In an attempt to know what the fuck I’m talking about regarding Japan and it’s fighters, I was following the whole Satoshi Ishii saga quite closely. Ishii won a gold medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics, which makes him a ‘BIG DEAL’ in Japan. He burned his judo bridges by announcing his intention to compete in MMA instead of preparing for another Olympics, and then burnt some more bridges when it was announced that he had signed with the UFC instead of a Japanese promotion.
But yesterday out of the blue Ishii announced that he had signed a 2 year contract with Sengoku. A whole bunch of reasons were provided – the standard “I want to represent Japan in Japan blah blah blah do good honor” – but I kinda wonder if this is really the result of the UFC still not having it’s Japanese shit together.
Whatever the case, the UFC’s loss is Sengoku’s gain. And honestly, Sengoku needs this more than the UFC does. Regardless of the fact that Ishii has been diligent in training with quality camps since his intention to fight in MMA was revealed, he’s still a total newb and I was giving him a 50/50 chance of flopping even against some of the UFC’s more embarrassing heavyweights. In Japan, Ishii will be nurtured (or not, Japan is strange sometimes with their Judo guys) and even if he loses, it’s no big deal because the Japanese don’t seem to give a shit about records.
All in all, it’s a better fit than the UFC. I just wonder why the hell we all had to go on that retarded Ishii merry-go-round just to end up back in the same place we started.
(Thanks to the Larsenator for the initial heads up!)