Back in December the UFC brought in 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Satoshi Ishii, to watch UFC 92 in Las Vegas. The promotion had previously announced they had entered into exclusive negotiations with the fighter. Ishii was seen at Sengoku’s year-end show sporting UFC garb.
While in Sin City Ishii also participated in a training session with UFC hall of famer, Randy Couture. Recently in an interview with Sherdog’s Jordan Breen, Couture commented on his opinion of Ishii fighting in the UFC.
I wouldn’t throw him into the UFC for a year at least. I would have him training and fighting in that year, just not at that level. I think it would be silly to take him and throw him out there in that environment with those athletes and that kind of seasoned competition. I think the smarter thing would be to get him some smaller fights and see how he makes the transition. Get his striking up to speed, see how he competes and bring him along; he’s just starting out, gold medal or not.
In his report Breen also mentions that there have been rumors that Ishii has “been slow to acclimate to the MMA game.”
During Ishii’s visit to the United States it was reported that Dana White suggested the judoka be a contestant on the tenth season of the Ultimate Fighter. There has been no word on if these plans are moving forward.