Satoshi Ishii made the rounds this weekend at UFC 92 meeting Dana White and Randy Couture. According to MMA Fighting, White suggested to Ishii to start training at either Xtreme Couture or AKA (surprisingly), however, when Ishii asked about Russia (he was considering Fedor’s Red Devil team), White (not surprisingly) told him, “If you are serious about MMA, Russia is not the place you should go.” White also offered Ishii the opportunity to be a cast member on The Ultimate Fighter. Wouldn’t that be a dirty trick. Give up millions for peanuts on a worn-out reality show.
Reality show or not, it definitely looks like the UFC is making a move for Ishii considering they issued this press release announcing they’re in “exclusive negotiations.”
Earlier this month, Mr. Ishii decided that he wished to start his MMA career in the United States, and that his dream was to fight in the UFC. He made his choice to negotiate with UFC last night after watching UFC 92.
“I was impressed with the training programs here in Las Vegas and the UFC event,” said Mr. Ishii. “I am looking forward to working with the UFC and to developing my mixed martial arts skills.”
“Satoshi Ishii has the potential to be very successful in mixed martial arts,” said Dana White, UFC President. “We can’t wait to start working with Mr. Ishii, we look forward to helping him with his training, his career, and his eventual debut in a professional fight.”
Zach Arnold thinks the UFC is trying to send K-1 a message. I can’t say I disagree. Can you remember the last time the UFC issued a press release just to announce they’re negotiating with someone? I can’t.