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Report: Satoshi Ishii books fight against Sokoudjou

By Zach Arnold | February 11, 2012

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That’s the magic word, according to Nikkan Sports, which pegs the fight happening on March 31st for AFC (Amazon Forest Combat) in Manaus. The newspaper claims that Ishii wants to fight three or four times this year.

This news certainly conflicts with the Cyzo report that claimed that Ishii suffered a brain edema against Fedor on NYE and was facing a crisis in his MMA career. The irony here is that right after the Fedor debacle, there had been talk of fighting on the 3/31 date. Then the Cyzo report came out and nobody knew what was going on.

You’ll have better odds trying to pick the right winners in upcoming UFC fights than in trying to figure out what the hell is going on in Ishii’s career.

Here’s the latest edition of MMA Oddsbreakers with our friend Nick Kalikas of BetonFighting. He’s joined by Damon Martin of MMA Weekly and Frank Trigg to discuss these upcoming fights:

Plus, plenty of discussion about recent UFC fights on Oddsbreakers. Check it out.

Here’s Georges St. Pierre talking with Showdown Joe of Rogers Sportsnet about rehabbing his repaired ACL and the timetable for his comeback

Comment of the Day — On Nick Diaz

From Josh Campbell. A ‘what if…’ scenario:

What if Nick Diaz would have won the interim welterweight championship fight at UFC 143 and then tested positive? Right now the discussion of Nick and his inability to refrain from marijuana use is limited to fans of MMA, bloggers and writers. But where would things be if Nick had won? Nick would have been the first (interim) champion, post “The Ultimate Fighter Season 1” to test positive for prohibited substances. The situation also would be coming to a head after the UFC on FOX deal and the second big primetime show on FOX. I don’t want to delve into the morality of usage by athletes, or whether marijuana actually has performance enhancing effects. Many people have differing perspectives on this. The only thing I can say is that it is prohibited from showing up in an athlete’s urine in a pre-fight, post-fight, or random screening.

I can only imagine the press this would have received. Somehow TMZ only seems to cover the bad things or Dana White at a Snoop Dogg concert. I remember their coverage of Rampage, Tito, and a few other “scandalous” situations. I know this situation would not get a pass, as it fits right into their sensationalist style of journalism. How would ESPN address it? Given recent friction between the promotion and the network over the fighter pay piece on Outside The Lines, I would expect that it might get a little more airtime with a negative slant. Maybe Deadspin would have a headline along the vein of “UFC Champ Wins Belt at UFC 143 and loses it at 420”. Who knows how many syndicated sources would have picked up articles written by individuals with an ax to grind against the UFC or MMA in general. Educated people writing about something they are uneducated about can be a dangerous voice to the public. The same public that we all know only has a cursory knowledge of this sport. A sport striving for acceptance, and one many pundits and people in the general public still consider too brutal for mass consumption.

So, from the standpoint of bad press and a public relations fiasco, it probably would have been a nightmare situation. But from a sporting perspective, could it have had a positive result? Many times Dana White has stated that the athletic commissions are responsible for testing and enforcement and he defers that responsibility to them. Given the recent small and reactionary shift in policy to start testing newly signed fighters, would this occurrence have spurred Zuffa Inc. to start a comprehensive testing program that lives up to WADA standards? Would this have been the watershed moment that leveled the playing field for fighters that cannot afford pharmacological advisors as part of their training camp? Unfortunately we will not know the answer to this. However, given the rumored usage in the dark corners of MMA gyms that we have heard rumblings about, it is likely that the moment that many fans fear will happen is yet to come. It’s up to Zuffa how they will respond to that. They have dodged a second bullet here, after the near miss of Chael Sonnen losing to Anderson Silva. Will they bury their head in the sand and point their finger at the athletic commission, or will they step up and fund a comprehensive testing plan? Time and circumstance will tell.

If he got busted for weed while fighting in Japan for DREAM, he would have likely gotten three years probation at a minimum from authorities. Shame still means something in Japan.

In the States? Marijuana usage is practically built-in as a love/hate component for fans in regards to Nick. His fans love him because he’s the same guy whether he makes $50,000 a fight or $500,000 a fight. With that said, I wrote online a couple of days ago that a reliable insider indicated to me that UFC was strongly considering all options on the table about implementing/upgrading a drug testing program because they are losing the PR battle over PED/recreational drug usage by fighters getting popped on the Nevada IQ tests…

I suspect many more MMA fighters would fail drug tests if they had to take random, unannounced drug tests like tennis players such as Rafael Nadal have to.

Topics: Brazil, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “Report: Satoshi Ishii books fight against Sokoudjou”

  1. Chromium says:

    I’m glad Satoshi Ishii’s career isn’t over. It would have been a very sad ending to have gone out like that.

    As for Sokoudjou, he really needs to whoop up on some cans to inflate his 12-10 record. Ishii is hardly a gimme fight for him, nor is it the sort of major win that would really make Zuffa want to sign him back right away.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    The last 2 guys who got caught for drugs in a title fight lost.

