Monday, August 11, 2014

Hakushinkai Girls: Mizuki Inoue and Yukari Yamaguchi

With a stable full of young fighters, the relatively unknown gym Hakushinkai has had a very productive August, as two of their fighters brought home championships. At 19, Mizuki Inoue brought home the Deep Jewels Championship and a 16 Yukari Yamaguchi won the 48kg Girls S-Cup Tournament. Both Championships are prestigious and both girls looked very impressive in-route to those victories. In an interview, Mizuki talked about her coach a little bit. Her coach, holding a Karate background, believes that if you want to be the best fighter, you must be able to compete in MMA. Like many fighters, Coach Yamaguchi was affected by the Gracies, in that he saw Minoki Ichihara, a Karate fighter, get defeated by Royce Gracie. This loss is probably the main influence for his ideas regarding MMA. As a result, the Hakushinkai Karate students also train in grappling and compete in a variety of combat sports.

Photo Courtesy of Lady Go!
Turning 20 this month, Mizuki Inoue is one of the senior students at Hakushinkai. As one of the seniors, a lot of people didn't know what to expect when she started competing professionally. Now we know that Mizuki possesses some of the best technical striking in the sport and has a very underrated ground game. Having broken her leg, Mizuki was forced to train with only her hands for a time, and as a result her boxing is especially refined. However despite her striking prowess, all of her MMA finishes have come via submission. Having stated that she wants MMA, Shoot Boxing and Kickboxing titles, Mizuki is now 2/3's the way finished; having competed in and won the Girls S-Cup 2 times and having won the Deep Jewels 115 Championship over the weekend. I've had the opportunity to see Mizuki fight several times and there is something about her. She picks fighters apart with stiff jabs and straight rights to the body that seem to break them. Having defeated 2 of the TUF 20 contestants, her age and language ability kept her off of the show. With her Title victory over the weekend. DJ's Saeki stated that promotions have been contacting him about Mizuki and that her next fight will most likely be outside of Japan.

Courtesy of Lady Go!
At 16, Yukari has more experience that a lot of her opponents and represents the new-generation of martial artists. As the daughter of Hakushinkai's coach, she's been practicing Kyokushin Karate for over 13 years, Kickboxing for 10 and BJJ for 7. Under her father's guidance, she's been training 6 days a week since elementary school. She stated in an interview her philosophy towards training, "I've never thought about quitting. If you don't train hard, you can't win championships, so I train hard." Like Mizuki, Yukari is an excellent striker. As an ambidextrous fighter, she is able to fight naturally in both stances. She started out Orthodox, switched to Southpaw, switched back to Orthodox and is now back in Southpaw. Though predominately right-handed outside of the ring, she prefers to use her left in some instances, like using chopsticks.  Having gone 3-0 in Kickboxing/Shootboxing and having competed in a number of grappling events, Yukari seems to be following the same path as Mizuki and it's just a matter of time before she makes her MMA debut.

Courtesy of Kinya Hashimoto

Here is a video of them competing at a grappling event 2 years ago.
Fast forward to the 29 minute mark to see the beginning of Yukari's match, Mizuki's match follows it immediately.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Questions with Emi Tomimatsu

Name: Emi Tomimatsu
Height: 5"1 (155cm)
Weight: 114 (52kg)
Pro Debut: 10/20/2006
Championship: Deep Jewels 115lb Champion (2/16/2014 - Present)

CJ: Before, people outside of Japan couldn't really watch Jewels or Deep Jewels fights. However Deep Jewels 4 was and 5 will be available on the internet. Since some fans outside of Japan may not know a lot about you, can you introduce yourself and your fight style?

ET: So, I retired from pro-wrestling because of an illness, and I'd always been a fan of Shooto so I joined a gym and I'm still there, Matsudo Paraestra. In the beginning, I started out with Jiu-Jitsu, but then I started to think that MMA looked pretty cool so I started that as well. My fight style, well I'm a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu so I try to pin my opponent down and now I have added boxing to my skill set.

CJ: You used to Pro-Wrestle and are a big fan of it, can you talk about that?

ET: As soon as I graduated from high school, I entered Yoshimoto Girl's Pro-Wrestling JD. My sensei was the most famous and amazing wrestler in Japan, Jaguar Yokota. However, because of an illness I had to have three operations and it forced me to retire.  Now, I love the independent organizations. There is a organization called 666 that I like and I also like AJPW that does death-matches. I go and watch all the time.

