A heavyweight bout pitting a 1992 Olympic judo gold medalist, Hidehiko Yoshida, against the 2008 winner, Satoshi Ishii, has been officially announced for Dynamite!! 2009 on New Year's Eve in Saitama, Japan.
FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa told reporters following Friday's press conference announcing the involvement of World Victory Road's Sengoku Raiden Championship at Dynamite!! 2009 that the Yoshida vs. Ishii fight will follow Sengoku onto the card. However, Yoshida sounded uncertain at the conference when asked to talk about his opponent. The fight has since been added to the card on the DREAM website.
Ishii became the talk of Japan when he won the gold medal as a 22-year-old in the over 100-kg event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and then proceeded to call out Fedor Emelianenko. But still young to MMA, Ishii traveled around the world to mold his game towards MMA. In the US, Ishii trained at the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla. and Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. In the video above, Ishii trains with UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Ishii briefly agreed to exclusive negotiations with the UFC, but the UFC allowed him to sign with Sengoku instead to develop his career.
When Yoshida sets foot inside the ring at Dynamite!! 2009, it will be nearly a year since he last fought. Yoshida participated in Sengoku's New Year's card on Jan. 4 and lost a split decision to Sanae Kikuta.