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Satoshi Ishii already signed with UFC?

apparently he already inked a deal, but is having second thoughts since FEG Dream would pay him alot more. he shoul stay with the UFC and then move on to dream later...if at all.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - by Tom Hamlin -


In recent months, the UFC has given a spate of high profile Japanese competitors the VIP treatment, fueling speculation of major signings on the Las Vegas promotion’s horizon.

Chief among those competitors to take in the UFC experience was Satoshi Ishii, the 22 year-old gold medal winner in Judo at the 2008 Olympic Games. In December, he brought the dismay of FEG head Sadaharu Tanigawa when he announced his intention to sign with the UFC after fielding a multi-million dollar offer to fight in Japan on New Year’s Eve.

"It's unfortunate that the man with the Japanese MMA world on his shoulders is going abroad," Tanigawa told Japanese media in response to the news.

Now, it appears Ishii might have re-considered his deal with FEG. In a recent interview with the media following UFC 94, UFC president Dana White confirmed that while he had indeed signed Ishii to a deal, he was unsure if the Japanese star would fulfill it.

“The thing is this: the kid’s sitting on a lottery ticket right now,” said White. “He’s being offered millions of dollars in Japan. They want him. He has to make a decision whether he wants to take the lottery ticket or come over here and work his way up and try to become the best.”

Not surprisingly, White said there was a fundamental difference between the promotional styles of the UFC and FEG.

“I don’t believe in the Japanese philosophy, let’s throw him in there and get him (expletive) murdered like Sakuraba,” he spat. “You know, the whole guts and glory thing over in Japan. I believe in taking a kid, putting him in the right weight class, moving him up, and taking time.

“If he does it the right way with us, he’ll be a superstar in Japan. It’s a much better deal for him than going in and getting executed by guys who have been fighting for a long time…because they need to make a fight right now so they can survive. See, Dream—needs him. I don’t. I want him.”

White also wants Japanese star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, who palled around with the outspoken president in the days around UFC 94. Though Yamamoto is currently on the disabled list with a knee injury, White says the K-1 and told him he wants to end his career in the Octagon—at least, the smaller one—of the WEC.

Yamamoto may participate in the second round of Dream’s upcoming featherweight tournament—an event built around him—if the promotion gives him a bye to the second round scheduled for May.

According to White, “Kid” has two fights left on his deal with FEG, and when those are done, fans can expect to see him make his WEC debut in the bantamweight division.

“We’d bring him in and give him a fight first, and then if he wins that fight, we’d let him fight Miguel (Torres),” said White.

White also says he’s in talks with UFC veteran Caol Uno, but nothing has been solidified.

As for Ishii’s decision, White—in a perhaps uncharacteristic display of contractual tolerance—said he would be willing to release the Judoka if he wanted so.

“Well, yeah, I’m going to hold on to him, I’ve got a contract with him,” White began. “But if he comes back and tells me I want to take this lottery ticket, I’ll give it to him. He needs to decide what he wants to do with his life. Just because I have a contract with him, I’m not going to try to tell him what he should do with his life. I’ve sat down and I’ve talked to him for hours on what I think he should do with his career. Now it’s up to him. You can’t force anybody to be a mixed martial arts fighter, they have to want to do it.”

 That doesn't sound anything like Dana White.

Methinks there's a lot more to this story.


Japan's Olympic Judo Gold Medalist, Satoshi Ishii, yesterday started exclusive negotiations to enter into a contract with the UFC.

Ishii, who won the gold medal in the men's over 100-kilogram event at the Beijing Olympics, arrived in Las Vegas on Christmas day to experience UFC 92. Over the next two days, Mr. Ishii toured Las Vegas and visited various MMA gyms, including the UFC Training Center and Xtreme Couture, where he trained and sparred with Randy "The Natural" Couture.

Earlier this month, Mr. Ishii decided that he wished to start his MMA career in the United States, and that his dream was to fight in the UFC. He made his choice to negotiate with UFC last night after watching UFC 92.

"I was impressed with the training programs here in Las Vegas and the UFC event," said Mr. Ishii. "I am looking forward to working with the UFC and to developing my mixed martial arts skills."

"Satoshi Ishii has the potential to be very successful in mixed martial arts," said Dana White, UFC President. "We can't wait to start working with Mr. Ishii, we look forward to helping him with his training, his career, and his eventual debut in a professional fight."

Ishii competed as a Judo heavyweight in the Olympics this year. Whether he will attempt to compete as a heavyweight or light heavyweight has yet to be decided.

The contract Dana signed with Ishii is for "exclusive negotiations" for a certain time period. Basically UFC paid Ishii money to not talk with other organisations regarding a contract. This is what Dana says he will release Ishii from if he really wants to consider fighting for FEG.

 ^  That sounds infinitely more likely to me.




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he is probably offered 50 000 or 60 000 $ from the UFC.

He should just fight with FEG and take the real money.

The guy has alreaddy earned the right to this kind of money with his judo career.

The UFC is paying Akiyama well and they know how much Ishii would be worth if they were to attempt to put on a UFC Japan, I'm sure they've offered him a lot of money but it's not going to be what those other Japanese organizations will pay him for sure.

no place for yamamoto imo. he's too small for the 155lb class.

when i first saw those pics, i thought he was slamming fools on the basketball court

 i would. would you?

I thought the fight with caol uno was already set?

According to the Japanese press, Ishii loves training with the Machida camp and has extended his stay there... he has had no time to visit and train with Team Nogueira yet. The last pic Kr0n posted is Yoshizo Machida and Ishii

I hope he signs with the UFC I'd love to see him sub the HWs in the UFC

Who's the butterface in the second to last picture?

epic tits.

Roger Gracies a more promising prospct imo if he dedicates himself to MMA