Emi  the Pro-Wrestler
CJ: It is pretty known that you like metal music. Your sister is in an awesome band as well. Can you talk about this and do you have any interesting stories?

ET: My younger sister, Rie a.k.a Suzaku is a famous metal guitarist. She's still independent and has released CD's and DVD's. If you look her up on Youtube you can find some. Everyone in my family likes metal, in summer when our clothes are being washed there are a lot of black-metal t-shirts on the line!

CJ: In 2008, you got injured. A lot of people abroad might not know about this so can you tell us about it and your recovery?

ET: During a match for Pancrase, my small intestine was ruptured and I was immediately taken to the hospital.  I was in the hospital for three weeks, I couldn't eat so I lost 16 pounds. After that I started weight training and returned to practice, that winter I entered a grappling tournament and won.

CJ: In 2013, you fought and lost to Mika Nagano. However, later that year you defeated her in a rematch, what changes did you make?

ET: In the first fight, I feel like I lose because of the takedowns. So I really worked on my boxing and wrestling going into the rematch. I was able to do what I wanted to do, so I won the fight.

CJ: Recently WMMA has changed in Japan. Can you talk about your training and who/where you train?

ET: My home gym is Parestra Matsudo, so I train there, then CAVE gym is near where I work so I train boxing and grappling there as well. In particular, I am taught by the King of Pancrase Ishiwatari and Shooto's Bantamweight Champion Miki.  In addition, I go to train at other gyms, and I take part in V.V. Mei's women's training sessions.
Ishiwatari, Emi, Miki 
V.V Mei's Women's Training
CJ: When you heard that you were going to have a rematch with Mizuki, what was your reaction?

ET: My opponent was overweight in the first fight, so before the rematch she had to lose the weight and maintain it. I really want to get past that first fight, so when I think of my opponent, it can't be anyone but Mizuki. Since you lose a fight because of yourself, I am going forward and without fail will get my revenge, I will go in with a fighting spirit.

CJ: Since you've fought her before, do you feel like you understand her fight style now? Will it be easier in a way for you to prepare for your next fight?

ET: Since we've already fought once, I can measure her up pretty easy, I also understand there are certain things that if I don't get better at them, I won't be able to win.

CJ: Would you ever like to fight in America?

ET: YES! Outside of Japan, Martial Arts's popularity is swelling up and they have respect for Martial Artist. In Japan, the athletes I have access to is restricted, so if I have the chance I'd love to fight abroad.

CJ: On your blog you post about Ramen a lot. What can you tell us about Ramen?

ET: I love ramen. In particular I love Jirou Ramen. It gets greasy with the fat,  people are divided. They either like it or dislike it, since I love Jirou Ramen, I want to go to eat at all of the Jirou Ramen restaurants! Since I will get fat, I'll do it after my fight!

A picture from Emi's Blog

CJ: Finally, can you give us some metal recommendations?

ET: My biggest recommendation is my sister Rie a.k.a Suzaku, I also listen to Arch Enemy, Children of Bodom, EDGUY and In Flames quite a bit. There is a metal festival called LOUD PARK in October that I always look forward to going to!

Comment/Fan Message

ET: A lot of people still don't know a lot about Women's Martial Arts in Japan. We have really acquired and learned our skills, we won't lose to men. Our fights are more exciting and I think our genre is getting more and more popular. For the sake of spreading Women's Martial Arts, this lady will continue to do her best for a bit longer!


Emi vs Mika

Metal Music

Emi's sister Rie a.k.a Suzaku

Arch Enemy

Children of Bodom


In Flames

DJ 5: Weigh-Ins

The Deep Jewels 5 weigh-ins occurred a couple of hours ago and they went off without incident. Mizuki made weight easily, perhaps proving that last time was a fluke. The only fighter to miss weight was Yuko "Amiba" Oya, who after a trip to the sauna made weight. Deep Jewels 5 goes down on Saturday and it will be available on USTREAM.

