2008 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Satoshi Ishii has finalized his decision to retire from the sport of judo and begin his career in mixed martial arts. Nikkansports has reported that today the 21 year old Olympic standout has informed Japanese judo officials of his intention to leave judo to compete in mixed martial arts. Standing at 5’11” and weighing a solid 235-240 pounds this incredible athlete is likely to make a significant impact in mma’s heavyweight division in the months and years to come.
Back in August Satoshi Ishii made headlines just after he won the gold when he made a bold challenge aimed at none other than heavyweight king, Fedor Emelianenko. Whether this specific fight will take place remains to be seen but Ishii may run into some problems if he makes his debut against a man as skilled and experienced as Emelianenko.
On October 24th Daily Times, Pakistan reported that Satoshi Ishii had announced his intentions when he attended an annual autumn garden party hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Akasaka Palace. When Ishii was asked by Emperor Akihito about his intentions to compete in the 2012 Olympics in London Ishii said that he did not intend to compete in the 2012 Olympics and that he was going in a different direction.
There has been a lot of talk and speculation about the Judo gold medalist’s future since his challenge directed at Fedor Emelianenko and recent interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. A good amount of it has centered around the possibility that Ishii could very well likely make an appearance at the K-1 Dynamite New Years Eve card. Whether he will be making his mma debut or just announcing his intention to fight for Dream is also up to speculation at this point but one thing is for certain and that is that Ishiida will be arriving very shortly and people are already starting to take notice.