The Japan Times Online has reported that Olympic gold medalist Satsohi Ishii will retire from MMA and return to judo. In a surprising twist, the 24-year-old claims that he wants to earn citizenship in the U.S. and compete in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Ishii defeated Uzbekistan’s Abdullo Tangriev to claim the gold medal in the over 100 kg class at the 2008 Olympics. He almost immediately announced his intentions to fight MMA. Rumors began circling immediately about a possible match up with Fedor Emelianenko on New Year’s Eve, but the bout never materialized.
The Judoka then went on a worldwide training trip. He worked with several top MMA teams including Machida Dojo and Xtreme Couture. Ishii finally made his debut at Dynamite!! 2009. He dropped his debut against fellow gold medalist Hidehiko Yoshida.
Since his debut, Ishii has won four-straight professional fights. He also sandwiched in an amateur victory in Hawaii. In his last fight, he took a unanimous-decision victory over two-time K-1 World Grand Prix runner up Jerome Le Banner.
Ishii was scheduled to make his mainland U.S. debut against Scott Lighty at Strikeforce Challengers 15, but he pulled out of the bout due to visa issues. Shortly after his pull out, it was revealed he was also going through a divorce.