Satoshi Ishii won the Olympic judo heavyweight gold medal in Beijing, and that made him a star in Japan.
But the 21-year-old Ishii is giving up on judo and taking his talents to a new sport: mixed martial arts. The Japanese newspaper Sports Nippon is reporting (via FightOpinion.com) that Ishii will make his MMA debut at the New Year's Eve at K-1 Dynamite event at Saitama Super Arena.
Ishii has been talking about switching to MMA since almost the moment the gold medal was put around his neck; he challenged Fedor Emelianenko in August and has been talking about MMA regularly since then. With few opportunities to make a living in Olympic sports like judo, taekwondo and wrestling, MMA is likely to be the professional option for increasing numbers of Olympians.
Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii to Make MMA Debut on New Year's Eve originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on 2008-10-28T22:13:00+00:00. Please see our terms for use of feeds.