Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Even though, I was disappointed with DEEP's choice to put Sugiyama on their last card, DEEP is beginning to put more women's matches on their normal DEEP cards. Former Valkyrie/Jewels Match-Maker Yasuko Mogi (3-9) will be facing off against Tomo Maesawa (1-3). While it is good that DEEP is putting women's matches onto their normal cards, this is not the talent that they should be showcasing. The WMMA fights on the DEEP cards should create interest in the DEEP JEWELS cards, almost like advertising if you will. When you are advertising you want to show your best or highlight your product.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why Sugiyama?

Courtesy of Sherdog

Last night, I stayed up an watched the DEEP Show. Besides watching some entertaining fights, I came away with one thought. Why Sugiyama? This is not meant as a personal attack but why has DEEP chosen to promote her above all of the other available women already on their roster? This is a roster that has Ayaka Hamasaki, Mizuki Inoue and Hee Seo Ham all of whom are in the top 10 of their divisions.

Since her return to MMA, Sugiyama has compiled a 4-0-1 record. So you may be asking why I'm questioning their choice of poster girl?

Chisa Yonezawa 1-6
Sung Eun Kim 0-2
Yurika Nakakura 2-1*
Megumi Yabushita 19-22
Jin Yun Kim 0-0-1*

*made their debut against Sugiyama

Since her return, she has never faced an opponent that had a positive record. I don't know if the UFC adding 135 and TUF showcasing some of the younger talent, has affected me but Sugiyama looked terrible last night. It all looked sloppy, she had to take time-outs to put her pony-tail back in and she was pushed around the entire last round. If it had been a 3 round fight, she stood a good chance of losing.

Even though I don't like the idea of building a division around one woman, it has worked for DEEP before. They were able to create stars in both Miku Matsumoto and Satoko Shinashi. The problem they have always had is spreading the interest onto other fighters and creating other stars. When Miku and Satoko stepped away from the sport, women's MMA essentially became non-existent in DEEP. I mean they still have both of them listed as champions on their webpage.

I'm not a complete idiot. I know that the primary reason the Sugiyama is promoted is because she attractive. That is the same thing that Jewels tried to do with Mika Nagano (they went under). The problem is that Sugiyama, at this point, has shown that she isn't really able to back it up. She dominates against sub-par opponents but wilts under pressure. I would much rather have up and comers or legitimate talent fill these slots on the DEEP cards. If you want people to come to a DEEP JEWELS card, put Mizuki on the DEEP card. Put someone on who will stand out in the crowds memory.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Megumi Fujii Blog Post

The Following is an excerpt from Megumi Fujii's Blog


"Seichou Special Needs School"
I went and volunteered at the Special Needs School,Siechou Special Needs School. I've worked a part-time job at an establishment for the autistic before. Because of that a former college teacher of mine, Nakashima-sensei, has invited me to this school several times.

4 years ago, I gave a Judo lecture there. People with mental disabilities, physical disabilities and autism attended. 8 years ago, Nakashima-sensei had been teaching Judo to these people, who aren't self-reliant, and he went to an academic conference and announced that he will be starting an association which he has now done for a long time both enthusiastically and sincerely.

Siechou looks like it is the only school in Japan where these people can go and take something like Judo lessons. Abroad there are a great number. It looks like a lot in Norway and Sweden. In Japan, a child with cerebral palsy has been learning the Judo art of falling safely for four years (of course there is support and aid) it also looks like they have learned to walk. You can exercise through running or with a ball, but to put on a Judo Gi and push, pull, grip, pin and fall with your opponent…these things stimulate your mind and your body and they have very good results. 

In reality, if you come here you can see someone do a beautiful Osotogari (Judo Leg Throw) or a Taiotoshi (body throw). Plus there are many smiling faces.

In the beginning, there were many pupils who would take longer than 20 minutes to put on their Gis, now most of them can put on their Gis with their own hands in 5 minutes and also put their belts on. I think it is an amazing thing.These are things that are tied together with being able to go out into society or ones daily living at home. Nakashima-sensei has tied teaching Judo to these people with teaching them self-reliance, he wants more Special Needs schools to start including Judo lessons.

One more thing I'd like to say, Siechou Special Needs School is the only place like this in Japan, these people can't take Judo lessons anywhere else. Naturally one with a teacher's training is needed and it can take time. 

In Judo you win or you lose, but it is not only a sport, through Martial Arts one makes one's way (of proper conduct/ morals). One forges their spirit  and learns how to live a better live in society, it is to their advantage to to have a place to study, 

What does Judo have, I spent a day yet again thinking about the relationship between sports and man and their true meaning.

I have gone down the path of martial arts and experienced it, what is called the 5 human senses, through the martial arts path I have opened my whole body and have had a clear experience.

Real 100%, I have experienced more than that, anyone can experience that, when I remember this, I think it is because of the Martial Art Judo.

I want to impart it to these little kids and wake something that is sleeping in them, I think about this often. What is the best way to show them. It is not good to end the conversation/discussion here.

