For someone who's never fought in a single mixed martial arts bout, 2008 Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii is sure making a lot of noise.
Ishii was expected to make his mixed martial arts debut last New Year’s Eve at the FieLDS Dynamite!! supershow scheduled for December 31. He verbally agreed to sign with Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) and even held a fan club celebration party on November 3.
Then out of nowhere, Ishii retracted his commitment and announced he would pursue a career in the United States for The Ultimate Fighting Championship.
"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 put my Judo gold medal to use. I believe my name value will attract the UFC."
The 22-year old Ishii was apologetic for his failure to commit, and his hero status took a serious hit when he headed to the famed American Top Team (ATT) camp to begin his quest.
Now it appears that pursuit is also going by the wayside, as Ishii reportedly wants to consider some stateside competition, namely the "T-shirt guys" over at Affliction according to Nightmare of Battle.
Maybe Ishii hasn't been keeping up with the times, but UFC President Dana White hasn't been very forgiving to fighters who play footsies with Atencio and Co.
It should also be noted that this hardly the first time Ishii has made waves in the world of MMA.
After winning his gold medal in Beijing, Ishii issued an open challenge to heavyweight deity Fedor Emelianenko. I guess he didn’t see what Fedor did to silver medalist Naoya Ogawa at PRIDE Final Conflict back in 2004.
Fedor of course smiled and went about his business, as Ishii has yet to prove that he can transition from Judo to mixed martial arts - and a few questions have been raised of his ability to strike (or be struck).
In addition, his Judo Federation doesn’t seem too keen on the idea of him making the jump from Judo to mixed martial arts, despite Ishii’s persistence.
From Tokyo’s Kokushikan University program leader Kazuo Yoshimura:
"This guy turns everybody into an enemy. He’d better get out [of Japan] without delay."
I don't know who's steering the boat on the open waters of Lake Ishii, but it sounds to me like the Captain is about to go down with his ship.