He said he wanted Yoshida to testify that it was a
mistake. Yoshida was an Olympic champion, so he should have noticed the
referee's mistake.. He wanted him to admit it honestly, but he didn't do
it. It is disappointing.
Q: The Yoshida team and the Gracie team seem to have
completely opposing positions about this.
Pedro: There are many opinions, but there is video
now. If you watch it, everything will be clear. To an expert of
kakutougi, when they watch the video, they will understand that Royce's
claim is correct. This is what we are saying. Royce was defending the
choke successfully. To repeat, the fight should be declared the improper
result of the referee's misjudgment. And what we want to say to Yoshida
is, "are you OK with this result?" Everyone! Please watch the
Other Interviews and articles on GTR about Royce and
& Rorion (explaining
why Royce lost to Sakuraba
Gracie talks about fight with Kimura)
Gracie Playboy interview (talks about sex, street-fighting,
beating up homosexuals,
Roberto Pedreira. all rights reserved.
Revised May 12, 2015.
Revised July 23, 2016.
Picture, notes, and minor clarifications added.
Pedro's name is written Pedoro Barento (ペドロバレント).
He is actually Pedro Valente Jr., whose father was a student of Helio
Yoshida's name is written in katakana, as ヨシダ,
rather than in kanji, 吉田,
in order to give the impression that non-Japanese people are saying it because
foreign language words (other than Chinese) are written in katakana. When the
interviewer refers to Yoshida, Yoshida's name is written in kanji, 吉田.
Even writing a native Japanese word, or newly coined word (a product name, for
example) in katakana rather than kanji (or hiragana) gives Japanese readers a
sense that there is something Western about it, perhaps that it is more logical
or scientific for example. If we gave matched samples of Japanese people the
names of various drugs along with descriptions of their intended
therapeutic effects, some written in katakana, presented to sample 1, the same
products written in kanji presented to sample 2, respondents would generally
assume that the former were products of Western laboratories, while the
latter were traditional oriental medicines.
Similarly to the point above, the word courage is written in kanji, 勇気
but "morality" is written
in katakana, モラル,
partly (it seems) to give the impression that there is something foreign about
the concept. Helio's original Portuguese expression wasn't included but it was
probably "moralidade", which for Helio generally meant
"manliness." There is a Japanese word for morality [道徳]
but because it derives from Confucianism (儒教)
Japanese readers would wonder what it had to do with ring fighting. It such
cases, translators often simply write the foreign word as is, in katakana. The
translator didn't do that with 勇気 because
just about what coragem (which is undoubtedly what Helio said) means in
Similarly to the above, when Helio mentioned Kimura, Kimura's name is
written in katana、キムラ.
Otherwise it is written in kanji, 木村政彦.
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