At any rate, in one day my Sensei has truly left a deep impression and created a big response in me. At the same time, the day before yesterday at the World Economic Forum it got around that of the world's 136 countries, Japan was 105th,i it was shocking. This is related to society and sports, they are tied together. 

I think about Nakashima-Sensei from the old days, I would like his vision to branch out.

He is my father's friend.
Always truly, thank you very much.

I look forward to the day that I can meet you again.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fight Land: Ryuto Sawada

The following is a video from a series called Fight Land. It follows Ryuto Sawada, a young fighter who is going into his 2nd career fight at VTJ 3. Also fighting at VTJ 3, is his teacher, Megumi Fujii. The 17 year old has been training with her and Hiroyuki Abe at AACC since he was a small child and it is fitting that his career is taking off on the same card that her's is finishing on. If you are a fan of Japanese MMA and or Megumi Fujii, this video is a must see.

Even though Megumi is retired, it is obvious that her legacy will live on through the children she has trained.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 16th, Shoot Boxing Ground Zero

1. Shinsuke Hirai vs Kazuki Tamagawa (3mx3R)

2. Rudo vs Uma (3mx3R)
(S-Cup Reserve Match)

3. Ai Takahashi vs Miyo Yoshida (3mx3R)

4. Hiroaki Suzuki vs Mohan Dragon (3mx3R)

5. Yuki vs Seiji Takahashi (3mx3R)

6. Michihiro Omigawa vs Yukihiro Komiya (3mx3R)

7. Masaya vs Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura (3mx3R)

8. Hinata Watanabe vs Josh Jauncey (3mx3R)

9. Bovy Sor Audomsom vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka (3mx3R)

10. Rena vs Mary Won Pomas (3mx3R)

11. Match 1 Winner vs Match 2 Winner (3mx3R)

12. Match 3 Winner vs Match 4 Winner (3mx3R)

13. Toby Imada vs Hiroyuki Takaya (MMA Rules, 5mx3R)

14. Hiroki Shishido vs Yuichiro Nagashima (3mx3R)

15. Andy Souwer vs Steve Muxon (3mx3R)

16. Match 11 Winner vs Match 12 Winner

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rena to face WPMF Champion

Shoot Boxing Poster Girl, Rena's opponent has been announced. She will be facing off against WPMF Flyweight Champion Phetyordying Sith Archan Supoj from Thailand. This announcement adds to an already fairly stacked Shoot Boxing card. In my opinion, Muay Thai and MMA fighters make the easiest transition to Shoot Boxing rules. The clinching won't be a new aspect to the Thai Champion, but she will have to be wary of submissions. If Supoj wants to win, she will have to adapt a similar game plan to that which Buakaw used to win the S-Cup. Throw kicks from the outside and tie your opponent up in the clinch to cause a break. That being said, Rena should be able to win this match. She has been on a hot streak recently and her experience with the rules and the sport give her a massive advantage. Over the years she has developed a solid left hook to the body and likes to go for the standing triangle choke in the later rounds. 

Rena by Decision (with 1 Shoot point)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mei Yamaguchi: Veteran and Pioneer

When people speak of fighters words like "veteran", "pioneer" and "legend" are often thrown around. They are thrown around liberally and this has devalued the terms in my opinion. They aren't titles that are self-given. They are taken with action. A BJJ student who started MMA because the reporters were ignoring the BJJ fighters, "V.V" Mei Yamaguchi has earned them. The titles of both "Veteran" and "Pioneer". 

The Pioneer

Before Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche became the first women to fight in the UFC, Mei Yamaguchi cleared the path for women in both VTJ and Pancrase. Mei faced off against Megumi Fujii in VTJ to become the first women to compete for the organization. They also took home fight of the night honors. Before VTJ, Mei took part in the first women's main event for Pancrase, defeating "Windy" by MD. 

Outside of MMA, Mei took place in the 1st Girl's S-Cup for Shoot Boxing. The Girl's S-Cup is now one of the biggest women's combat events in all of Japan. The one day tournament has seen and created numerous stars. Mei has become a regular for the organization and has made it to the finals in 2 of her 4 tournament appearances. In working with her success, her exciting slams have made her a fan favorite.

The Veteran

With a record of 11-6-1, Mei has faced tough opponents her entire career. To those that follow Japanese MMA, it is actually quite impressive. Mei has fought Emi Tomimatsu (2x's), Emi Fujino (2x's), Yuka Tsuji (2x's), Saori Ishioka, "Windy", Megumi Fujii, Ham Seo Hee and Mika Nagano. As far as MMA goes, the only fighter left for her to face at this point is Mizuki Inoue. Throw in her Shoot Boxing record and she's faced Rena (2x's) and Miku Matsumoto in a grappling match. Needless to say, Mei has time and time again entered the ring/cage against the best opponents available to her. This makes it all the more impressive that she has never been finished.

