View Full Version : Satoshi Ishii Leaving MMA to Return to Judo

04-20-2011, 10:01 PM
Satoshi Ishii Leaving MMA to Return to Judo - Bloody Elbow (http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2011/4/20/2122530/satoshi-ishii-leaving-mma-to-return-to-judo)

Satoshi Ishii, the prospect who was supposed to revive Japanese MMA has announced he's leaving the sport to return to Judo competition. He is working on getting American citizenship and hopes to compete for the American judo team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ishii won the gold medal at the Bejing Olympics in 2008 at age 21.

When he announced he was leaving the sport to try his hand at MMA, a feverish bidding war began to secure his services and Ishii managed to alienate nearly everyone in the sport before even having his first pro fight. First he verbally committed to fight for Dream. Then he announced he was going to sign with the UFC. Then he signed with World Victory Road to fight in their Sengoku promotion.

When Sengoku couldn't get it together to put on a major event, he ended up making his debut for Dream's parent company at Dynamite! 2009. That was a bust as he lost a decision to his fellow Olympic gold medalist, the 39 year old Hidehiko Yoshida. He went on to completely alienate Japanese fans while winning his next four fights against a mix of middleweights, aging kickboxers and not very good fighters.

Along the way he completely burned his bridges with the tight-knit Japanese Judo community.

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04-20-2011, 10:10 PM
I was hoping this guy would develop. Didn't even know that he was scheduled to compete on a SF Challengers card. Doesn't sound like his heart was ever in the MMA game, but obviously he could do this flip-flop again, so stay tuned.

In some ways he's like Bobby Lashley.