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Did Ishii Leave Behind $6 million to Hang Out With Dana White?

(Yeah, they are less impressive in real life.)


Just two days after Satoshi Ishii made clear his interest in fighting for the UFC, UFC president Dana White has extended his hand to the 2008 Olympic judo gold medalist. According to a report on Nikkan Sports, White released a statement today through WOWOW, which televises UFC events in Japan, saying that Ishii has potential to become a great mixed martial arts fighter and applauding his smart decision to fight in the UFC.
White invited Ishii to watch UFC 92 "The Ultimate 2008" live in Las Vegas on Dec. 27, and Ishii has accepted. [Ed. note: Hopefully White didn't mean that Ishii could watch the event at home, on pay-per-view.] Ishii said on Wednesday that he wants to fight for the UFC instead of DREAM and plans to go in March to train with the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.

I initially doubted that the UFC would have much interest in Ishii, since he’s an MMA newbie with very little name recognition in the States (and a hefty price tag, probably). The only way this would make sense is if the UFC was planning on expanding into Japan soon, as some are suggesting. Even then it might not be worth it, unless they intend to put on as many shows in Japan as they do in the U.K. now. But Ishii is undeterred; he wants to fight in the Octagon so badly that he may be leaving an obscene amount of cash on the table in his home country. 

As Sherdog writes:

Ishii, who turned 22 on Thursday, was expected to ink a deal with Fighting and Entertainment Group and Dream, which some Japanese media outlets alleged was worth in the neighborhood of 500 million yen ($5.86 million USD), and make an in-ring appearance on New Year’s Eve to greet the crowd and announce his debut in 2009. 

I wonder how much money Ishii would make in the UFC – 40k to show/40k to win, at most? Maybe he should take FEG’s money now, establish himself in DREAM, and then bounce to the UFC when the time is right. Or would that be too logicial? Meanwhile, FEG President Sadaharu Tanigawa is trying to guilt Ishii into staying local:

"It’s unfortunate that the man with the Japanese MMA world on his shoulders is going abroad. We’d like him to become a pillar of Japanese MMA. I think it’s important to have dreams but we want him to understand that the world has an expectation of him, and this is his destiny."

You hear that, Satoshi? You are the One. Now go choke out Hong Man Choi in this New Year’s Eve freak show match. It is what you were put on Earth to do.

Cagepotato Comments

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Dana fucking White- February 1, 2009 at 12:02 am
Well fucking said!
Illegalsmyle- December 20, 2008 at 10:14 am
Ishii fucking not only wants to fucking fight in the fucking UFC, but he also hopes to learn to fucking speak better fucking English with lessons from Dana fucking White.
Derly- December 20, 2008 at 3:32 am
The big questions are, "Can he make it down to featherweight?" and "What do the Japanese think of Uriah Faber's ass-chin?"
tyler- December 19, 2008 at 6:37 pm
I believe Dana White jumps on this motherfucker.
Anonymous- December 19, 2008 at 6:21 pm
This guys an idiot if he doesn't take the money. And didn't he say he wants to fight Fedor? No chance of that in the UFC...
Anonymous- December 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm
"He is looking at that thing like he hopes there some fucking chocolate under that gold coating."

BM2- December 19, 2008 at 3:27 pm
Ishii pulls weird looking gold coins from behind his weird looking ear
Sneaky Pete- December 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm
I like the addition of an athlete of this caliber. And the fact that he is not automatically basking in the dough and national pride that seemed to be a sure thing may actually mean that he's actually concerned with fighting the best fighters and challenging himself; which begs the question, why not affliction?
Summoner10- December 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Maybe he just doesnt like Dream and how the japanese MMA scene does business? Also, like the blog post states, the uFC is likely to make a push in Japan with a signing of him and he will make boat loads of money from it.
Farthammer- December 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm
American Top Team? Great; get ready for a roided-out Ishii in his first fight missing weight.
google- December 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm
He is looking at that thing like he hopes there some fucking chocolate under that gold coating.
Richard Tucker- December 19, 2008 at 1:30 pm
Ishii has a bad case of pork-dumpling ear.