Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ai Takahashi vs Madoka Jinnai

Madoka Jinnai vs Ai Takahashi
Photo Courtesy of LADYGO!

Shoot Boxing's Ai Takahashi has been booked to face off against Madoka Jinnai on the June 22 J-Girls card. 

Ai Takahashi (19-5) who has competed under Shoot Boxing rules for most of her career is in an interesting position. Having moved from 51kg to 53.5 kg, she has met a measure of success and looks better in the ring. However, she has lost to 2-time S-cup Champion Mizuki Inoue 3 times. It will be tough for her to earn another shot against Inoue but she is on the right path. Inoue aside, Takahashi hasn't lost since 2010 and has been finishing fighters recently.

The 20 year-old Jinnai will be looking to add to her accolades with a victory over Takahashi. After fighting on the amateur circuit for awhile, notable fighting Erika Kamimura 4 times, Jinnai has amassed a professional record of 15-4-1 and is the current J-Girls and WMPF Japan's Champion. Takahashi is the biggest name that Jinnai has faced professionally and a win over her could launch her career to new levels and possibly open the door to a Girl's S-Cup invitation. Jinnai is coming off of a decision win on the 18th.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Deep Jewels 4 Impression

Photo Courtesy of LADYGO!

Deep Jewels 4 went down this weekend. The event could really be cut into two halves. The first half was dedicated to prospects and fighters making their debuts. With a lot of stars having retired on the Japanese circuit recently, it was good to see these younger fighters getting experience. The second half of the card was dedicated to the veterans. V.V Mei, Ham, Sugiyama, and Hashi are all established fighters who have fan bases.

The First Half: The Prospects

The prospect who stood out the most to me was Ayaka Miura. Miura fights out of Tribe Tokyo, Ryo Chonan's gym. In her first fight this weekend, she faced off against Ella Wu. Wu came right at Miura throwing hard punches. Miura took Wu down and set up a beautiful arm-triangle choke. I was really impressed with the entire set up and how she stayed calm under the initial barrage. I am interested to see how she evolves as her career goes on and hope to see her on Deep Jewels August event card.

Courtesy of LADYGO!

The other interesting bout was between Briko and Maesawa. With the lack of an amateur circuit in a lot of regions some fighters get thrown into the shark tank to soon. It looks like that was the case with Maesawa, who started her career out losing 3 in a row but has now won 3 in a row. Her opponent, Briko was making her debut. It looked like Briko was nervous or unsure during the fight but this fight will be good for her. She came out better in the 2nd round and with her debut behind her I expect to see better showings from her in the future.

The Second Half: The Veterans

The first fight after the intermission was between "V.V" Mei and Yukiko Seki. Coming off of two controversial losses, Mei looked focused. She had a look in her eyes. She came out aggressive and when she had Seki on the ground she hit her and hit her hard. She eventually jumped on Seki's back in the corner and sunk in a deep choke. I was very impressed with Mei. It looked like she wanted to get those losses behind her and move on in her new division of 105 and that is exactly what she did.

Courtesy of LADYGO!

In the nights kickboxing fight, Ham Seo Hee fought Yuka Kira. The first round was a little frustrating to watch with all of the breaks. The second and third round were much better. Kira fought with a lot of heart and showed great promise for being only 17. However it was Ham's night. Ham's strikes were more accurate and Ham hit her harder. Ham was also able to land several solid combinations. Kira who has been fighting allot recently should learn from this fight as Ham is the best kickboxer she has ever faced. Hopefully Ham stays busy and we get to watch her on the August card as well.

Courtesy of LADYGO!

In my opinion, the best fight was between Saori Ishioka and Satomi Takano. There was a little bit of striking but this was mainly a grappling affair. Takano took Ishioka down but Ishioka countered with an armbar. Takano then slammed Ishioka (gotta love those new rules) and fought her way out. Then the tangled fighters went for heel hooks on each other. Ishioka eventually mounted Takano, laid down some ground and pound and when Takano tried to roll over locked on a tight arm-bar. Ishioka looked good. After taking a hiatus to start a family it appears that she hasn't missed a beat. With her fighting at 105lb and saying that she just can't gain the weight to fight at 115lb, I look forward to seeing her fight in the future.

Courtesy of LADYGO!

The main event was for the inaugural Middleweight Title. The executives at Deep Jewels really want Shizuka Sugiyama to be a star. She has been the face of many of there marketing campaigns recently. When they promoted this event at Deep shows it was Sugiyama who went to the events to take part in promotions and garner attention. With Mika Nagano retiring it seems that Sugiyama is slotted to fill her role. The problem being that Sugiyama has a hit and miss record against tough competition. She is a tough fighter and has improved greatly but it was not her night. Hashi is a true veteran of the sport and has fought some of the best in the world. Both fighters looked good during the fight but it became obvious that Hashi was better on the ground. The ground and pound that caused Sugiyama's corner to throw in the towel would have finished any other fighter. Hashi looked good but she is getting older and has had some injuries. She also expressed a desire to fight abroad and said she wanted to fight Miesha Tate. I am interested to see if she stays busy and how she does. I for one hope she stays healthy and would like to see her rematch Ji-Yeon Kim at the next Deep Jewels show.

