Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii (36-Croatia) is returning to the American mixed martial arts scene after a 1374-day absence (3 years, 9 months, 5 days). He renounced his Japanese citizenship in 2019, but has remained connected to the sport, competing in a K-1 match in March of this year.
The Boeing Center @ Tech Fort (capacity 3,100) in San Antonio, Georgia, USA, will host the quarterfinals of the 2023 Professional Fighters League light heavyweight (-93㎏) and featherweight (-66㎏) tournaments on August 4 (local time). The event will be broadcast in South Korea on IB SPORTS.
Ishii will take on Danilu Marques (38-Brazil) in a heavyweight (-120㎏) showcase match. The PFL is considered one of the next best American organizations after the UFC from its World Series of Fighting days from 2012-2017.
The PFL organizes mixed martial arts competitions the way major sports do, with a league plus playoffs to crown a champion. Ishii and Marquez both competed in the PFL heavyweight regular season in 2019, and both went 1-1 this season.
Four years ago, Ishii was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Marquez finished seventh in the 2023 regular season and failed to advance to the semifinals. The PFL has been running the $1 million (about 1.3 billion won) tournament since 2021, with the quarterfinals reduced from eight to four.
Ishii was recognized as a top prospect in judo -100 kg after winning the 2004 Asian and World Youth Championships. After a silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games, she moved up a weight class to win the unlimited at the 2007 FISU World Games (Universiade) and the +100 kg at the 2008 Olympics.
His dominance in an event with no weight limit meant he became the undisputed world number one. That’s why the judo world was shocked when Ishii switched to mixed martial arts in 2009.
Today, Ishii is a 38-fight mixed martial arts veteran with a 26-1-1 record. His unanimous decision victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia (47-U.S.) is arguably his biggest accomplishment.
Heath Herring (45-USA), a former Pride champion who has fought in UFC title fights against the likes of Pedro Hiju (49-Brazil) and Jeff Monson (52-USA), is also an accomplishment. Japan’s Pride was the premier promotion in mixed martial arts before being absorbed by the UFC in 2007.
Ishii is also 1-3-1 in submission grappling from 2016 to 2018, 3-1-1 in K-1 kickboxing from 2021 to 2023, and 1-1-1 in professional boxing from 2022 to 2023. Not content with being one of the best in the world at judo, Marquez also competes in a variety of combat sports. 먹튀검증
Marquez went 2-2 in the UFC from 2020-2022 after becoming the Brazilian Gladiator Combat Fight middleweight (-84 kg) champion. For Ishii, overcoming his size disadvantage will be key, with a height of 180-198 centimeters and a wingspan (arms + shoulders) of 188-197 centimeters.