All the pictures used are the property of Deep Jewels

Emi Tomimatsu
(51.7kg, 113.9lb)
Mizuki Inoue
(51.5kg, 113.5lb)

Ayaka Hamasaki
(47.9kg, 105.6lb)
Naho Sugiyama
(47.5kg, 104.7lb)

Yukiko Seki
Saori Ishioka
(46.9kg, 103.3lb)

Yuko "Amiba" Oya
(Initially missed weight, made weight later)
Sachiko Fujimori
(51.8kg, 114.2lb)

Mina Kurobe
(48kg, 105.8lb)
Masako Yoshida
(47.5kg, 104.7lb)

Tamaki Usui
(47kg, 103.6lb)
Miyoko Kusaka 

Ayaka Miura
(50.6kg, 111.5lb)
Satomi Takano
(Not Present)

Sayuri Yamaguchi
Giant Kimata

Thursday, August 7, 2014

DJ 5: Ayaka Hamasaki vs Naho Sugiyama

The female Japanese mma scene used to boast an impressive 115lb division, but as some of these fighters came into contact with significantly larger opponents abroad, a number of them have started cutting weight, not common in Japan, and moved down to 105. As a result, Deep Jewels can now boast an impressive 105 roster. Including fighters like Ham Seo Hee, Mei Yamaguchi, Saori Ishioka, Naho Sugiyama and now Ayaka Hamasaki. 

Former 115 Champion, Ayaka Hamasaki will be returning to action after a year-long absence in which she had surgery and rehabilitation on her knee. Previously she had to use a lot of tape on her legs, but in her last fight with Claudia Gadelha she was told that she couldn't use any, so the decision to operate was made. Prior to her fight with Gadelha, Ayaka was undefeated and held impressive victories over Yuka Tsuji, Mizuki Inoue and Ham Seo Hee. It would be safe to assume that her fight with the significantly larger Claudia, who weighed 136lbs in her last fight, played a role in her decision to test out 105. Possessing a strong Judo base, Hamasaki's game plan usually involves taking her opponent down and getting in side-control. From side control she tries to trap an opponents arm or go for an armbar or the "Hama-lock".

Former 105 Champion, Naho Sugiyama looks to continue her resurgence with what would be the biggest win of her career. Sugirock, as she is called, ruled over the 105 division for a long time in Japan and defeated a lot of top talent but with other fighters moving down and new fighters coming, a lot of exiting fights for her have opened up. Stylistically, she prefers to circle around her opponents, throwing short punch combinations and low kicks. This is all to set up a takedown. She will time a double leg when an opponent gets too aggressive but most of her takedowns come from the clinch or from a successful sprawl. From there she has a number of submissions and gnp she likes to employ. It will be interesting to see if she can trip the Judoka to the ground or if she will prefer to strike with Ayaka, as she possesses the more diverse striking game.

Assuming that she is fully recovered, I would say that Hamasaki is the favorite going into this fight. She has more wins over top opponents at this point in her career. That being said, Sugirock hasn't been facing a bunch of slouches. This is a difficult fight to call and should be pretty exciting. The wildcard going into this fight is that it is only two rounds. Two round fights are completely different from three round fights and I for won can't stand them. Two round fights leave a lot of room for draws so hopefully these two decide to not leave it in the judges hands.

Name: Ayaka Hamasaki
Age: 32
Height: 5"2 (157cm)
Weight: 105 (47.6kg)
Pro Debut: 10/25/2009
Record: 9-1
Championship: Jewels 115lb Champion (12/17/2010-8/31/2013) Relinquished due to injuries

CJ: How's the knee? How is the rehab going?

AH: Rehab's going well, my knee's condition is really good.

Pre-surgery Hamasaki with her taped knees

CJ: Can you talk about your training schedule and where you've been training?

AH: My schedule changes depending on the day so it's always different. I only train at AACC, I don't go out to other gyms.

CJ: When we last spoke you said you wanted to fight at 115, what changed? Can you tell us your reasoning? Would you consider a UFC offer?

AH: I thought I was going to fight at 115 but then I thought that I'd like to test myself and see what 105 was like, so I asked them for a 105 fight. If an offer came from the UFC, I don't know what I'd do but I would like to challenge myself and see what it's like.

CJ: With a win would you like to fight for the title? Does the Invicta title interest you? What do you think about fighting Ham again?

AH: If I can, I'd like to get some titles. I don't really have a strong desire to fight Ham again. If I have the chance, I'd like to get the DJ title but my real aim is to get a belt in America. At that aim I cannot lose.

