Satoshi Ishii was supposed to be the guy who was going to save Japanese MMA. But between a retarded free agency period, Sengoku being utterly incapable of marketing him, and Ishii being generally difficult to deal with, he’s been more bust than boom. Sengoku just announced that they were planning on putting him on another one of their shows, the first since they co-promoted him for Dynamite! But instead of excitement and an interesting opponent, here’s the news that just came out:
Beijing Olympic Judo Gold Medalist and MMA fighter Satoshi Ishii announced on the 9th that he plans to return to Judo and compete in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
From now on he will train in Los Angeles and he aims at becoming an American citizen before the 2016 Olympics. The reason for that is that unlike in Japan, in the U.S. you can both be a professional fighter and compete in amateur Judo, something that is not possible in Japan.
I’m sure this will raise Ishii’s status in Japan from self-centered jerk to full blown nation traitor. It’s not that I don’t ‘get’ what Ishii is doing … the Japanese judo federation sounds like they demand their hairy balls in your mouth if you want the honor of competing for them. But the Japanese are crazy about their Olympic medalists. If Ishii keeps yapping about USA #1, you can pretty much strike him off the list of guys who’s gonna revitalize Japan (if you haven’t already).