Picture and Text by KamiPro
Murilo Bustamante and Paulo Filho met with the press in Tokyo, Japan this week to talk about participating in Pride’s 183-pound Grand Prix this weekend. The meeting was held at the Pride dojo.

Bustamante, who came in second place in last year’s 183-pound Grand Prix, said that this year’s GP is at a “higher level” than last year’s GP.

Bustamante said that he is “well prepared” for his fight against Amar Suloev, who is from the Red Devil team in Russia. Bustamante showed a lot of respect for his opponent and said that Suloev is “the strongest fighter in Russia.”

Paulo Filho, who was in last year’s reserve match for the Grand Prix, said, “It is hard to keep [my weight below] 83 kilograms [183 pounds], but I will make it by the weigh-in. My condition is 100 percent.

Filho has recently been training with Rickson Gracie and has gained more confidence in himself as a result. Filho said regarding his traiing, “I accidentally met [Rickson] and trained for about a month… I was glad to learn Jiu-Jitsu in detail from him.”

Filho’s opponent was just changed earlier this week to Gregory Bouchelaghem after Yoon Dong Sik had to pull out of the fight due to injury, but Filio is not at all anxious about the change. Filho said, “It does not matter who [I] fight.”

Filho also said that he has trained in Judo for a long time, so he is interested in fighting Makoto Takimoto at some point in the tournament. Filho said that he would wear a gi, if possible, to fight Takimoto, who was a Silver Medalist in Judo at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

On the subject of two teammates competing in the same tournamnet, Murilo Bustamante said that he would be making it to the tournament finals along with Filho for an all-Brazilian Top Team final match.