Biggest Signing Of The Year!! Satoshi Ishii To SENGOKU!
A press conference was held in Tokyo today, announcing that 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo, Satoshi Ishii, has signed with World Victory Road to fight in their SENGOKU event. No debut date was announced but he is expected to debut within the year. This is easily the biggest signing of the year and a HUGE signing for WVR.
Update #1: Ishii has signed for more than one fight. He has signed a provisional contract and on Thursday he will sign the real contract at an open to fans contract signing event in Japan.
Update #2: Ishii came out to the theme of “The Last of the Mohicans” movie (he’s a fan of Rickson Gracie) and said “thank you for coming to my wedding”.
Update #3: Ishii said that his decision to debut in Japan came after discussions with various people in the U.S., Japan, and Brazil. Also, e-mails and letters from fans and his University classmates showing respect towards him made him feel that he wants to fight in front of such people in Japan. He also wants to show his grandmother a match since she might not live much longer.
When speaking about the reason he chose SENGOKU he said that in Japan, SENGOKU is the organization he respects the most. He also said that Josh Barnett will face the worlds strongest in Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction. If Josh wins he will become the strongest in the world and with a fighter like that existing in SENGOKU, it will have another attraction. Another reason is that his Judo seniors such as Yoshida, Takimoto, and Nakamura are SENGOKU fighters.
Update #4: Some of his answers from the Q&A with the press. A telephone discussion with his close friend and Sumo Wrestler Asashoryu was also part of the reason why he chose SENGOKU. For him a debut match is OK at anytime. About his future training schedule, Ishii thinks he will leave for Holland at the end of this month. He is also considering training together with Fedor.
His objective: “World champion”. He wants to fight in the Heavyweight division. When asked about if he would like to face Hidehiko Yoshida he said that he’s not in the position to choose his opponents. For him anyone is OK.
Update #5: For the open to the public contract signing on Thursday, WVR are considering an outside open space in the Metropolitan Area of Tokyo where around 3000 to 5000 persons could fit. Ishii’s contract is for 2 years. WVR’s Kokuho said that due to the signing of Ishii the amount of Heavyweight fights in SENGOKU will increase from now on.