Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii Wants to Fight Mirko Cro Cop, Hong Man Choi in MMA Ring

After Satoshi Ishii won the Olympic judo gold medal, he promptly said he'd like to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a mixed martial arts match.

That doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, but Ishii is ready to try MMA, and he has his sights set on a couple of well-known opponents, the former Pride star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and the Korean giant Hong Man Choi.

Ishii is quoted in an article at dnevnik.hr saying that he knows he's starting from scratch in MMA, but he would like to fight a big name like Cro Cop, who is back to fighting in Japan after an unsuccessful stint in UFC, or Choi, the 7-foot-2 kickboxer who took on Fedor last New Year's Eve.

An English translation of the article is below.

(Translation courtesy of our friends at betwwx.)

Olympic Judo gold medalist Ishii: I want to fight Mirko Filipovic

Japan's Olympic gold medalist 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, also known as the "Techno Goliath."

[The article mistakenly nicknames Mirko Filipovic "Terminator"; 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 start from scratch again, or with a white belt," said the 21-year-old Ishii. "Mixed martial arts has the world's 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 is my goal."

He is the third Japanese Olympic judo champion to have switched to mixed marital arts, also known as Ultimate Fighting, which combines various disciplines including karate, judo, boxing and wrestling. Before Ishii, Hidehiko Yoshida, a gold medalist from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and 2000 Sydney champion Makoto Takimoto also made the switch from judo to MMA, which extremely popular in Japan.

Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii Wants to Fight Mirko Cro Cop, Hong Man Choi in MMA Ring originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on Tue, 04 Nov 2008 13:07:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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