FEG’s ace in the hole Satoshi Ishii dropped on a bombshell in Japan earlier this week when he announced he’d rather fight for the UFC instead of DREAM, and it appears Dana White took notice.
According to MMAFighting.com, Dana White has extended an invitation to Ishii to attend UFC 92.
According to a report on Nikkan Sports, White released a statement today through WOWOW, which televises UFC events in Japan, saying that Ishii has the potential to become a great mixed martial arts fighter. White applauded Ishii’s decision to fight in the UFC and invited the judoka to Las Vegas to watch UFC 92 “The Ultimate 2008” on Dec. 27, to which Ishii has accepted.
For a man who has zero professional MMA fights, the UFC must see value somewhere in signing the Olympic gold medalist. The most logical explanation is the UFC plans to invade Japan sooner rather than later where Ishii would be an extremely valuable asset. Assuming Dana is actually interested in signing Ishii, and not flying him in to pat him on the back for bringing home Olympic gold, the big question now seems to be, can the two parties agree on terms? Ishii isn’t going to sell half a pay-per-view in the US, so it’s highly doubtful Zuffa is willing to pay him anywhere near half of what he could make in Japan, which some have estimated to be in the millions.
It would seem to be in Ishii’s best interests to get his feet wet in DREAM, make the big bucks, and then think about making the move, but who knows, maybe he’s afraid DREAM won’t send him his checks on time. I hear the next round is being sent out in 2012.
Completely unrelated to Ishii, but it does have to do with the UFC, so I thought I would tack it on this post. Apparently, Chuck Liddell is not giving up on avenging all his losses despite the fact the number of different fighters he needs to fight again keeps increasing. Forget Randy Couture and Anderson Silva, Chuck wants another shot at Keith Jardine, and to come out victorious this time, he’s plans on using skills he hasn’t used in awhile.
Chuck Liddell recently appeared as a guest on the CBS syndicated radio program, “The Tom Leykis Show”.
During the broadcast Liddell stated that he will be ready to showcase all of the skills he possesses that fans have not seen in a while.
“My next fight… I don’t know, but I will come out and use all of my skills. Hopefully from here on out this style will be effective.
Liddell also steered clear of rumors that he may be facing Anderson Silva and instead appears intent on beginning a revenge tour, starting with Keith Jardine in March.
“There’s been a few names. We have Jardine listed. We want him in March.”
Considering Jardine doesn’t have anything lined up yet, and Chuck usually gets what he wants, I’d say there’s a very good chance of this fight happening.
You have to hand it to Chuck, he sure is determined. Come hell or high water, Chuck isn’t going give up until he can say there wasn’t anyone he fought he didn’t beat.