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UFC begins contract talks with Satoshi Ishii

Editor’s Note: Content from this article appears courtesy of CBSSports.com.

After winning the gold medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a heavyweight, Satoshi Ishii was immediately recruited by various Japanese MMA companies. However, Ishii said that the organization he wants to fight for the most is the U.S. based UFC.

Ishii was at UFC 92 in Las Vegas to see Frank Mir defeat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to win the interim heavyweight championship.

“His dream is to fight in the UFC someday,” said UFC President Dana White. “He wants to be a mixed martial artist, and he wants to do it here.”

Ishii’s visit to the States was not just to watch the matches. He will be talking with the UFC about his future.

“I’m sitting down with him and his management to try and figure out how to make it happen without bringing him directly into the UFC because that’s not the right road to go,” White said. “But we are going to help him with his career.”

White said that he wants Ishii to be in the UFC but not right away.

“He’s a big kid, and he’s determined,” said White. “He wants to fight in the UFC and I have to figure out how to do it without him getting murdered – literally and figuratively. Murdered in Japan (for fighting in the U.S.) or killed over here in the UFC.”

4 COMMENTS
  • matt says:

    i hope this isn’t all talk and the fact that it sounds like in Japan he’s pretty much hated now he can’t fight there…but if they start with him slowly I bet he can make a huge transition

  • Beef Bus says:

    He a better acquisition than Lesnar was.

  • PoonHandler says:

    Another reason why Zuffa shouldn’t have merged the WEC’s MW and LHW divisions into the UFC so soon. You mean to tell me he couldn’t hang with Stann, Cantwell, the Rhino, just to name a few? I think he could. That’s why Zuffa needs to acquire an upstart smaller promo, to send all these guys…like the NAAFS. Regardless, this kids going to be special, handle with caution

  • Greg says:

    He should have to work his way to the UFC thru smaller shows ! Judo gold medalist! much respect but let’s be real here MMA / judo huge difference! Dana is exactly right if the kid can fight go out and prove it outside the ufc and make it there through the blood sweat and tears every aspiring professional MMA ‘er puts forth!!!! I don’t care what people say about lesnar he won he beat 45 yr old Randy …Mir gonna put him in his place… AGAIN!! Lesnar Kimbo – they threw these guys out there with what a yr or so of complete MMA traing ( muay thai , bjj , boxing , wrestling ) and are given main events on ppv huge paychecks … I believe Kimbo made 500,000 $ to get ko’ed in 14 secs sick ! in my opinion its bad for the sport…. and MMA has made so many strides and jumped over so many hurdles to finally be taken serious in the eyes of the american sports fan …. not just some tuff man competion with combatants picked off the local bar stools!!!!!!!!!!!!

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