Satoshi Ishii had officially made his decision to start participating in mixed martial arts once he acquired the Olympic Judo gold medal at the 2008 summer Olympic games in Beijing, China. His name became even more popular to the MMA world when he called out #1 heavyweight superstar Fedor Emelianenko.
There were rumors of Ishii signing a contract with the Japanese MMA promotion FEG and was expected to debut with DREAM organization on the Fields Dynamite!! 2008 event on New Year’s Eve. A Japanese newspaper by the name of Sports Nippon later stated that Ishii would debut in early 2009. However, all of these rumors were recently cleared up by Satoshi Ishii himself earlier this week. He stated that he really wants to fight for the UFC as he considers it the best MMA organization in the world. His next plans are to start training with American Top Team in Florida around March of 2009. He hopes to start fighting for the WEC in an effort to move up to the UFC thereafter.
Here’s a snip from the 22-year old Judo gold medal:
“I made up my mind finally – the UFC is where I want to fight…I’m a white belt in MMA. I understand the possibility of starting from WEC…If I was an unknown judoka, I would definitely build up my MMA experience in Japan first…However, I have decided to put my Judo gold medal to use. I believe my name value will attract the UFC"