Remember Satoshi Ishii? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. Only 23 years of age (Christ, I’m old), Ishii took the gold medal in Beijing in the heavyweight division. In the wake of being photographed with UFC apparel and rumored to travel stateside for MMA training, Ishii signed a contract with World Victory Road to participate on their New Year’s Eve card. The Japanese MMA scene being what it is, the show scheduled to mark Ishii’s debut was canceled, and the bout was moved to Dynamite!! 2009 as a co-promoted show. Japanese MMA matchmaking being what it is, Ishii was given a veteran in MMA that also happened to be an amazing judoka in Hidehiko Yoshida and lost via decision.
Since then, Ishii has rebounded with three straight wins. I like how Wikipedia goes out of its way to mention that his fight against Minowaman was “open weight”, as though Ikuhisa ever fought fighters his own size. Anyway, even at 3-1 and a recent kimura win over Katsuyori Shibabta (4-10-1 career record), Ishii’s potential has been largely overlooked as a result of the loss to Yoshida. Luckily, this is MMA – if you have no name value, you can just crib off of somebody else, even if there is little or no chance of them being able to shut you up.
Zach Arnold (original posting available here, in case you can read hieroglyphics) is now reporting that Ishii is unhappy with the prospect of fighting for K-1 Max on NYE. His hypothetical dream opponent? I’ll give you a hint: the last time he finished a guy not named Ken Shamrock was before 9/11 (Elvis Sinosic by cut) and hasn’t won a fight in four years.
How far have you fallen when a guy that lost to a 1992 gold medalist is calling you out?