GTR Archives 2000-2020











Global Training Report


Interview with

Rickson Gracie 

after fight with Funaki Masakatsu (Dؐ)

From Shukan Puroresu November 6, 2000

Issue No.980

Translated by Kondo Yoko


1. Rickson's Statement in the ring following his Victory over Funaki Masakatsu)

Rickson:  I was waiting for Funaki to make a mistake in his motion.  I think he had no fear as a fighter.  He did his best, and it was a good fight.  But I think it will bring  him a chance to think about or learn a lot of things.  Well, there is something I want to say here.  First, I would like to thank God from the bottom of my heart.  Thanks to God, I could have done such a great achievement so far.  And also I want to show my appreciation to my family which is the source of my power.  My father, brothers, wife, children, and students, many thanks to them all.  I thank God for giving me a birth in a wonderful family.  And I want to say thanks to my friends. With these all supports, I could be here as I am now.  And a heartfelt thanks to all my fans in the world as well.

I play a role to spread jiu-jitsu to this stage as a Brazilian.  I have never considered Japan an enemy.  On the contrary, Japan is one of my families.  So I wish I will have another chance to see you again.  And I also appreciate the promoter for inviting me to such a big event.

2. Interview

Q.       How did you get a scar under your left eye?

Rickson: I got it when he landed a punch on the first ground position.  I lost my eyesight temporarily then.  I tried to make time so that I could relax.

Q.       How was Funaki compared to Takada?

Rickson: I think he was superior in terms of knowing where he should focus on or how he should concentrate himself.  I canft say anything about his technique, but he is a great fighter at least in his concentration and penetration.

Q  What about a mistake he did today?

Rickson: I donft think he did any mistake. The fight went on evenly.  I just could get into a little better position than him at a final moment.  I think thatfs all.  I canft say myself which was good or bad until I look back on it in the video.

Q.      Is there any special training you concentrated on this time?

Rickson: Nothing special.  I just did the same training as I have been doing so far.  I think nobody can prepare for anything to come which you canft predict.  What kept in my mind is to take an accurate and perfect reaction to any moment.

Q.       Do you continue to take up a challenge from Japanese fighters?

Rickson: Personally I respect Japan, and I think Japanese fighters also deserve to be respected.  But it is up to a promoter who will fight with me next. It is not my decision. There are many fighters in the world who want to fight with me, but everything is up to a promoter.  However, I want to say one thing that I am very honored to participate in the gColosseum 2000h  It made me take a new step forward.  I wish next fight will be also a good one to me.

Q.       How do you appreciate Sakuraba?

Rickson: In the fight with Royce, I think he was physically in better condition than Royce. But it was an even fight.  I was not impressed by his technique at all, but I want to appreciate his passion to the fight.  Both of them had a superiority at various points, but Roycefs mistake in strategy resulted in a victory of Sakuraba.  The result itself is something to be respected, but I didnft get any special impression from him.

Q.       Do you think you can easily defeat Sakuraba if you fight with him?

Rickson: There is nothing easy in fights. There is nothing 100% sure of winning.  It depends on the condition given for the fight or physical condition, etc.

Q.       Well, but we can hardly watch such a fight in vale tudo, which is frequently held in the world today, that the mount position is taken so easily.  I wonder if it is because you are special or Funaki didnft prepare enough for the fight. Which do you think is right?

Rickson: Maybe both joined together, I think. (laughing among the family)

Q.       You are in a lot of sweat. Were you worried about that gaining weight might affect your stamina?

Rickson: No, not all.  Maybe the spring weather in Japan made me sweat. (laughing among the family)

Q.       You spoke in Portuguese at the winner interview on the ring.

Rickson: I was proud that this event will be broadcast on Direct TV in Brazil.  I wanted to send a message to my home country.  Of course, this is Japan, so I should speak in Japanese.  But if there is a choice, English or Portuguese, I will choose Portuguese.

Q.       You said that todayfs fight went on evenly, but finally you won.  Could you tell me what is a difference between you and other fighters?

Rickson: I think it is a merit of age.  (laughing among the family)

Q.       How long more are you going to be in fights?

Rickson: Oh, it is a difficult question to answer.  I like fighting and I also like teaching jiu-jutsu.  Jiu-jutsu itself is a life to me. The spirit of jiu-jitsu is always pushing my back saying gkeep on fightingh.  But someday I will come to the time to say gnoh, the time when I find it impossible physically to do more training.  It will be the time for me to leave this world.  But I canft say when it will be. It is up to God, not me.


For more Rickson Gracie interviews, see Interviews.

Other Rickson interviews on GTR:

Rickson  (after Funaki)

Funaki tells his side of the story

Rickson (Athra Pt. 1)

Rickson  (Athra Pt. 2)

Rickson  (from Herois do Ringue)

Rickson (from Gracie DNA)

Rickson (from Tatame)

Order the Rickson Choke documentary below. It's good.