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UFC in 'Exclusive Negotiations' With Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii

Satoshi Ishii, the Japanese heavyweight who won a gold medal in judo in Beijing, has said from the moment he got off the medal stand that he would like to try mixed martial arts.

Now the world's premier MMA organization, the UFC, says it's in "exclusive negotiations" to sign Ishii. From
"I was impressed with the training programs here in Las Vegas and the UFC event," said Mr. Ishii. "I am looking forward to working with the UFC and to developing my mixed martial arts skills."

"Satoshi Ishii has the potential to be very successful in mixed martial arts," said Dana White, UFC President. "We can't wait to start working with Mr. Ishii, we look forward to helping him with his training, his career, and his eventual debut in a professional fight."

It's not quite clear what "exclusive negotiations" means, and until a contract is signed, this isn't a huge deal. But it is a sign that the UFC is serious about making an impact in Japan.

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