Satoshi Ishii Wants To Beat Pedro Rizzo, Climb The Ranks
By Michael Hatamoto
Olympic medalist judoka Satoshi Ishii will step into the MMA spotlight again when he fights MMA legend Pedro Rizzo later this month at IGF Genome 26.
Ishii first entered MMA in 2009, after capturing an Olympic gold medal in the +100kg judo weight division at the Beijing Olympics.
I’m still not sold on Ishii even though he holds wins against the likes of Minowa, Jerome Le Bannerand, Tim Sylvia – but was knocked out by Fedor Emelianenko and fought to a draw against Paulo Filho. However, fighting Rizzo is another step up in competition against a well-known MMA veteran and is a winnable fight for the 26-year-old Judoka.
Ever since his knockout loss to Emelianenko, fight promoters looked to create matchups for Ishii against MMA competition he could beat. He has a black belt in judo and brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – and training in the United States has helped his overall fight game – so I believe Rizzo will be in trouble if he is unable to land a few heavy leg kicks and punches to distract Ishii.
I don’t think Ishii is ready for the UFC, but if he beats Rizzo later this month, it would be great to see him compete in the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) or Bellator. Both promotions would give him a major US platform to reintroduce himself to casual MMA fans – and rack up some wins to see what he should do with his MMA career in the future.
The only bit of advice I can offer him is to increase his MMA training and decrease his gi judo workouts, as he needs to focus on striking, wrestling, and no-gi submission fighting.