Japanese MMA fighters, especially the women, are usually known for their grappling and submission skills. The leopard print wearing Hisae Watanabe is a stark contrast to that stereotype. Of her 19 MMA victories: 11 were by KO/TKO and 3 were by submission. What left an impression on fans was that for 105lbs, Watanabe had legitimate 1 punch knockout power.
Known for her solid striking, Watanabe fell victim to a lack of submission skills. Early on in her career, when Smackgirls had their 30 second ground rule, she was able to stall on the ground and wait for the stand up. When this rule ceased to exist, Watanabe was forced to either evolve or perish. Of her 3 first losses, 2 were by submission and 1 was by DQ. As her career went on, she showed improved grappling. It was more of defensive grappling but she was able to get 3 submissions by the end. One of the more devastating moments in Watanabe's career was when she lost by heal hook to Satoko Shinashi, in which she had to be carried out of the ring. 14 fights later, Watanabe faced off against Shinashi for the 2nd time. The match was for the inaugural Deep 105lb Championship. Watanabe had her revenge, KOing Satoko with 1 punch (above) while simultaneously winning the championship and handing Satoko her first loss. The other big fight for Watanabe came 3 fights later against Miku Matsumoto. The fight was a back and forth scrap with a lot of action on the mat and standing. In one of her best performances, Watanabe lost by Majority Decision. 1 victory later, she announced that she was getting married and retired from martial arts. This was not to be the end for Watanabe. She returned in 2010 in 4 Shoot Boxing/Kickboxing matches. She went 2-1-1. Her draw was against a rising Kickboxer named Little Tiger and her loss was a KO from Rena. That is one of her biggest legacies in my opinion. She legitimately faced the biggest stars of her time. She fought Miku Matsumoto, Yuka Tsuji, Shinashi Satoko and Rena.
2004 Golden Muscle Strongest Queen Tournament Champion
Deep Women's Lightweight Champion
International Women's Muay Thai Light-Flyweight Champion
Ham Seo Hee
Here is her fight against Miku