Japan’s Satoshi Ishii will meet US fan favorite Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in tonight’s Bellator 157 main event, but the Olympic judo gold medalist isn’t planning on being a mere steeping stone for his American opponent.
“I feel great. This is a very big fight and very important to me,” Ishii told FO.
Ishii might be the underdog against Rampage, who is much more accomplished than the Japanese man when it comes to MMA. But with his Olympic grappling pedigree he plans on upsetting the odds and using a win over the former UFC champ as a springboard to success in the United States.
“Rampage is a big name in Japan also,” he explained. “This is my first fight in the United States – this is a big thing and important to me. This fight has a lot of meaning to me.”
“I want to get more name in United States and I want more success in United States,” he added.
Ishii’s grappling strength certainly poses danger for Rampage, but Rampage’s powerful striking likewise gives Satoshi much to worry about. But the outsider has been preparing diligently to deal with his opponent’s skills and is confident he can handle himself anywhere the fight goes.
“He has strong hands but I work on striking a lot recently and it is coming along,” said Ishii. “So I can strike and maybe I will bring him to the ground – this is my game because I’m more of a grappling fighter.”
He may not know how things will end, but fans can expect Ishii to be looking for the finish and thus earn their appreciation.
“I don’t know. This is fight. Who knows? Of course, I want to finish with a submission or KO/TKO, but I’m not sure. This is fight.”
Bellator 157 (a.k.a. Bellator: Dynamite 2) is one of the promotion’s biggest cards of 2016, and is the perfect platform for Ishii to get himself noticed by a large number of US MMA fans.
The event takes place June 24th at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.