Translated by Mario Cuzic from Sportske Novosti
Sportske Novosti (Craotian Newspaper): How much do you weigh at the moment?
Mirko: “101 kg.” [223 pounds]
SN: Are you satisfied with this weight?
Mirko: “Very much so”
SN: It’s August, how many times have you trained this year?
Mirko: “I don’t count trainings, but I can say I had about 350 tranings this year.”
SN: Are you ever tired of the same trainings every day – running, streching, weight lifting, trainings for explosiveness, sparring tranings,.. to such measures that you just want to say “the hell with it, I’m quitting”?
Mirko: “Of course. Sometimes it can get very difficult even for me, but what’s the solution? To quit training would mean to quit fighting. Even the slightest relaxing in trainings can enlarge the risks when stepping into the ring. One who is not preapared is out.”
SN: What would you say to your son if he decided to do Ultimate Fighting?
Mirko: “If he would really want it then we would train together. But I would rather see him not go my way, because it’s extremely difficult and dangerous.”
SN: “What do you find the hardest, boxing or grappling training?
Mirko: “Both are difficult but grappling is more exhausting.”
SN: Before the WC (World Cup) match between Croatia and Japan we were honored to interview the Japanese ambasador in Croatia who said that Japanese Prime Minister Yunichiro Koizumi warned him before he left to Zagreb – Croatia “be careful, you are going to CroCop land”.. what does such a statement from the Japanese Prime Minister mean to you?
Mirko: “It means a lot to me and it sure is nice to hear such words. Yunichiro Konizumi is an outstanding gentleman. As he respects me, I honestly respect him too and his country in which I became what I am now.”
SN: The Pride Open Weight GP is just behind the door. How are your preparations going?
Mirko: “I will stay in Zagreb until the 20th of August. Then I’m going to Pula for 2 weeks where I will train with my friend Enver ?eparovi?, my conditional traning who works through the instruction of professor Juki?. In Pula I will have great backround and condition for my final stage of preparations. Four great sparring partners are waiting for me there, I paid big bucks for them and they are great, big career is ahead of them.”
SN: Who will go with you to Japan?
Mirko: “The same squad with pr. Juki? and dr. Kapulica”
SN: Was the match against Yoshida the most mature so far?
Mirko: “Not all have seen this much this way. Some saw it differently, something like a joke. Unfortunately, in Croatia everyone seems to know everything. I’ve heard all kinds of silly comments. People seem to be forgetting who Yoshida is, they forgot that he’s a great fighter, an Olympic gold medalist. Because he’s was wearing a kimono, I couldn’t kick that good because my leg doesn’t come back that soon after the kick because of the kimono fabric. Yoshida submitted many people with the kimono, I had many problems with my left leg so I had to come up with a stragety which in the end decided the match.”
SN: Wanderlei Silva waits for you in the SemiFinals?
Mirko: “I don’t like him, he’s the only fighter, who I really dislike in PRIDE. He’s weird, without character but he is an outstanding fighter. But I will beat him.”
SN: “Who would you like to see in the finals, if you get there?”
Mirko: Doesn’t matter. Maybe I prefer Minotauro a little bit although I’ve beaten Barnett two times. Match between them is going to be great. Minotauro is Minotauro but Barnett is in super shape this year.”
SN: The relation with PRIDE DSE lead men was tense these past few days. If you couldn’t come to terms would you have participated?
Mirko: “No, I would not.”
SN: But surely you have other solutions?
Mirko: “Of course, an alternative in the USA which is constantly sending me serious offers. But I’m a PRIDE fighter, I know where I got my glory but that doesn’t mean I won’t go to the USA one day.”