CJ: 105 is a very solid division. What fighters do you think of?

AH: I don't really know the names of a lot of fighters but I know that those 105ers abroad are at a really high level.

CJ: You're fighting the former 105 Champion, Sugirock, can you talk about that?

AH: I think that Sugirock is a very strong and exceptional fighter. Fighting a former champion like her gives me motivation. I think it's going to be a tough fight but I'm aiming for the KO or the Sub.

Former Champions Hamasaki and Sugirock
CJ: You're base is in Judo, can you talk about how you got involved with that?

AH: In high school I really went all out in Judo, but I wasn't all that strong.


AH: After being injured for a year, I'm really looking forward to my comeback but I'm also nervous, I'm going to do all I can to put on a good fight!

Photo courtesy of LadyGo!

Name: Naho Sugiyama
Age: 36
Height: 5"1 (154cm)
Weight: 105 (47.6kg)
Pro Debut: 10/24/2009
Record: 10-3
Championship: Jewels 105 Champion (12/17/2011-5/25/2013)

CJ: How did you get involved with MMA?

NS: On TV they were showing K-1 and there was an MMA fight with Caol Uno, from the moment that I saw it, I thought "Ah, I want to do this!" Deep down I wanted to do it, so it started out as a hobby at first. I turned pro sort of by accident (lol). It was a whole development, I don't know how the conversation got started but the next thing I knew I was lined up to fight for Valkyrie. The Valkyrie producer said that she had heard that i wanted to fight, but I didn't say that I wanted to or didn't want to fight, so I still don't know what happened.

CJ: Can you talk about your ring name "Sugirock"?

NS: My real name is Naho Sugiyama, but one of my sempai's/coaches was called Yoshirock T, so I received the "rock" from him.

Yoshirock and Sugirock

CJ: Between 2012 and 2013, you had a rough patch. You lost to Jessica Penne in the U.S then lost twice back afterwards. Since then you have rebounded and won 2 in a row. What happened?

NS: I lost in America, then I was defeated twice in Japan, after that I swept the slate clean and started training striking like it was day 1, I think that me winning my last 2 fights is a result of that.

CJ: Can you talk about your upcoming fight with Ayaka Hamasaki?

NS: It was really unexpected, it surprised me. She was the perfect champion and to be frank, I looked up to her a lot. She was the champion in the division above me, she's very balanced and I think she's going to be a really strong opponent.
However, I think there are areas of my game that are better, I'm going to win solidly, then I'm going to challenge Ham Seo Hee again for that belt she's holding.

Former Champions Sugirock and Hamasaki

CJ: Do you think you would like to fight state-side again?

NS: At this moment, I'm not really in a position to say that I want to fight in America again, I need to raise my abilities, when the time comes that I feel like I can attempt it, that's when I'l say i want to fight abroad.


NS: There are a number of fighters dropping from 115 to 105 and I think that fights with any of them would make me a better fighter, all I want to do is win soundly. I want to fight for that title one more time.

Don't forget to watch Deep Jewels 5 over the weekend on USTREAM

Naho Sugiyama's 2nd Pro Fight

Ayaka Hamasaki's American debut

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DJ 5: Ayaka Miura vs Satomi Takano

In one of the matches that I am personally looking forward to, DJ young-guns Ayaka Miura and Satomi Takano will be engaging in a grappling match. The match will be contested at 48kg, so it will be interesting to see if Ayaka is permanently dropping down to that weight. Both fighters come from grappling backgrounds, solid camps and could be future contenders. What makes this match especially interesting is that these two could face each other fairly soon in a MMA match.

Name: Ayaka Miura
Age: 23
Height: 5"2 (158cm)
Weight: 115lb
Pro-debut: 5/18/2014
Record: 1-0

Having made her MMA debut on the last DJ card, Miura was one of the fighters that left an impression, choking her opponent unconscious with an arm-triangle in the first round. Having had an interest in martial arts since seeing Andy Hug fight on TV, Ayaka has been practicing Judo for more than 10 years. From Judo she branched out to grappling and BJJ. She's been training at Tribe Tokyo MMA for almost a year and has gained the respect of her trainer Ryo Chonan. In an interview he stated that when he saw her train, he noticed her aggressive style and that she reminded him of a demon. Holding a blue belt in BJJ, Ayaka has competed in a number of grappling matches over the past two years. In a recent episode of Deep Jewels TV she also stated that she trains with "V.V" Mei, Amiba and Miyoko amongst others outside of the gym. It will be interesting to see how far a talent like Ayaka can go and this match should be a good test for her.

