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.

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