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Dos Caras Interview

Pride Fighting Championships: What's your game plan? I'm sure you saw Cro Cop's fight with Heath Herring.

Dos Caras, Jr.: He has a very good sprawl so I have to do upper body throws. I have to get in with strikes and go for the waist. We've been working on defense because we know he kicks a lot. He's so powerful.

PRIDE: How long have you been living in California?

Caras: About 3 months.

PRIDE: You are the first Mexican to compete in PRIDE. Your countrymen are huge fans of professional wrestling and boxing. Do you think you can bring them to MMA?

Caras: It's a big honor for me. It's a little bit harder but maybe. Not many people know about MMA, especially in my country. In Brazil and all those places, they know about it. Maybe.

PRIDE: What attracted you to the sport then?

Caras: I watched videos all my life. I was practicing wrestling and I saw the videos and the wrestlers started to fight. I thought maybe I can do that. The first time I came to Japan it was for a pro-wrestling show and they asked me if I wanted to fight MMA and I said of course.

PRIDE: Your first MMA experience was in Japan?

Caras: Yes.

PRIDE: Who did you train with before?

Caras: I was only training in wrestling but when I lost, I realized that I need something else. That's when I met Marco here in Japan. He said I'm a very good wrestler but I needed ground fighting. Wrestlers' defenses are different that MMA's. He asked me to go with him and I went.

PRIDE: Did you see the Ortiz/Couture fight? Randy is a Greco Roman wrestler. He smashed Tito.

Caras: Yeah, Randy is a good friend of mine. We've wrestled together.

PRIDE: Cro Cop is one of the best fighters in MMA. However, everyone has a chance but most people don't think you will beat him. Does that give you more motivation, knowing that it's you against the world?

Caras: Of course, I have nothing to lose. If I lost, everyone still thinks Mirko is #1. But if I win, well Ö Marco gives me a lot of confidence. I was supposed to fight someone else but he was injured and they asked me to fight Mirko. I asked Marco and he said I can do it. I just have to take care of his kicks. If I take him down I can destroy him. Marco told me just to take care of his kicks. If I take him down, I can make him tap out very easily. Mirko used to train with Marco. He told me to take him down and destroy him.

PRIDE: When did you find out you would fight Mirko?

Caras: 2 weeks and 3 days ago. I said it's no problem but I need to talk to my trainer. When I asked Marco he said, yeah you can do it. If you win, you will be the king in Japan because he's #1.

PRIDE: How old are you now?

Caras: 25.

PRIDE: How many times do you train each day?

Caras: 2 or 3 times. It depends because Marco is really busy.

PRIDE: How do you relax when not training? Take a little siesta?

Caras: No siesta. I play video games, watch movies, regular stuff.

PRIDE: This is a big chance early in your career. What is your ultimate goal in MMA?

Caras: Like everybody, I want to be the best. Now I have the opportunity.

PRIDE: Do you think he may be underestimating you?

Caras: I think so. I've been fighting for 2 years and I don't have as many fights as he does but that's good. The first time I fought, my opponent did the same thing. He had like 15 fights, all won by KO and he thought I would be an easy fight. I beat him in like 58 seconds.

PRIDE: Are you wearing the mask?

Caras: No, I'm not wearing it. It's impossible. For the other fighters, it's not a problem. They are wrestlers. Or if they kick, they kick the legs, not the head. If I wear the mask, I cannot see. Especially, Mirko has a weird kick from the side. I know people like it but, if I use the mask, my head will explode.

Dos Caras Jr. 10/03/2003

Publicly advertising for a Japanese opponent to fight Mirko Filipovic was an unusual move but unfortunately, no one qualified applied. There was a foreign fighter that raised his hand, DEEP'S foreign ace, Dos Caras Jr. DEEP Representative, Saeki, is confident that Caras Jr. will prevail.
Nobuhiko Takada, PRIDE's General Director laid out a challenge at his September 23rd press conference. He was looking for Japanese fighters will to step up and face Mirko. There was a flood of calls to the DSE office the following day, with more than 50 applications. Kawano, a young All Japan pro-wrestler volunteered but DSE felt that he lacked enough experience. Although his offer was declined, DSE told him that if he's that willing he should fight in Bushido, gain more experience and then fight in the "big-league".

Takada was a little surprised that no one from New Japan Pro-Wrestling applied, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the highest class opponent. Nagata didn't apply. Nakanishi didn't apply either. I didn't expect any of them to apply but I think it's unfortunate that they didn't even try."

It was at this point that the star born from Mexican pro-wrestling's Lucha Livre, Dos Caras Jr., pushed for a shot at Mirko. DEEP's Saeki, along with Dos, immediately requested the match when they heard of the advertisement. They called Takada and DSE President Sakakibara, who were in Las Vegas for a UFC event, to relay their desire. After a long meeting on the DSE side, a final decision was made to have Dos face Mirko.