With women in MMA becoming more and more popular, the future has never looked brighter. Reaching the prime of her career, Mei has expressed a desire to move down to 105. The idea of Mei fighting at 105 is very exciting. More often than not, she has had to overcome size and strength advantages in her fights at 115, so watching her fight an even fight at 105 would not only be exciting but also refreshing. With women's MMA soaring to new heights, I for one hope to see many more good fights out of Mei.

Here is a highlight of "V.V"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shoot Boxing: Ground Zero

Shoot Boxing will be holding "Ground Zero" on November 16th. The event will include a 65kg S-cup tournament, an MMA fight and some single Shoot Boxing matches. Not all of the matches and opponents have been decided but this is what we know so far.

65kg Tournament
Hiroaki Suzuki 
(SB 62.5kg  Champion)
Masaya Matsubana 
(SB 65kg Champion)
(RISE 63kg Champion)
Mohan Dragon
Yukihiro Komiya
Seiji Takahashi
Michihiro Omigawa
Akiyo "Wicky" Nishiura
Bovy Sor Audomsorn
MMA Rule
Toby Imada vs Hiroyuki Takaya

One Match
Hinata Watanabe vs Josh Jones

Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs Bovy Sor Audomsorn

Ai Takahashi vs Miyo Yoshida

On the Card

Hiroki Shishido

Monday, November 4, 2013

Emi Fujino: Deep Jewels 2

The following is a translation of Emi Fujino's Blog

I lost by decision.

I'd like to apologize to those who supported me.

Also, I'm really grateful to those that have always supported me.

My teachers and those that give me power, Taiyo, Tsuda, and V, it was reassuring to have you all there. 
And, GODS, where I started training, everyone at the Dojo, everyone who came to the venue, everyone who sent me messages, and the staff, always always thank you.

I'm sorry that I could't get the result I wanted.

I did everything that I was able to do and lost.

I really enjoyed the fight.

More than a fight won, I always get more praise and wonder in a fight lost.

But losing is losing.

Substance is important, but results are also important.

My goal has disappeared, I am still not sure what I will do next.

When I was thinking about this, my 5 year old nephew called me. 
" You lost? Then you should do it again"
I was comforted by a 5 year old child.

The reply was unexpected and simple.
This time, I was able to represent the fighters and give the greeting.
 I do not think that Women's MMA in Japan is too bright right now. This is the responsibility of us fighters. I think that we all take pride in going up into that ring, to fight up there is a blessing. Regardless of your career, because we all love MMA, we must continue to fight with that feeling. 
Please continue supporting us.
Picture courtesy of Lady Go!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Deep Jewels 2 Weigh-Ins and Comments

Deep Jewels will be having their second event this Monday. The event will host the first round of the four person 115 Tournament. In the tournament Emi Fujino will be facing off against Mizuki Inoue and Mika Nagano will fight Emi Tomimatsu. Also on the card is a 105 Title Fight between Seo Hee Ham and Sadae. 
Below I have posted pre-fight comments and weigh-in videos.

Emi Fujino:
"In my last fight, I narrowly got the submission and won but I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do, when I reflect on it was like I wasn't able to do anything. Mizuki is very technical and alone at the top of this division, this time, now matter who the opponent, I am going to do what I want and only what I want. It will be a match where I will do as I will."

Mizuki Inoue:
"Previously, I participated in a grappling match, that match helped me realize that I still have a long way to go in that department. I feel like I want to take a very assertive and aggressive approach to this fight. In MMA, I recently fought for Invicta. Being able to win there has given me confidence, and I think I am in a good flow, I still have energy, I want to win this match as well.This will be the first time I face Fujino in a MMA match. I think that she's the type who likes to exchange blows and is very physically strong, I I don't feel like losing so I will avoid those situations. I am going to make use of what I am good at and fight with all my power!!"

Mika Nagano:
"When I think about my last fight, I wasn't as assertive with my strikes as I could have been. I wasn't able to do the things that I was taught in practice. This tournament's match, that I was able to participate in this tournament makes me really happy. My first opponent is Tomimatsu, she is good on the ground and is a strong fighter, she is very scary. This time, I want a striking match.

I want to demonstrate everything that I've been taught up till now.Whether it's on the feet or the ground I want to win! I want to aim for the "arm cross rainbow" (Her signature Armbar) I have everyone's support so I will be in perfect form!!  So I want everyone to go home feeling great so I'm going to do my best!!!"

Emi Tomimatsu:
"I am really thankful that I was able to enter this Deep Jewels Lightweight Tournament. It is a strange feeling to be in a position to get the belt, but if I get the chance I will take it! Previously, I think that I lost to Nagano by a narrow margin. In that match, I had some bad areas, even I know that. This time, without fail, I will win and excite the crowd, I will have a fight that will show the power of Japanese Women's MMA!"

And the weigh-in videos 
The videos were taken by NEXT STAGE

Mika Nagano, Emi Tomimatsu, Mizuki Inoue

Emi Fujino

Champion Seo Hee Ham

Challenger Sadae

Former Champion Naho Sugiyama

Masako Yoshida