When Judo Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii announced that he was preparing to compete in mixed martial arts in 2008 it was treated as big news in his native Japan, but after a luke-warm spell in the sport he’s not set to return back to his roots.
Today Ishii announced that he is now setting his sights on competing in Judo at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Interestingly, while he won his gold medal while competing for Japan, he is now looking to obtain an American citizenship and compete for the U.S.
Ishii’s first MMA debut came at Dynamite! 2009 where he put in a lackluster performance in the heavyweight division against Hidehiko Yoshida that ended in a decision loss and suggested that the Judokan was going to have a hard time making the transition to MMA.
Thought he’s since posted four victories, including wins over Ikuhisa Minowa and Jerome Le Banner, he’s failed to make a big impression.
This year Ishii looked to be furthering his career by agreeing to fight for Strikeforce, but his debut earlier this month was called off due to VISA issues, and it seems now he’s decided to simply hang up his gloves instead.