Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


MMA Junkie


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Fightline


MMA Frenzy


MMA Betting


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


Audio Corner


Oddscast


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Eddie Goldman


Video Corner


Fight Hub


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

Report: Satoshi Ishii to make MMA debut at Dynamite

By Zach Arnold | October 28, 2008

Print Friendly and PDF

Sports Nippon newspaper in Japan is reporting that 100 kg Olympic judoka Satoshi Ishii will make his ring debut in MMA on 12/31 at K-1’s Dynamite event at Saitama Super Arena. The newspaper further claims that Ishii will make the full-time MMA conversion in Spring of 2009 (after he graduates from college).

Update: Daily Sports reports that the contract between Ishii and K-1 is worth 500 million yen (with ‘escalators’ in the contract based on how well he draws for big MMA shows). He will make his “mic (microphone) performance” debut at the NYE event.

Topics: DREAM, Japan, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 22 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

22 Responses to “Report: Satoshi Ishii to make MMA debut at Dynamite”

  1. sprewell says:

    Pretty sure he’s just going to appear in the ring and announce he’s signed with DREAM and will debut in Spring.

  2. Alan Conceicao says:

    Well, I guess its a story now. So, Zach, what kind of interest do you think Ishii can procure from the Japanese public?

  3. Garret says:

    If true, this could change the landscape of Japanese MMA. This could be the turning point for DREAM and FEG.

  4. Zach Arnold says:

    Well, I guess its a story now. So, Zach, what kind of interest do you think Ishii can procure from the Japanese public?

    The wildcard in all of this is Naoya Ogawa, who basically is Ishii’s mentor and was the wirepuller here to get him into MMA. With Ogawa backing Ishii, and perhaps an angle for Inoki to make in-roads here, it certainly opens up some possibilities.

    I\’m not sure it’s a game-changer or going to change the business in a big way — but it’s an opening for a business sorely lacking star power right now.

    FWIW – I think the smart money is on Ishii vs. Sakuraba in some sort of exhibition match. It’s a lot safer than Ishii vs. Fedor, which I hope to God they do not book.

  5. Chuck says:

    “If true, this could change the landscape of Japanese MMA. This could be the turning point for DREAM and FEG.”

    WHOA! Hold the reigns there cowboy! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! We will have to wait and see about that! I will hold judgement until he fights (and wins) and/or he puts asses in seats. I think it will take more than just a good judoka to bring Japanese MMA back to the golden years of the early and mid 2000’s.

  6. sprewell says:

    Um, Ishii is arguably the most popular athlete in all of Japan right now.

    The guy is money.

  7. Garret says:

    Chuck, we know the support the Japanese public gives to national heros. I agree with you, I don’t know if it’ll be a return to the golden years of Japanese mma. However, there’s no doubt in my mind that if Ishii participates in DREAM or Sengoku that there will be immediate interest in the sport again, more so than there’s been in the past few years.

  8. krusty5678 says:

    I know this isn’t related, but why doesn’t Dana White start up a women’s division in the WEC and sign up Gina Carrano?

  9. Don Frye can already book a flight to Narita on NYE…

  10. Matt says:

    Ishii vs. Sakuraba in some kind of grappling exhibition has me foaming at the mouth… (in a positive way. You know, the positive, non-rabies way.)

  11. Ultimo Santa says:

    “know this isn’t related, but why doesn’t Dana White start up a women’s division in the WEC and sign up Gina Carrano?”

    Isn’t it obvious?

    The message that the UFC hype-machine has been drilling into the mainstream media the last 5+ years is this: MMA is safe.

    It’s less dangerous than boxing, it’s a legitimate sport, and should be taken as seriously as any other athletic contest.

    Of course, not letting women compete is the perfect way to hammer this point home. It’s perfectly safe and legitimate…unless you’re a woman. THEN it’s dangerous, and generally unacceptable.

  12. DannyD says:

    Hey Zack this is off topic but what is with affliction’s co owners calling out station casino’s finances saying the will be out of business by Feb. ? Any credible information on this?

  13. IceMuncher says:

    There was a post concerning that late last week. You can go back and read through it.

    Recently there was an interview with Ed Fishmanon Carson’s Corner I believe. Without knowing any specifics of the company, he believed that Station was well run and would probably make it through successfully. He was also very doubtful that Lorenzo left for financial reasons, and thinks instead that he left because the UFC is Lorenzo’s baby, so to speak.

  14. Eric says:

    I think Zach’s summary is a little bit misleading. The article makes it clear that Ishii is not fighting on New Year’s Eve.

  15. Rob says:

    Zach, how popular is Ishii in Japan. What athlete is he comparable to here in america? Rulon Gardner when he won gold?

  16. Chuck says:

    “Zach, how popular is Ishii in Japan. What athlete is he comparable to here in america? Rulon Gardner when he won gold?”

    Yeah, but the problem is…….most people (outside of the wrestling/grappling/martial arts bubble) stopped giving a shit about Gardner about a month after he beat Alexander Karelin for gold in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2000 games (a side note: Gardner also won a bronze medal at the 2004 games). From what I see Ishii is probably at the level that Michael Phelps is in the States. Much higher stature than Gardner.

  17. dave2 says:

    If Ishii is Japan’s Michael Phelps, how come he didn’t stick with Judo a little while longer? Phelps reportedly makes $5 million per year in endorsements. I bet Ishii makes serious (but not as much as Phelps since America’s market is more lucrative than Japan) endorsement coin in Japan too. So why make the jump to MMA now when he can make a ton in endorsements for Judo?

  18. D.Capitated says:

    Because he can make those endorsements AND make money as a fighter. I mean, “duh” dude. Think before you speak.

  19. dave2 says:

    D.Cap, you’re assuming that what he makes in endorsements in MMA would be equal or better to what he would make as a national judoka hero. Judo is bigger than MMA in Japan. Life after the Yakuza Scandal has shown that MMA was a fad in Japan. In the long-term, it may not be wise for Ishii to burn bridges with the Japanese Judo Federation at his age when Japanese MMA is a very insecure market.

  20. D.Capitated says:

    The endless drone about Japanese MMA being dead has as much to do with its major nationalized stars being marginal talents as it does the Yakuza at this point. Ishii represents a fresh new face disconnected from the glory days of Sakuraba, Yoshida, or even Yamamoto. The idea that his endorsements are going to dry up overnight because he chooses to partake in MMA (which, unlike national or international amateur judo competition, will pay him large sums for participating) when companies like Nike are still involved seems odd, to say the least.

  21. […] Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii has been making headlines recently for his decision to fight professionally in mixed martial arts instead of competing in the 2012 Olympics. He’s already proclaimed his desire to fight the […]

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image