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.”