Photo Courtesy of BoutReview
Name: Satomi "Sarami" Takano
Age: 24
Height: 5'1 (155cm)
Weight: 105 (48kg)
Pro-debut: 7/21/2012
Record: 3-4

Training out of Club Barbarian is Satomi. At 24, she is is one of DJ's younger fighters and looks to be improving. I often write that records are deceiving and this is a classic example of that. She has gone 1-2 in her last 3, but one of those was a split-decision loss to Sugirock and the other was against Saori Ishioka. The Ishioka fight was easily the most exciting fight on the card and Satomi hurt Ishioka badly with a punch before the wild grappling exchange. Since the loss, Satomi has been working extensively on her grappling. She even traveled to Taiwan to participate in a grappling tournament recently. As a lot of expectations have been placed on her to fill Miku's shoes, I expect to see her very determined to win this match. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DJ 5: Tamaki Usui vs Miyoko Kusaka

Name: Tamaki Usui
Age: 30
Height:  5'2 (158cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Pro-debut: 11/4/2013
Record: 1-0

Having made her debut last year for Deep Jewels, Usui is part of the expanding 105lb division. With a number of 115ers dropping down and a number of new signings, 105 is really becoming an exciting division. Like several of the new additions to DJ, Usui has been involved with martial arts for awhile. She has been competing in grappling and BJJ for several years now and even competed in a number of grappling matches for Jewels in 2011. With her grappling experience, I would say that Usui is the favorite going into this fight.

Name: Miyoko Kusaka
Height: 5'1 (156cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Pro-debut: 12/11/2009
Record: 4-8

Miyoko Kusaka has been around for a couple of years now. She has faced off a varying degree of opponents but her record is somewhat deceptive. The only opponent that she defeated with a winning record was Kikuyo Ishikawa, who was just beginning her career and defeated Kusaka in a rematch. I feel like she was matched against Usui to test her. If Usui can defeat Kusaka then she belongs in the DJ ranks and if she can't she doesn't. Despite her experience, I would put her as the underdog going into this fight.

DJ 5: Masako Yoshida vs Mina Kurobe

Name: Masako Yoshida
Age: 31
Height: 5'3 (160cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Pro-debut: 12/6/2003
Record: 18-19

A long time veteran of MMA, Yoshida has been fighting for around 11 years. During those 11 years she has fought an incredible range of fighters, going from some of the best to some of the worst. Looking at her record and the names on it makes it difficult to gauge her level. Despite losing 19 times, a majority of those losses were to high caliber fighters like Megumi Fujii and Michelle Waterson. She also holds wins over Deep Jewels Champion Emi Tomimatsu and Tomomi Sunaba. Yoshida is officially part of Fight Chix, but a look at her Facebook page will reveal that she trains at a number of gyms with a number of fighters. She's looked good in her last three, so it will be interesting to see how she looks.

Name: Mina Kurobe
Height: 5'2 (157.5cm)
Weight: 105lb (48kg)
Pro-debut: 12/15/2012
Record: 2-0

Hailing from Master Japan, Kurobe has looked good in her 2 fights. A BJJ practitioner, both of her victories have come via RNC. Now Mina hasn't fought in a little over a year and it will be interesting to see how she has progressed. Her opponent, Yoshida, while having lost 19 times, has survived to see the final bell in a majority of those. If Kurobe finds a way to finish Yoshida in the fight, it will be her highest profile win to date. Deep Jewels' 48kg weight division has become very deep recently and a win is important to put her closer to the big fights and an eventual title shot. Given her grappling advantage, I would say that the 2-0 Mina Kurobe is the definite favorite going into this fight.

