According to Strikeforce, 2008 Judo Olympic Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii has been forced out of this weekend’s “Strikeforce Challengers” fight with Scott Lighty due to visa issues. Unbeaten Lorenz Larkin has agreed to step in at the 11th hour.
“Lorenz is a talented, undefeated fighter whose aggression and power make him a threat in the light heavyweight division,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. “He’s in for a tough test against Scott Lighty, who has trained with some of the sport’s best like Chuck Liddell. This is the biggest fight of his young career.”
Ishii owns a 4-1 MMA record, but has been perfect since his forgettable professional debut. He was last seen posting a unanimous decision win over Jerome Le Banner at “Dynamite!! 2010” this past New Year’s Eve.
Unfortunately, the Japanese star has been stuck in his homeland for the past several weeks trying to secure a visa in order to fight. For now, his highly anticipated stateside debut will have to wait.
“This is definitely a step up for me, but I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge,’’ Larkin said. “Lighty’s a good fighter with a lot of experience. But I’ve trained hard, I’m in good shape and I’m confident.’’
Larkin owns a perfect 8-0 professional record.
Saturday’s show takes place inside the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California. Showtime will broadcast the card beginning at 11PM ET/PT.
Former body builder Justin Wilcox will fight Rodrigo Damm in the night’s featured contest. Wilcox has emerged as a legitimate contender in the lightweight division, while Damm is looking to fight his way into the title mix.