In another hit to the struggling Japanese MMA scene, once-heralded former Olympic judo player Satoshi Ishii could reportedly be facing retirement due to a head injury he suffered in his December 31 defeat to Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko.
According to a report published by FightOpinion, Ishii has been diagnosed with cerebral edema — essentially the swelling of the brain with fluids — in direct correlation with the blows he absorbed in his first round knockout loss to Emelianenko and has been advised never to step foot in the ring or cage again.
A decorated judo player who won a gold medal in the sport during the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, Ishii had high expectations heaped upon him when he announced his intention to compete in MMA. Though he hasn’t exactly met those expectations, Ishii has managed to put together a respectable record of 4-2-1, having picked up notable wins over Ikuhisa Minowa and Jerome Le Banner in the process.
His two career defeats have come against MMA veterans Hidehiko Yoshida and Emelianenko; he fought Paulo Filho to a draw this past September.
Ishii, who weighed 214lbs. to The Last Emperor’s 233, fought Emelianenko in the main event of DREAM’s annual New Year’s Eve show, which took place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.