Saeki has faith in his fighter, "DEEP is confident Dos as our representative. Mirko is a top-level fighter but nobody knows what will happen in a fight. Nothing is 100% guaranteed." Dos also seemed confident, "I think he's a great fighter. He's definitely one of the best but I'm a strong fighter, too." Mirko has been labeled the "Pro-Wrestler Hunter" and that doesn't sit well with Dos, "It's ridiculous that he's called that when he's never beaten anyone but Japanese pro-wrestlers."

Dos is not short of credentials. Before he entered Lucha Livre, he was the Mexican representative in Freestyle Wrestling at the Sydney Olympics. In his 4 vale-tudo matches in DEEP, he has accrued 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 disqualification and he's currently training at Marco Ruas' gym.

Marco, a PRIDE veteran, has coached both Nobuhiko Takada and Mirko. According to Takada, "He excels in strategy. Dos has a good coach." Takada was amused at the turn of fate that has (distantly) connected him with Dos.

"The one thing that I can say is that I didn't come all the way to Japan to lose." Dos declared, "I came to win. I want to win here and then fight in the PRIDE GP. I want to challenge Fedor. After my victory, I want to hear the theme song of my father and grandfather, "Sky High".

When asked about his mask, Dos replied, "I always wear it when I fight so it's not a problem for me. If it's a real problem for him, I'm willing to take it off." However, Takada interjected and told him that it won't be a problem, "Of course we want to improve PRIDE but this will be the first BUSHIDO event, kind of like a new toy. We want to try a lot of new things and the mask is one of them." DEEP Representative Saeki added, "He won't remove his mask. If Mirko doesn't like it, I'll negotiate with him personally."

Wearing a mask is actually prohibited in PRIDE rules. However, it's possible there may be other changes made, such as the length of the first round and the number of overall rounds. It seems that if Mirko gives the OK, PRIDE will let Dos wear his mask.

PRIDE's top fighter versus the masked pro-wrestler. It's a wild card to top the BUSHIDO lineup. Even more so than Dos, Saeki has gotten worked up over this match, "Mirko won't be able to fight at the Dome. I'm sorry PRIDE but Dos will be the one challenging Fedor." Saeki continued, with a straight face, "He may even use a drop-kick or flying cross-chop."

"The one thing that I can say is that I didn't come all the way to Japan to lose." Dos declared, "I came to win. I want to win here and then fight in the PRIDE GP. I want to challenge Fedor. After my victory, I want to hear the theme song of my father and grandfather, "Sky High".

When asked about his mask, Dos replied, "I always wear it when I fight so it's not a problem for me. If it's a real problem for him, I'm willing to take it off." However, Takada interjected and told him that it won't be a problem, "Of course we want to improve PRIDE but this will be the first BUSHIDO event, kind of like a new toy. We want to try a lot of new things and the mask is one of them." DEEP Representative Saeki added, "He won't remove his mask. If Mirko doesn't like it, I'll negotiate with him personally."

-PRIDE 27 INTERVIEW WITH DOS CARAS, JR.
January 31, 2004

Pride Fighting Championships: Whoís in your corner on Sunday?

Dos Caras, Jr.: Justin Levins and Guy Warnow.

Pride: What do you do in-between fights?

Caras: I go out with my friends and girls all the timeÖand drinking Corona! Viva la Mexico.

Pride: So, will you be wearing a mask this time?

Caras: No, just for the entrance. I talked with these guys before and this time itís no problem.

Pride: Youíre just wearing the mask for ceremonial purposes, for the fans.

Caras: Yeah.

Pride: Was wearing the mask an obstacle last time against Mirko?

Caras: I cannot say that was the reason I lost but it made me have a bad time. They gave me a lot of problems about it. Itís very important in Mexico but this is totally different. Thatís what I said to the people in PRIDE. Itís not comfortable and you canít see 100%. Even though they cut it up, my vision was like 90% so itís better without it. Itís very important for the fans in Japan, though. They do it for the fans. It was in my contract that I have to do it. This time, when they called me, I said okay but I donít want to have another bad time because of the mask. They said no problem.

Pride: Why do you think the Japanese fans have taken to you so quickly?

Caras: I think because the mask is important. They love that. They love when a foreign wrestler comes, especially from Mexicoís Lucha Libre. My uncle and my father were professional wrestlers so itís everything.

Pride: What are your goals this year? Obviously, you want to get into the tournament.

Caras: Yes, of course. They want me for 3 different events and this is the first one. Iíve got another 5 fights with DEEP because I signed for those fights last year. I donít know when but I have to do it. Itís hard because the money between DEEP and PRIDE is totally different. Anyway, the promoter from DEEP helped me in my career a lot. He put me here and put me in pro-wrestling so heís a good guy.

Pride: What would people be surprised to find out about you? Are you a singer?

Caras: I only sing when Iím drunk.

Pride: Any other sports besides wrestling?

Caras: No, only wrestling since I was a little kid.

Pride: What about school? Any favorite subjects?

Caras: Iím an architect. I graduated from the University of Mexico.

Pride: You should build a fighting dome in Mexico.

Caras: You know, this sport is very popular in Mexico now. Everybody knows about PRIDE.

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