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Tag: New Year’s Eve 2011

Satoshi Ishii: Fedor Is a Legend, But I Will Beat Him on December 31st


(Photo courtesy of Scott Hirano. For more from this gallery, click here.)

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…

Read the interview with Ishii on Lowkick.blitzcorner.com

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Kazushi Sakuraba to Dig Out the Ol’ Orange Wrestling Briefs for DREAM/IGF New Year’s Eve Show


(Human speed-chess: Kazushi Sakuraba and Kiyoshi Tamura put in work at a UWFi show in March 1996. Video via theperfectone)

If you’re a student of Japanese MMA history like we are, you know that legendary fighter Kazushi Sakuraba got his start as a professional wrestler in the 1990s, honing his grappling chops in the UWFi and Kingdom Pro Wrestling leagues. But once he tasted success at the UFC Japan tournament in December 1997, Saku’s career shifted away from worked matches, and he soon became PRIDE’s most beloved native hero.

Now 42 years old and riding a four-fight losing streak — the last three losses by stoppage — Sakuraba has agreed to re-capture some of his lost youth in a tag-team wrestling match at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011, the New Year’s Eve show promoted by DREAM and IGF at the Saitama Super Arena. Sakuraba will team up with fellow wrestling/MMA crossover star Katsuyori Shibata, against Shinichi Suzukawa and Atsushi Sawada. (I’ve never heard of the second guy, but Suzukawa is that dude who beat Mark Coleman even though he wasn’t supposed to.)

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