Despite entering exclusive contract negotiations with the UFC in December, Japanese Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii has passed on the world’s largest promotion, signing instead with World Victory Road’s Sengoku.
In December, Ishii traveled to Las Vegas to train at Xtreme Couture alongside 5-time UFC champion Randy Couture and attended UFC 92, where he was featured during the pay-per-view broadcast. Though he was rumored to have already signed with the UFC, a deal was apparently never struck, with Ishii opting to make his MMA debut in his home country with Sengoku.
The heavyweight prospect, who earned the gold medal last summer in Beijing in the men’s over 100-kilogram division, is expected to debut before year-end, though no date or opponent has yet been confirmed.
[Pictured: Satoshi Ishii]