Mirkos words translated:
"I traveled to Japan as many as 42 times and it's the time for a change. I will always be grateful to the Japanese because I made my name in PRIDE's ring, and especially to the president of the DSE company Sakakibara and the fight organizer Takada. I am aware that my decision affected many of my fans, but I am going toward new challenges.
I let the PRIDE officials know that I had an offer in advance. They maybe thought that I wouldn't leave, but my decision was final.
I am happy that now I'm going to have support of Croats in the US. In Japan, there aren't that many Croats. It's nice to see when people in Croatian T-shirts with Croatian flags are supporting you."
Regarding the octagon, Mirko said the following:
"Compared to the ring, it looks to me like a soccer field."
When asked about the quality of the UFC fighters, he said that he most respects Chuck and Randy. He also said this about the current UFC heavyweights:
"When it comes to the fighting style, I like Arlovski, who is quick and technical. The champ Sylvia is not that attractive, but is very tough and bold, also having a knockout-power hand. He is thus very dangerous."
He said that he most regrets that his rematch with Fedor didn't happen:
"I would love an opportunity for the rematch more than anything else. Had my leg been healthy, we would have fought maybe on the NYE. But I believe that the rematch will happen sometime; either under the UFC's roof, or - which I would love to see - if PRIDE and UFC make the fight happen together."
The newspaper also mentions the following statement of Sakakibara (without source):
"Mirko didn't finish his job with Fedor and Noguera, and we thus hope that he will come back one day with the UFC belt and challenge our champion."