By Anton Gurevich
A week away from his encounter with Fedor Emelianenko at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011, it seems like not many people are giving 2008 Olympic Games Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii a chance to get his hand raised at the Saitama Super Arena. After all, Ishii will be entering just his seventh professional MMA bout, as he currently holds a record of 4-1-1.
However, Ishii’s career decisions speak for themselves. The 25-year-old Judo phenom left his comfort zone in Japan to pursue a full-time Mixed Martial Arts career in the U.S. Ishii become a student of the game by training under Muay Thai extraordinaire Ed Buckley, and touring between some of the most famous gyms on the west coast.
Ishii could easily be labeled one of the most high-profile martial artists currently competing in the sport. The fight with Fedor could serve as a turning point for the decorated Judoka, who has set himself a clear goal of becoming one of the best MMA fighters on the planet. It’s an opportunity Satoshi Ishii will take full advantage of, especially when fighting on his home turf in Japan.
We had an opportunity to speak to Satoshi Ishii, who shared his thoughts about the December 31st date with “The Last Emperor,” and his preparations coming up to the fight…