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More signs point to MMA

More on Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii from English news sources, indicating that his recent pro-Judo statements are more for show than anything else. From the Japan Times:

Despite his indecision, several sources familiar with the judoka have said that he has already made up his mind to quit. The judo federation has already said it intends to drop Ishii from its plans in preparation for the 2012 London Games.

Ishii admitted he does not plan on competing in the 2009 Judo World Championships.

“For a while, I have been thinking of not competing in next year’s world championships and freely doing what I want to do,” said Ishii, adding that he is not concerned about being dropped from the judo federation’s list of top-ranked athletes.

And from AFP:

Ishii sounded unusually cautious when he explained his intentions on Tuesday.

“I am interested in joining the world of mixed martial arts, but for now I’m focused on graduating from school,” the crewcut-sporting judoka said.

He is due to leave Tokyo’s Kokushikan University, famous for its elite athletic programmes, in March. Media reports said that several martial arts organisations are interested in him.

“I still have time and there is no use being hasty,” he said.

But judo leader Kazuo Yoshimura was furious.

“This guy turns everybody into an enemy. He’d better get out without delay,” Yoshimura, director of technical development at the All-Japan Judo Federation, told reporters.

He added that he had already counted Ishii out of his plan for the London Games.

It would be impossible for Ishii to win a ticket to London, anyway, if he does not regularly compete in international events to earn points under new International Judo Federation rules to make the sport a global tour.

So the big question now: Will Ishii fight on New Years Eve? And will it be against Fedor? Despite his abilities in Judo, I can’t imagine Ishii would be a real threat to Fedor. But considering Fedor tends to smash his hands up on a regular basis during fights, any bout is a dangerous bout as far as Affliction and Golden Boy are concerned.