DJ 5: Sachiko Fujimori vs Amiba

Name: Sachiko Fujimori
Age: 37
Weight: 115
Pro-debut: 8/31/2013
Record: 3-0

At the age of 36, Fujimori made her professional debut late in life. She has been active longer than her record reflects, having made her amateur debut back in 2010, going 1-2. Those amateur fights were against women at 130, which may have given her problems at the time. Having only competed for Deep Jewels, Fujimori is thus far perfect. Her 3 victories were against 3 equally green fighters so it is difficult to gauge her skills at the moment. She has 2 victories by submission and her biggest victory to date was a Split-Decision over AACC's Megumi Sugimoto.

Name: Yuko Oya
Age: 27
Height: 5"2 (157.5cm)
Weight: 115
Pro-debut: 5/16/2009
Record: 7-4

Amiba as she is known, is quite the character. She is a regular on Deep Jewels TV, due to her energetic and funny nature, and is often at MMA events in some capacity. She used to train at Deep Gym with Kitaoka, but since the gym's closure has moved over to AACC. At the gym famous for the female fighters, she has become one of Ayaka Hamasaki's main training partners. Her record of 7-4 is deceiving. Her opponents have a combined record of 34-73 and she has never defeated an opponent with a winning record. She does seem to have improved of late, but she in my opinion will be the underdog going into the fight.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Deep's history with WMMA

While Deep Jewels only goes back to 2013, they are actually more of a continuation of WMMA in Japan than something new. Deep has an interesting history with women in their organization and it begins with the first all women promotion in Japan, Smackgirl. Smackgirl was founded and based on the tradition of Pro-Wrestling and as a result, pro-wrestlers were often found on the cards and there was an unfortunate set of rules. No striking was allowed on the ground and ground fighting was stood up after 30 seconds. The 30 second rule was thrown to the way side in 2007 but the no gnp lasted for years. Despite the unfortunate rules, Smackgirl created the first generation of popular female fighters in Japan. Fighters like Mei Yamaguchi, Megumi Fujii and Hisae Watanabe all made their debuts in Smackgirl. Fighters like Yuka Tsuji and Hisae Watanabe flourished in the promotion and became stars. 

However, as time went on, fighters began to drift away from Smackgirl. A number of the fighters were drawn to a promotion called Deep. Deep allowed the women to strike on the ground and let them fight for longer. They brought in fighters like Hisae Watanabe, Satoko Shinashi and debuted fighters like Miku Matsumoto and Ham Seo Hee. It was during this time that Miku became more and more popular and Deep in a way tied their future with WMMA with Miku. An as a result, when Miku retired Deep almost completely stopped promoting WMMA. However, Deep had seen that popular female fighters can draw fans and they formed a close relationship with a promotion called Jewels.

In 2008, when Smackgirl folded, 2 organizations formed. These were Valkyrie and Jewels. The forming of two companies proved to be a poor decision as the talent pool wasn't large enough to share and potential ticket selling fights were stopped because of backstage politics. Valkyrie eventually started putting on fewer and fewer shows until most of their fighters signed with Jewels. Jewels put on 26 shows during its existence. While having a number of top-level talent, Jewels had a hard time producing new talent. As a result a number of their cards were filled with amateur kickboxing/grappling matches. Jewels had worked closely with Deep for a long time. They often held their events on the same days at the same venues using the same rings and staff. Jewels also held their press conferences and weigh-ins at the official Deep Gym. As a result it came to no surprise when Jewels was absorbed into Deep and became Deep Jewels. 

I have put some data together to show Deep's relationship with WMMA

Satoko Shinashi
March 2nd, 2002 makes Smackgirl debut
December 29th, 2002 defeats Watanabe in Smackgirl
January 22nd, 2004 makes Deep debut

Hisae Watanabe
April 7th, 2002 makes Smackgirl debut
August 4th 2006 defeats Shinashi in rematch for Deep Championship

Miku Matsumoto
October 24th, 2004 makes Deep debut
September 15th, 2006 loses to Lisa Ward in Smackgirl 
August 5th 2007, defeats Watanabe for Deep Championship
June 28th 2009, defeats Lisa Ward in Deep

Ham Seo Hee
February 16th, 2007, makes Pro-debut for Deep
Septemeber 6th 2007, makes Smackgirl debut
September 13th 2009, makes Jewels debut
May 25th 2013, becomes Jewels Champion
November 4th 2013, retains Championship for Deep Jewels

Takyo Hashi
November 4th 2004, makes Smackgirl debut
Septemeber 6th 2007, becomes Smackgirl Champion
May 18th 2014, becomes Deep Jewels Champion

