Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii has been making headlines recently for his decision to fight professionally in mixed martial arts instead of competing in the 2012 Olympics. He’s already proclaimed his desire to fight the consensus number one heavyweight in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, and now you can add two more to that list—Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic and Hong Man Choi.
Olympic Judo gold medallist Ishi: I want to fight Mirko Cro Cop
Japan’s Olympic gold medallist Satoshi Ishii has quit judo to enter mixed martial arts. His ultimate goal is to fight the likes of Mirko Cro Cop and Hong Man Choi aslo known as the “Techno Goliath.”
The Reuters articles mistakenly nicknames Mirko Filipovic as the ‘Terminator’, although the Croatian fighter has not fought under that name but is widely known among fans as ‘Cro Cop.’
‘This is a new chapter in my life and I’ll have to now started again from scratch, or with a white belt. Mixed Martials Arts have the words best fighters and I wanted to face many of them even before I won my Judo gold medal . I want to get myself in good shape and want to face the best as soon as possible. There’s no need to hide. That’s is my goal.” Said the 21 year old Ishii.
He is the third Japanese Olympic Judo champion to have switched to mixed marial arts’ also known as ultimate fighting which combines various disciplines including karate, judo, boxing and wrestling. Before him Hidehiko Yoshida, a gold medallist from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and 2000 Sydney champion Makoto Takimoto also made the switch from judo to MMA, which extremely popular in Japan.
For a man with a 0-0-0 record, you can’t say he’s not ambitious.