    The last CHAMPION to get busted was Sean Sherk in July 2007. For that fight, both guys popped for steroids, so the winner by default would have been suspended no matter what.

    You have to go back all the way to September 2003, when Tim Sylvia beat Gan McGee. This is the last time a sitting champion got suspended for a banned substance AND his opponent was tested clean.

    That’s almost a decade to go. To say the UFC has been fortunate is an understatement.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Think of it this way.

      In the history of the UFC, they have had 125 World Title fights (not including the Super Fight Title).

      They have had 6 guys get popped in those fights. And 2 of those were for the same fight.

  3. edub says:

    “But where would things be if Nick had won? Nick would have been the first (interim) champion, post “The Ultimate Fighter Season 1” to test positive for prohibited substances.”

    This whole comment is based on a false impression. As 45 pointed out Sean Sherk was the sitting champion, and failed for PEDs.

    Watershed moment? You gotta be kidding. Diaz is a draw, but he’s not on the level of any sitting UFC champion (even the smaller guys). Plus, he was going to be an Interim champion that failed for weed. There would have been more discussion on why is he an idiot for failing, should marijuana really be tested for, and what the hell does it matter because it wasn’t a real title anyway. Plus maybe a little bit more around here because of Fred Davis and the left tackle for the redskins failing for weed at the end of the season.

    Thinking that a positive marijuana test from the athletic commission would have produced a change in policy (or even a discussion on the subject), is nothing more than an off the wall conspiracy theory.

  4. Zippy says:

    Excuse the threadjack, but does anyone know what is going on with Yahoo’s MMA page? I haven’t seen Meltzer in weeks and they all of a sudden seem way behind on updating their page with news. All those big fight dates announced yesterday and Michael Chandler for some reason is the lead story.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Yahoo is reducing their Yahoo! Sports page and concentrating more on the big sports. Not sure about Meltzer’s status, but rumor was that his contract was coming up soon.

      • Zippy says:

        Thanks. I guess my question from there would be, does this mean the start of a trend with the big web sites cutting back MMA, or does it just mean whoever’s making decisions at Yahoo Sports these days are moron?

    • Zach Arnold says:

      They let Dave (Meltzer) & Dave Doyle go last week.

      In short, Kevin Iole will handle the boxing & MMA duties with their blog having Steve Cofield & Maggie Hendricks.

      Yahoo’s got a lot of problems but they are just the latest big media entity to throw in the towel on big MMA coverage (like NBC Sports). Disconcerting a bit…

      • RST says:

        “…with their blog having Steve Cofield & Maggie Hendricks.”

        Well that seems like the politically correct thing to do.

        I’m really looking forward to that.

  5. Troy @ MMA says:

    Ya 45 Huddle is right his contract is coming up. Yahoo sees the writing on the wall and they aren’t getting the traction for MMA that they got with other sports. Sites like fightopinion and sherdog are much better then yahoo so they are taking their ball and going home. Never really read their stuff anyway.

  6. RST says:

    “Satoshi Ishii books fight against Sokoudjou…”

    He can win that.

    Although there is a worry there that Sok’s only skill is being heavy handed!

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    Not entirely related but the UFC is showing a lot of recent UFC cards on Fuel. I missed a few towards the end of last year and now I’m getting a chance to catch up. I know 3 people get Fuel but its still a killer deal for me (especially since I have it in HD).

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I don’t get FuelTV in HD, but it’s still been an awesome station for the UFC fans.

      FX has basically replaced SpikeTV, only with less Unleashed shows and longer prelim shows.

      Fuel TV is a huge bonus with just a lot of great content.

      It’s one of those stations that I don’t think will ever get 1 Million for a live UFC event. But I think they might be able to solid 500,000 per show type of business once they get in HD, in more homes, and more UFC fans become aware of the station….

    • edub says:

      Which provider do you use?

  8. Josh Campbell says:

    Yeah. I did forget Sherk. I still think the arena and reach are a lot different than when Sherk popped for PEDs given the Fox contract. I wonder if Diaz won, if the would have had St. Pierre limp into the cage. They would have had numerous interviews with St. Pierre and possibly Diaz as well as other people discussing the future match up and the heat between the two of them. This would have happened prior to the news of him failing the test. I’m sure Diaz would have attended the post-fight press conference and answered many questions. Possibly on the televised post fight show. Also this division gets more press versus the lightweight division (unless BJ is champ). It could have forced the UFC’s hand some. It may not have since it was pot instead of a PED, but either way it is bad press and could reflect poorly on the UFC and possibly draw pressure from FOX. It would have been interesting either way. As a huge MMA fan, I hope we never have to deal with a major champ testing positive for PEDs, but it is a huge concern. Many fighters talk candidly about how prevalent PEDs are in the gym. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

  9. [...] Satoshi Ishii Set for Fight with Sokoudjou (FightOpinion.com) [...]

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