Mika Nagano
December 26th 2007, makes Pro-debut for Smackgirl
November 16th 2008, makes Jewels debut
August 13th 2013 makes Deep Jewels debut 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Girls S-Cup Results

Another year and another Girls S-Cup. In the 50kg tournament, there was some difficulty getting all of the fighters to Japan but that ended up not being a problem. Stand-outs in the 50kg Tournament were Rena and Ticha both of whom seemed to be a level above the rest in terms of technique. Rena remains undefeated in S-Cup Tournaments after dispatching of Ticha. In the 48kg Tournament, the youngest and lightest entrant came out the victor. Yukari Yamaguchi a training partner of Girls S-Cup Champion Mizuki, showed that Mizuki isn't a fluke. Their gym is creating some of the best strikers in Japan and they are coming of age. It will be interesting to see what route she takes as she is active in kick boxing, grappling, MMA and Shoot Boxing. In a match that was supposed to be a rematch between Ai Takahashi and Madoka Jinnai, Ai showcased her power and her knees, putting Nong Em away in the 2nd.

Full results and summaries are below
The summaries and pictures are courtesy of BoutReview

The 50kg Tournament

Rena vs Simone Dommelen

The fight started and Rena landed a kubinage neck throw to get a Shoot Point. Deommelen tried to fight from from the clinch and worked a lot of knees while she was there. As the fight went on, Rena was caught with a knee and a middle kick. Rena may have re-injured her leg while throwing a right low kick as she almost completely stopped throwing kicks with it afterwards. Rena got another Shoot Point in the 3rd round. As the fight neared its end, Rena started to throw and land left middle kicks, left body punches and right hooks with an increasing pace and sealed the decision.

Rena via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Christina Jurjevic vs Kill Bee

In the opening round, Kill Bee moved into a barrage of left and right hooks from Jurjevic, which caused her to waver a bit. In the 2nd, Jurjevic was able to get Kill Bee in a Thai Clinch and landed countless knees. She also tried to throw Kill Bee. In the 3rd, Jurjevic went for a Guillotine, she didn't get the submission but she was awarded a valuable Catch Point. Her growth from her first S-Cup when she was 17 is evident. Kill Bee with her physique would probably be better suited for the 48kg tournament.

Christina Jurjevic via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Eduarda Lima vs Ticha

Lima arrived on the morning of the tournament and cleared weight shortly before. This may have been bothering her as she seemed to be frantically hunting for a one-punch KO throughout the fight. Ticha picked her shots and landed left middle kicks over and over again. It really overwhelmed Lima. She hit Lima with a front kick which pushed her back then moved forward and got a Thai Plum on Lima. From the Plum she easily handled Lima and threw her to the ground. This 17 year old showed the crowd that she has very impressive Muay Thai and used it to get her victory.

Ticha via Unanimous Decision
(30-29, 30-29, 30-28)

Lorena Klijn vs Jiwaen Lee

As she entered to the ring, Klijn entertained the crowd with her constant screams and yells. During her entrance it was also noted that Klijn had a good deal of tape on her left foot and shin. During the fight, Lorena constantly attempted kubinage neck throws and she was able to land one for a Shoot Point in the 2nd round. Afterwards, Klijn attempted to attack the core of Lee with right hooks. The judges couldn't decide so we had an extension round. Because of all her attempts to get the throw, Klijn looked tired and her accuracy suffered. On the contrary, Lee seems re-energized and moved out of the way of Klijn's charges and landed right middle kick/ right straight combinations over and over again making the winner of the round thus the fight easy.

Jiwaen Lee via Split Decision
(27-29, 29-29, 29-28)
(10-9, 10-9, 9-10)

Rena vs Christina Jurjevic 

In the 1st, Rena had to overcome Christina's reach and attacked her right down the middle. In the 2nd, Christina shook her head to show the punches weren't hurting but as she did Rena nailed her with a left and right hook to the face. In the 3rd Rena continued to show her excellent boxing and as the round was winding down, she blasted Christina with a left hook that sent her to the canvas. Christina got back up but the fight was over.

