Satoshi Ishii has decided it is time for a new challenge. The 35 year old will be making his pro boxing debut against Shuho Takayama in Osaka next week.

Ishii comes from a judo background and won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. As a mixed martial artist he has travelled all over the world to train and compete.

Ishii has even changed his nationality to Croatia after travelling there to train with Mirko Crocop. He no longer represents Japan when he competes but the veteran has shown a willingness to compete in different countries under different rulesets.

In the last year he has competed under kickboxing rules three times for K-1. Ishii has won all three of those fights and made a successful return to MMA recently with a first round stoppage win in his adopted home of Croatia.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Satoshi Ishii (@satoshiishii0141)

New home

Ishii has been preparing for his boxing debut in Croatia. His opponent will be Shuho Takayama who made his pro debut last November and boasts a 1-0 record.

Takayama weighed in for that bout at just over 200lbs, barely above the minimum for a heavyweight fight. By contrast Ishii typically comes n at around 240lbs so he should have a significant size advantage.

Ishii has also competed in submission grappling on several occasions in the past few years. His career path has been very unconventional, from his decision to relocate to Croatia and accept nationality to his willingness to bounce around between different promotions he has taken a very unique approach.

But Ishii has also been extremely successful. There were question marks over whether the judoka would be successful in kickboxing but he has made the perfect start to his kickboxing career with three wins out of three including a KO win:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Satoshi Ishii (@satoshiishii0141)

Unique individual

There can’t be many fighters out there who have competed in MMA, submission grappling, kickboxing and boxing in the space of less than two years. But Ishii is a unique individual who is determined to do things his way.

He made his MMA debut in 2009 and has been in with the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Mirko Crocop, Jiří Procházka and Quinton Jackson. He has fought for Dream, Bellator and Rizin as well as numerous promotions in Eastern Europe.

Next week Ishii will achieve another milestone when he makes his pro boxing debut. You wouldn’t bet against him being successful in that sport either.