KSW Announces Signing of Japanese Standout Satoshi Ishii

Satoshi Ishii
Satoshi Ishii Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Japanese heavyweight Satoshi Ishii, who has shared the cage with the likes of Sylvia, Cro-Cop, and Rampage, has signed with Poland’s KSW.

Japan’s Satoshi Ishii finally has a new home, though it has not come without a little confusion along the way. On Monday, Poland’s KSW announced that they had signed the fighter, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Judo. Ishii has flirted with the big leagues for years, fighting in both Bellator MMA and RIZIN FF from 2015 to 2017. Yet after going just 1-3 across four fights between those promotions, he wound up fighting in Europe, going 4-1 in his past five bouts.

Initially, Ishii had posted on social media that he was signing a deal with the Professional Fighters League. However, a PFL representative told Cageside Press after that posting that they had no comment, and had not yet begun building their roster for 2019, despite the story appearing on multiple media outlets.

Now, it appears he will be with KSW for the immediate future.

“I am happy welcome Ishii to KSW,” said KSW CEO Martin Lewandowski in Monday’s press release. “He is one on the finest martial artists on the planet. His credentials in judo speak for themselves and has become a force in MMA with wins over KSW, UFC, ADCC, and K1 champions. I am very excited to see him step foot into the KSW arena and see what he produces.”

With a record of 19-8-1, Ishii holds notable wins over Heath Herring, Tim Sylvia, Pedro Rizzo, Jeff Monson, and, in an interesting coincidence, current KSW heavyweight champion Phil De Fries. A rematch between the two would certainly be interesting. Ishii has also shared the cage with the likes of Mirko Cro-Cop, Rampage Jackson, King Mo, and Russian standout Ivan Shtyrkov.