Courtesy of LADYGO!

All in all there were some exciting and good fights on the card. The veterans delivered and some of the prospects looked promising. For only 7 dollars it was great to see it aired live and I hope they keep airing there events. The event is still available on USTREAM for those interested in watching some of the fights.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Ishioka Fights this Weekend!

The Shooting Star, Saori Ishioka returnes to action this weekend. Having last fought over 2 years ago, Ishioka took a hiatus from the sport to get married and give birth to her son, the karate fighter is stepping down to 105 and looking to pick up her career where she left off. Oversized at 115, the move to 105 is a wise one. Across the ring will be Satomi Takano. Takano is coming off of a split-decision loss to former 105lb champion Naho Sugiyama. 


1. Both fighters are still young, Ishioka being 26 and Takano being 24.

2. Ishioka has faced off against the best Japan has to offer.
(Megumi Fujii, Ham Seo Hee x2, Yuka Tsuji, V.V Mei, Mika Nagano)

3. Ishioka competed in a S-Cup defeated Ai Takahashi before losing to Rena.

4. Ishioka took Hamasaki to a split-decision in a grappling match.


Watch Ham Seo Hee this weekend!!

Courtesy of Gravity
Coming off a victory over in her native Korea last month, Ham will be returning to the DJ ring this weekend. However, she will not be defending her Atomweight Championship, she will be doing some kickboxing. Better known for her MMA career, Ham actually started out as a kickboxer in 2004. Ham's opponent is teen-prospect Yuki Kira who made it to the finals of the JKS-48 tournament last year. Due to her aggressive style, which has earned her the nickname Hamderlei, this should be a pretty exciting fight with Ham being the clear favorite to win.

Ham Seo Hee will be also collecting money with Minowaman to give to charity. The money will help those affected by the ferry tragedy in Korea.


1. Ham has faced a who's who of opponents.
(Ayaka Hamasaki x2, Megumi Fujii, V.V Mei, Mika Nagano, Saori Ishioka, Yuka Tsuji, Miku Matsumoto, Hisae Watanabe, Emi Fujino, Rena, Erika Kamimura x2, Megumi Yabushita x2)

2. Ham has done some pro-wrestling against little-Inoki

3. Yuki Kira has a sister who also fights in the same weight division.

4. Ham can dance


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watch Sugiyama fight for the title!

Courtesy of LadyGo!
With the retirement of Mika Nagano, it seems like Shizuka Sugiyama is the next poster girl for Deep Jewels. Before the end of Jewels, 11 of her 12 fights were under there banner and she developed a strong local fan base. She is also the only woman to recently appear on several Deep cards from the Deep Jewels roster. With an impressive 11-3 record, Sugiyama needs to start fighting tougher opponents and that is what is happening this weekend. Her opponent, the 14-4-1 Takayo Hashi, a 10 year veteran of the sport, is no slouch. Hashi holds wins against Hitomi Akano, Amanda Buckner and Roxanne Modafferi, while having fought Sarah Kaufman, Tara Larosa and Cat Zingano as well. This fight is important for both fighters. For Sugiyama who has had trouble breaking into the upper tier, a win over Hashi would be great for her confidence and prove that she is a top fighter. For Hashi a win over Sugiyama would revitalize her career. Of course being a title fight, the fight holds importance. Previous champions like Naho Sugiyama and Ayaka Hamasaki fought stateside with Invicta during their reigns and winning the title at the 135 division will give the winner international attention.


1. Hashi was the Smackgirl Middleweight Champion

2. Both women took Ji-Yeon Kim to Draws recently. Kim's only 2 fights.

3. Sugiyama took a break from MMA and went to Australia to work on her English and Grappling.

4. Hashi used to be a training partner of Roxanne Modafferi.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Watch V.V Mei Fight on Saturday

Courtesy of LadyGo!
Deep Jewels will be available for the first time on USTREAM this weekend and one of the more exciting fighters on the card is "V.V" Mei Yamaguchi. Coming off of two contentious losses, Mei looks to return to the ring a little over a month after her last fight. I can see why Deep Jewels would want Mei on this card. Mei has been ranked in the top 10 before, is one of Japan's best fighters and is known for putting on exciting fights. Her willingness to stand in the pocket and exchange with fighters has made her a fan favorite. Having fought the best of the best in Japan, including 2 victories over the Deep Jewels 115lb champion, Mei is looking to reignite her career with a victory at 105.

"V.V" Mei Facts

1. Has never been finished.

2. Has fought Megumi Fujii, Emi Fujino (x2), Katja Kankaanpaa, Mika Nagano, Emi Tomimatsu (x2), Yuka Tsuji (x2) 

3. Won the first female Pancrase Main-Event

4. Was part of the first VTJ female fight

5. "V.V" is a reference to the V-1 Armlock
(She used to go be V Hajime)
The Japanese was Vー, which is read V Hajime but also looks like V1

6. Has made it to the Shoot Boxing Final Round 2 times

7. Went to college in California and speaks fluent English

8. Mei made a series of self-defense videos with AKB's Shizuka Oya that aired on NHK.