Biggest Signing Of The Year!! Satoshi Ishii To SENGOKU!

Ishii after Machida training

Ishii after Machida training

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.

  1. clamrice
    June 1, 2009 at 7:30 am

    hells yeah

  2. whomever
    June 1, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Ishii vs. Roger Gracie would be excellent. Another Jiu-jitsu vs. Judo billing.

  3. BM2
    June 1, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Oh my

  4. Joseph
    June 1, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Roger Gracie left Sengoku for Strikeforce.

  5. Joseph
    June 1, 2009 at 8:44 am

    This was a reply to whomever.

  6. whomever
    June 1, 2009 at 9:18 am

    ORLY? I did not know that.

  7. Minowa
    June 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I’m glad he’s signing with a japanese organization and not with UFC!

  8. Hoyce Hacie
    June 1, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    What do you mean he left Sengoku?

    There is nothing that I know that stops a Sengoku fighter from taking part in Strikeforce promotions.

    The head of Strikeforce has repeatedly said that he wants to bring in japanese fighter like Aoki and Mach and Overeem to fight in the US and that his years of working with japanese promotions should come in handy to permit fighters to fight on both sides of the ocean.
    I would presume that such an arrangement would work both ways.

    Overeem is still Strikeforce champion since 2007 even though he has fought in DREAM and Holland since then so I dont think Scott Coker is a dick in that sense.

    And can someone explain to me why his name is Roger Gracie when he is Gracie from his mom’s side of the family and usually people take their fathers name (unless there is some schism/hatred of father)?
    Is it his ‘showbiz’ name or is his legal name really Gracie?
    Could his kids be “Gracie” too?
    I get ‘why’ he chooses to (I think everybody does), Im just curious if there is more to the story.

  9. Hoyce Hacie
    June 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I get that Ishii is the hot new thing because of Beijing but how is he going to do different that the judokas that came before him that were much, much more accomplished, decorated and experienced?
    (Dont say he is younger.)

    I saw Beijing and the All-Japan that he won and he is good but I havent seen anything about him which indicates that he would be different/better.

    The 19 french kid who won the judo worlds and europeans is noticeable because he is 6ft9 and about 280 so in that case the size/speed combination is breathtaking and makes you salivate about what he could do.

  10. CJN
    June 1, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Teddy Riner! That’s who I want to see in MMA.

    Ishii is obviously a GREAT signing for Sengoku though.

  11. June 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Which judoka before him was much, much more decorated than him besides Yoshida and Nastula?

    If you don’t want me to say younger I’ll say that one of many reasons is that he was on top in Judo when he made the switch.

    Another reason is that he knows what it takes. He has already trained with several top fighters around the world, he knows who the best fighters in the world are, he loves MMA. He is knowledgeable about MMA.

    He has trained MMA for over a year now. Many who make the switch immediately sign with an org (or the org is the reason why they made the switch) and fight a month later with two weeks of MMA training.

    For more reasons, read this post:

  12. June 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    He has left SENGOKU. They aren’t on good terms after the whole injury thing before Roger’s fight against Wiuff.

  13. wentz
    June 2, 2009 at 4:35 am

    He did the right thing. Fighters have to realize signing with zuffa is putting your signature on your own death certificate.

  14. June 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Wow! Looking forward to see this guy fight.

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