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National Hero to UFC Fighter

January 21, 2009

In case you’re not caught up, the following video is of 2008 Olympic Judo Gold medalist Satoshi Ishii and his “road to the UFC”.

It was quite a scandal here Japan to hear of Ishii’s decision not to compete in the next summer Olympic games and become an MMA fighter. More surprising that it’s the UFC that’s courting him and not any of the Japanese organizations. There was talk that there was no way the UFC could afford Ishii as he’s a such a big name in Japan and would command a hefty price tag.

Anyone who wins a gold medal in the Olympics becomes a superstar and reaches national hero status. I’m not sure if they’re actually concidered to be national heroes, but it’s a really big deal here in Japan. Press conferences, TV apperances and guest spots, sponsorships a’plenty.

Especially for Judo. Nothing like representing your country in a worldwide arena and taking the top spot in the sport that began in your country.

Whoa, imagine Brazilian Jiu-jitsu on the Olympic level. Wonder if it’ll happen in my lifetime.

Anyway, one small thing to note in the video, Randy Couture spars with Satoshi Ishii.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2009 2:05 am

    Over there, really nearer than devil, a kind makes me remember you and loving you, I have a God and a world of hope. I keep my head up and pride that I’m lover and didn’t forger you.

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