Rena via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 30-28)

Ticha vs Jiwaen Lee

This fight was very similar to Ticha's first. She showed her superior technique in the 1st and landed countless left middle kicks to Lee. She also started throwing left body straight and straights to the head. The bigger Lee landed a right hook and high kick that really seemed to have hurt Ticha based off of her facial expression. However, Lee started to lose steam and in the 3rd, Ticha landed her left middles and straight punches which gave her the victory.

Ticha via Unanimous Decision
(30-28, 29-29, 29-28)

Rena vs Ticha

As the fight started Ticha threw some front kicks, but Rena was able to clinch with her and landed a Seo-Nage shoulder throw to get a Shoot Point. That Shoot Point seemed to put Rena at ease and she started to get in a groove and land left body hooks with precision. It was after one of these clean left body shots that she followed it up with a clean right straight that sent Ticha to the canvas. In the 2nd, Ticha attempted to clinch with Rena but was caught by a left straight that sent her down again. She managed to get back up but her legs were gone and she could barely stand so the ref stopped it. Rena remains undefeated in tournaments and adds yet another belt to her collection.

The 48kg Tournament

V.V Mei Yamaguchi vs Yukari Yamaguchi

Yukari, who has competed for SB and Jewels before is a training partner of Mizuki and is a 1st year in high school at the age of 16. She's been active in kick boxing, BJJ and MMA since a young age and has won accolades including last years amateur SB tournament and she also made her J-Girls debut with a 1st Round KO. So this match is much anticipated. As the fight started it was evident that she trains with Mizuki. Yukari looked fast, showed a fine feint, and from the southpaw stance was able to show her stiff jab and right low kick which she landed time and time again. She also landed knees from the clinch. Despite V's experience, she did not lose to her in the clinch. In the 3rd, V landed a nice punch but Yukari fired back with a knee and a right straight and stole the momentum right back.

Yukai Yamaguchi vs Majority Decision
(30-29, 29-29, 30-29)

Mio vs Momi

In a rematch, Mio came out in the south-paw stance. She lowered her guard and fired off a right low kick and right straight that both landed well on Momi. Mio seems to have really improved her punching. In the 2nd round, Mio continued to bother Momi with her punches and during a wild exchange she landed a clean right hook that staggered Momi. She then grabbed the stunned Momi and threw her for a Shoot Point. In the 3rd, Mio continued to put pressure on Momi and landed a clean punch as well as some knees.

Mio via Unanimous Decision
(29-28, 29-28, 30-28)

Mio vs Yukari Yamaguchi

In the 1st, Yukari looked the same as she did against V, throwing feints and landing a stiff left jab as well as left and right hooks. Yukari is very composed. During a barrage from Mio she calmly defended herself and blocked all of the shots. In the 2nd, Mio, who was losing the punching contest, started to throw a number of right middle kicks and she also threw some right straights. In the 3rd, she tried to keep kicking so she could stay out of Yukari's punching range. The judges couldn't decide so we had extension rounds. In the extension round, As Mio went to throw a right middle kick, Yukari surprised her. Yukari who had been throwing mainly punches for the fight hit Mio with a front kick to the head and the judges still couldn't decide so there was another round. In the 2nd extension, Mio pushed forward with right middle kicks, front kicks and knees but Yukari hit Mio with a timed left hook that staggered her. Mio had more output during the round but Yukari seemed to have really hurt her. The judges decide that the damage outweighs the output and Yukari wins the Championship.

Yukari Yamaguchi vs Split Decision
(30-29, 28-29, 29-29)
(9-10, 10-10, 10-10)
(10-9, 10-9, 9-10)

Single Matches

Ai Takahahi vs Nong Em

Nong Em from round 1 goes straight for the clinch. During an interaction with Ai near the end of the round she was hit with a right knee to the body that landed cleanly, the blow hurt her bad and Ai pushed her to the ropes and landed a barrage of knees till the end of the round. In the 2nd, Ai landed a left body hook and followed it up with a right knee that sent Nong Em to the canvas. It's a knockout, the fight's over.

Union Akari defeated Yuki Kira via Majority Decision
(30-27, 29-28, 28-28)

Michi Nakamura defeated Tomomi Souda via Unanimous Decision
(30-27, 30-27, 30-28)

Arisa defeated Maki Goto via TKO of Round 2
(2 downs from punches)

Mai Iwata defeated Bovy Okada via Unanimous Decision
(29-26, 29-26, 28-25)