By Zach Arnold | December 31, 2011
Yahoo Japan had Brock’s retirement front page & they gave Ishii’s KO loss the same deal
- DREAM Bantamweight tournament reserve match: Yusup Saadulaev defeated Hideo Tokoro in R1 in 42 seconds and sent Tokoro to the hospital.
- DREAM Bantamweight tournament semi-finals: Antonio Banuelos defeated Masakazu Imanari after 2R by split decision.
- DREAM Bantamweight tournament semi-finals: Bibiano Fernandes defeated Rodolfo Marquez Diniz after 2R by unanimous decision.
- Kickboxing match: Masaaki Noiri defeated Kengo Sonoda.
- Kickboxing match: Yuta Kubo defeated Nils Widlund in R3 by KO.
- DREAM Welterweight match: Hayato “Mach” Sakurai defeated Ryo Chonan after 3R by unanimous decision.
- DREAM Featherweight match: Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Kazuyuki Miyata in R2 in 4′54 with a choke.
- Women’s MMA fight: Megumi Fujii defeated Karla Benitez in R1 in 75 seconds with an arm-bar.
- IGF rules match: Josh Barnett defeated Hideki Suzuki in 11′47 after a Northern Lights Bomb.
- Mixed rules fight (1R 3 minutes kickboxing, 2R 5 mins DREAM rules): Katsunori Kikuno defeated Yuichiro Nagashima in R2 in 2′34 by TKO.
- DREAM Bantamweight tournament finals: Bibiano Fernandes defeated Antonio Banuelos in R1 in 1′11 by TKO.
- IGF rules match: Jerome Le Banner defeated Tim Sylvia in 2′57.
- IGF rules match: Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Peter Aerts in 3′36.
- IGF rules match: Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Atsushi Sawada & Wakakirin when Sakuraba used a face lock on Sawada..
- DREAM Feathereweight title match: Hiroyuki Takaya defeated Lion Takeshi after 5R by unanimous decision.
- DREAM Lightweight title match: Shinya Aoki defeated Satoru Kitaoka after 5R by unanimous decision.
- DREAM Heavyweight match: Fedor Emelianenko defeated Satoshi Ishii in R1 in 2′34 by KO.
** Antonio Inoki had Tiger Jeet Singh & Jr. for an interview segment. Singh was in Japan because his late tag team partner, Umanosuke Ueda, died last week at the age of 71. Ueda & Singh were Inoki’s top rivals during the Showa era of New Japan. Russian media claims Fedor was paid $500,000USD for the Ishii fight but one Japanese report claims Fedor/M-1 got 25 million yen. Katsuyori Shibata may have dislocated his arm on a bad landing doing a dropkick in the tag match against Wakakirin’s team. The bout went as you would expect with Wakakirin involved. Josh Barnett got very high marks for his bout against Hideki Suzuki.
As for the answer to the question I posed earlier in the week about who would retire first (Fedor or Lesnar), we now have our answer. Before his fight with Satoshi Ishii, Fedor indicated that he will be fighting for a few more years.
As for debating what kind of future Satoshi Ishii has in MMA, it’s likely that you can close the book on that debate at this point barring a miracle. 18 months ago, Jordan Breen and I had a debate online about Ishii’s career path in MMA. He celebrated Ishii not following the traditional Japanese promotional path and I said that Ishii could have been a human lottery ticket. Look at his predicament now. He’s not good enough to be a Zuffa-level fighter, which is what he wanted in the first place. His value in Japan is no longer TV-level and Ishii never was a strong live house draw. He’s run out of any capital to make any serious money in MMA.
What was tragic (but understandable) about Ishii is that Inoki & DREAM promoters did not feel comfortable at all putting him out in front of the press & the spotlight to do heavy PR for the NYE show. Ishii has negative charisma and doesn’t really stand for the traditional qualities that you can build upon for a Japanese native hero in the fight game. Regrettable.
Given the downward trajectory of the Japanese fight industry and the war that police are waging on the yakuza, you could honestly make the case that Satoshi Ishii was Japan’s last, best hope of developing a native hero that could have competed on a global stage. With the Ishii experiment basically kaput, it’s hard to see who’s next in the Japanese pipeline.