We told you a couple of weeks ago that 2008 Olympic judo gold medallist, Satoshi Ishii had made it very clear he only wanted to fight for the UFC and Dana White having got word of this, invited Ishii to UFC 92 this weekend.
MMAFighting.com is reporting that Ishii arrived in Las Vegas and met with UFC president Dana White at the MGM Grand on Friday. Ishii expressed a desire to train in the U.S. and asked White for recommendations. White suggested AKA in San Jose or Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas to the Japanese judoka.
Ishii mentioned that he had considered training with Fedor and Team Red Devil in Russia. White assured Ishii that the best training for MMA was not to be found in Russia, but in the United States. In fact, White invited Ishii to stay in Las Vegas and train at Xtreme Couture for one month. White told him he would learn about real MMA fighters through training with the best and then he would evaluate Ishii based upon feedback from the Xtreme Couture trainers.
White also suggested the alternative of fighting his way up on a season of “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV. Ishii weighs 238 pounds and said he wanted to fight at heavyweight but White said that he should fight at light heavyweight.
Whatever happens with Ishii, it is refreshing to see MMA being validated time and again with high level Olympic athletes making the transition into the sport. The quality of fighters and fighting will continue to evolve.
Editor’s Note: You can view White’s meeting with Satoshi Ishii in White’s UFC 92 video blog #4 here.