Antz Nansen: Taro Irei | Sherdog.com

Kickboxing convert “Notorious” Antz Nansen has been forced to withdraw from his fight with 2008 Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii due to an undisclosed injury discovered during pre-fight medicals. The news was first reported by Japanese Sports Web site Sponichi.co.jp, and was later confirmed by Sherdog.com on Saturday evening.

The heavyweights were set to meet in an MMA bout at the 2010 K-1 World MAX Final in Tokyo on Monday. A search is reportedly underway by K-1 and Dream parent company Fighting and Entertainment group for a last-minute replacement opponent for Ishii.

The news comes as the latest bump in Ishii’s tumultuous young MMA career. Once the most prized prospect in Japanese MMA, the 23-year-old Ishii stumbled out of the gate with a losing effort against fellow judoka Hidehiko Yoshida on New Year’s Eve 2009. After notching a quick submission win on a small show in New Zealand, Ishii was disqualified during an exhibition bout in Hawaii on June 4 when he failed to stop punching his opponent after the bell.

Most recently, Ishii defeated fan favorite Ikuhisa Minowa via unanimous decision at September’s Dream 16 in a bout which was added to the card only three days prior to the event. At a press conference on Thursday, FEG president Sadaharu Tanigawa commented that Ishii’s potential participation in this year’s Dynamite show was to be influenced by his performance against Nansen.

Nansen, 27, made his mixed martial arts debut for Sengoku in September 2009, where he blasted 2004 Olympic silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi en route to a first-round TKO. The New Zealander’s only other MMA experience was an April submission loss to 15-year veteran Enson Inoue.

Tony Loiseleur contributed to this report

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