(left-to-right on the pic) Shaolin, Pederneiras, Nakamura, Aldo Jr., Rodrigo Ruas & Bruno Bastos.Once again this year, Yoshida Dojo representative and Japanese star Kazuhiro Nakamura is training in Brazil for his upcoming match against Yuki Kondo. The fight will take place on PRIDE’s 12/31 Saitama Super Arena show. This is the third chance that Nakamura has had to train with Nova Uniao’s fighters, tuning his ground game and striking skills with Pedro Rizzo and Rodrigo Ruas. After 2 1/2 hour training sessions with Nova Uniao experts such as Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, Bruno Bastos and Jose Aldo Jr. we had a chance to get some statements from Andre Pederneiras and Shaolin about their impressions of Nakamura and his third trip in Brazil.Shaolin: This is my first chance to train with him. He’s a nice guy and this was an excellent opportunity to work with him because Nakamura is a top fighter from PRIDE and it brings us the impression that our academy is well-known outside of Brazil. Even though we have a lot of lightweight fighters, Nakamura came here and felt our training routine. If anyone from any weight class comes here to train, he’ll also feel our high-level training. We’re exchanging experiences with Nakamura and hope that he beats Kondo on 12/31.Pederneiras: He’s always developing his game. When he started to come to Rio de Janeiro to train he stayed under our supervision here in Nova Uniao. You see that the Japanese fighters are looking to improve their techniques at adding Brazilian techniques. The Japanese fighters are good. They train and study a lot, so you can be sure that their game is being polished perfectly here.THE EVOLUTION OF NAKAMURA’S TECHNIQUEShaolin: He’s searching for techniques such as arm-triangles and triangle holds to change his game. He’s a little heavy and it sometimes slows him down a little, but at the same time he is very strong. By December 31st, he will be in perfect shape and have high-level skill.Pederneiras: I think that the first time he arrived, his ground game wasn’t strong enough. He improved it with serious dedication through our rough training. He trains twice per day with the best here at Nova Uniao/Ruas VT gym. The first two times he came here, he tested some new striking techniques. This time, he’s focusing more on his ground game because it’s where I think the fight against Kondo will go.IS NAKAMURA THE KEY FOR NOVA UNIAO TO GET FIGHTERS INTO PRIDE?Shaolin: We already showed that our team deserves a place in the PRIDE ring. I think that politics haven’t given us a chance. However, once one of us go to the PRIDE ring, other fighters will have a chance as well. We just need the opportunity. It doesn’t matter if it is Thalles Leite, Aldo Jr., or myself. If the opportunity appears, we’ll grab it with our four arms, even if we just have two. (laughs)Pederneiras: We’re supporting each other here, but the Nova Uniao’s crew has produced good results. If Nakamura beats Kondo, it will be very good for us. However, we cannot consider this a way to get into PRIDE. We need to stand on our own two feet. Of course, if the chance to work in PRIDE comes, we’ll show everyone that we deserve to be in the PRIDE ring on our own merits.