Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii challenges Fedor

Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Japanese Olympic gold medalist in judo, Satoshi Ishii, challenged Fedor Emelianenko this past week after winning his medal:

In Beijing, China, after winning the gold medal in the superheavyweight division in judo this past week, Japan’s Satoshi Ishii said he wanted to fight “Emelianenko Fedor,” as the legendary Russian fighter is known in Japan.

With Ishii becoming a national hero in Japan and the sport fading in popularity, such a match would draw the kind of interest that Emelianenko against a top fighter could never do.

With the way that Japanese fans love their freakshow MMA fights it’s very possible that this fight could be put together for New Year’s Eve. As long as Fedor’s hand is ready to go it’s probably a sure thing that he will be fighting on New Year’s Eve in Japan but the opponent is not yet known. As of two weeks ago, it was reported that Fedor would either fight a “judo legend or a sumo wrestler” on New Year’s Eve. Ishii fits the bill for that description especially now that he’s locked up the gold medal at this year’s Olympic games. Judokas who win gold medals are national heroes in Japan and a fight with Fedor, who is also adored in Japan, is a big time money fight for the Japanese.

Ishii has never fought in MMA and would likely be in for a serious beating but if a struggling promotion like DREAM could put this fight on it would go a long way towards helping them survive through the end of 2008.

14 COMMENTS
  • DocWagner says:

    A similar comparison would be “United States ‘professional wrestler’ challenges the UFC heavyweights”…oh yeah, Lesnar is already doing that. Hmmm, at least the Judoka has a medal.

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  • Davey D says:

    This guy probably doesn’t stand a chance but you’ve got to give it to him for challenging Fedor. In this case, Ishii may very well get his wish. Emelianenko loves the Japanese and is so very well respected there by the people.

    With the money he’ll get combined with his legacy amongst his fans there. It is safe to say he’ll be there on NYE unless he can not perform.

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  • Bruce says:

    Would it be an MMA match or some kind of modified rules grappling/Judo/Sambo match?

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  • Davey D says:

    Ishii said he wanted to fight Fedor so I guess he means MMA. I don’t think it would be worth doing for anything else. Like if Ishii beat Fedor in a Judo match, it kinda should happen ya’ know? Just like Fedor should win in a Sambo match. Ishii said he wants to fight so them’s fightin’ words to me. MMA is the way to go.

    Plus, we know they’ll fight in a ring if they do. For what it’s worth, I don’t mind these kind of fight’s. Just not all the time. This sort of thing has been a part of the game in Japan for a long time.

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  • Ronnie Liddle says:

    I haven’t seen any of Ishii’s fights in Beijing (and i suppose anywhere else for that matter) but i wonder how he’d go without the Gi. And if he’s had any experience with MMA before. seems like a big call to just up and challenege Fedor for no other reason then the $$$. Does anyone know if he’s been in the cage before and the result(s)?

    alas a pounding for Ishii awaits…

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  • TFK says:

    If Fedor was truly the best, he’d want to always fight the best.

    That just hasn’t been the case in recent years.

    This fight is a joke and has no business happening.

    TFK

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  • Damo says:

    Long live the legend of Fedor.

    The Japs will be passing around a mop after this one to clean up the mess.

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  • mikee says:

    You just couldn’t refrain from being ignorant and using the word “japs” could you? Maybe no ill intent was meant but perhaps you educate yourself next time before you anger, or at the very least make people uncomfortable.

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  • rob says:

    hey doc — don’t forget that Brock was also a national champion D-I wrestler – and that happens all the time (college wrestlers wanting to test the MMA waters) True he was a “pro wrestler” but that was the viable option at the time – see: Kurt Angle

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  • Imbecile says:

    Adam, you are right that this fight could go a long way towards helping out a struggling promotion like Dream. But if this is the kind of fight Dream is going after, do we really want them to survive?

    I know, I know. Competition is great, and all that. But as a fan of the sport, I’m not rooting for all of these promotions to succeed just because they feature MMA. I am for real, serious competition in the industry that gives us real, serious MMA fights. This sport will never be taken seriously, and never be taken to the next level of mainstream popularity if its greatest champion continues to take fights that are sideshow acts.

    The irony in DocWagner’s first comment on this post is that the “professional wrestler” is the one taking MMA seriously, and MMA’s legendary heavyweight champion is treating MMA as though it were a spectacle, not a real sport.

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  • Mike says:

    “you have to give it to him for challenging fedor”…. why? I’d challenge fedor too just for the money, which is what hes doing, anyone can take an ass kicking for enough mula

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  • rob enderle says:

    DREAM has had EXCELLENT cards this year. You may be a UFC nuthugger so if I told you Manhoef you’d probably have a dumb look on your face.

    They are doing NOTHING different than PRIDE and other japanese promos have dont in the past. The jap love a fight as much as a freak show or one of those 60-100pounds david vs goliath battles. They also love seeing a Sakuraba getting his ass kicked.

    If DREAM goes under, then another willcome take its place. This is japan, where people live martial arts and love it.

    Besides, its in Japan, so you probably couldnt find with your ass in your hands,.

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  • Damo says:

    Mikee – You need to get out more. If I was looking for a reaction, trust me, there’s a whole range of shit I could have said to achieve it.

    But hey, if you wanna start pissing in the same cup – Best not be calling me an Aussie from now on. I think the shortened version of my place of birth to be both offensive and derogatory. So watch it or else i’ll be forced to report such outbursts to a moderator.

    *rolls eyes*

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  • tom says:

    what about if he called you aussie jap?

    anyways, this fight has my interest just because there is some level of status to a gold medal having recently been watching the games and the level of athleticism and endurance of the performers is stunning, if perhaps not specifically in the case of the judo matches which I didn’t see.

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