Satoshi Ishii entered the world of mixed martial arts with what were, in all likelihood, unfair expectations of greatness. It only took one bout, a debut loss against veteran Hidehiko Yoshida, for him to be written off as mostly hype by many fans. Since rattling off four wins and a draw (should be five wins), the 25 year old Ishii has somewhat rekindled interest in his future, and now a chance to face Fedor Emelianenko on New Year's Eve has him set to finally make the big splash many fans were hoping for.
Lowkick's Anton Guervich had a chance to ask Ishii some questions about the upcoming fight and it resulted in a very interesting interview. A small sample:
Many people say Fedor is a clear favorite against you. Do you like being the underdog, or it's something that gets in your head?
That is fine that people consider Fedor the favorite. And it does not bother me at all that everyone thinks that I am the underdog. Less pressure for me. He is the one who has the most to lose going 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
What in your opinion is your biggest advantage coming to this fight? How do you see your Judo skills coming in effect against Fedor Emelianenko?
I would not say that I have any real advantage over Fedor the man is a legend and has faced all styles. But I am confident wherever this fight goes. Whether we stand and trade or on the ground. As far as my Judo against him, well yes I do feel my Judo will play a big part of this fight if he decides to clinch with me.
Ishii also discusses training in America for this fight and being a Japanese fighter facing Fedor on a New Year's Eve card. Go give the full interview a read.