Japanese Olympic judo star Satoshi Ishii will be showing up at K1’s New Years show after all, although he won’t be fighting. Instead, he’ll be there to announce the start of his MMA career, expected sometime in the spring. Ishii has said that he wanted to complete school before anything else, so March seems like a realistic rough date.
Thus ends the will he / won’t he saga that’s been going on for weeks and weeks. Basically the Japanese Judo Federation bars it’s athletes from doing anything other than Judo, and a new touring system basically treats any athlete that wants to make it to the Olympics like they’re part of a traveling circus. Between this and friction between the outspoken Ishii and Judo Federation officials, Japan now has a new star in MMA.