The 2018 MMA season is now in full swing here in Japan. This weekend is packed with exciting cards from both Pancrase and Deep Jewels. The Deep Jewels promotion is Japan’s best of the best in female MMA. Most of the fighters in the promotion are ranked as some of the best fighters pound for pound in the female divisions across the world.
In addition to the great action we are expecting to see on Saturday, we will get to see some preview of what is building up to the End Of the Year Rizin event. That event is always packed with some excellent fights. The stories that build up the fights for the EOY show always start with the drama and rivalry that starts in these other promotions. It is not uncommon to have a winner in a Deep event call out to the President of Rizin, Mr. Nobuyuki Sakakibara, and say “Give me a shot in Rizin at the End of the Year event!” More likely than not, especially if it is a Judoka asking, he will agree. That is how we build up to the EOY drama. It is very exciting.
On Saturday we kick off the 2018 Deep Jewels season with Deep Jewels 19. This card is packed with exciting fights. A few fights that we are looking forward to are as follows.
Mizuki Furuse vs. Nanaka Kawamura:
Mizuki Furuze 1-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) is a young lady fighter that hales out of the Y&K MMA Academy. She is currently on a 2 fight losing streak but do not let that fool you. Her head kicks have KO power and her ground game is no joke either. She has a Karate fighting style, so expect lots of powerful back leg kicks and strong punches to set up her take downs.
Furuse will be facing budding teen idol and fighter Nanaka Kawamura 1-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw). During Kawamura’s debut match in Deep Jewels 18 she was preceded by a grand display of J-Pop mixed with horror film iconology. Several of her band members were wearing Jason masks and dancing around as Kawamura made her way to the ring, also sporting a mask and carrying a giant LED studded chainsaw! During her debut match she made short work of her opponent Reica 0-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw). Expect a good match with these two fighters.
Yuko Kiryu vs. Tomomi Souda:
Yuko Kiryu 5-6-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) is fighting out of Brave Gym in Misato, Japan. If you do not know Brave Gym, stop what your doing and immediatly go and look them up. Brave Gym is run by world famous MMA star Ryo Chonan and is responsible for putting some of the best JMMA fighters on the map. Yuko Kiryu is currently on a 2 fight losing streak and is looking to turn that around. That means that she is going into the cage with a fire in her belly and ready for combat. Do not let her small frame fool you, she has a very good ground game and will probably look to take this fight to the ground as soon as possible.
She will be going into battle with Tomomi Souda 1-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) who fights out of Hide’s Kick Gym in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Souda, who is the older of the 2 fighters comes in having won her debut fight against Madoka Ishibashi back in December of 2017 at Deep Jewels 18. She won by submission, but as I recall her stand up game was not bad either. She has punching power. Will she be able to continue with he winning streak or will Kiryu finally reset herself back into the winners catagory? Either way the fight should be a good one.
Yukari Nabe vs. Kana Watanabe:
Yukari Nabe 3-2-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) who fights out of Paraestra Matsudo, in Chiba Japan, is coming into this fight as the veteran fighter in this match up. She comes from a gym with a deep history in Japan. Many excellent fighter come from the Paraestra lineage both in MMA and in Brazilian Jiujitsu. Paraestra, was originally founded by Yuki Nakai, who was one of the first (some say the first) BJJ Black belts in Japan. Nabe comes in to the fight on a 1 fight winning streak. She defeated Yurika Nakakura at 2:50 of Round 2 by KO/TKO back at Deep Jewels 18.
She will be going to war with new comer to the MMA world, Kana Watanabe 2-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw). Watanabe is no stranger to martial arts though, she has several amazing wins in high level Judo competitions. She is what you’d call a Judo elite in Japan. She has come on to the MMA scene just recently and has taken it by storm. In her debut fight she ripped through Hikari Sato 0-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw), submitting her with an armbar in 1:32 of Round 2. After that she was invited to fight in Rizin where she went the distance for a win with Shizuka Sugiyama 15-5-1 (Win-Loss-Draw). She has proven herself as a high level athlete and another win should put her close to a title shot in the near future.
Reina Miura vs. Soyoung Park:
What can we say about King Reina 7-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) that you don’t already know. She is one of the most interesting characters in JMMA today. Not only is she a good character, but she is a solid fighter as well. We’ve seen her standing game improve over the last two years as well. Before she would just go straight to the ground, but she has now developed a sic overhand right that wobbles her opponents easily. Her boxing has come along very well but let’s not forget her ground game either. She used a classic pressure style in her newaza to pass her opponent’s guard and get to a dominant position. After that you can expect a G-n-P or a slick submission. She suffered her first career loss at the hands of Cindy Dandois 11-3-0 (Win-Loss-Draw) from Belgium, last year at the Rizin 2017 EOY event. That means that she is going to start off 2018’s season with a rage in her soul and ready to recover from that loss.
Her opponent will be Soyoung Park Am 1-0-0 (Win-Loss-Draw), who comes to us from South Korea. Park has a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu back ground and has had 1 fight in MMA so far. She has a KO/TKO win over Ja Hee Kim in the Road FC Central League. This will be her first profight and first fight in Japan.
This event is sold out.
Full Card: *subject to change.
Mina Kurobe vs. Satomi Takano
Reina Miura vs. Soyoung Park
Yukari Nabe vs. Kana Watanabe
Tomo Maesawa vs. Yuko Saito
Yuko Oya vs. Hikari Sato
Yuko Kiryu vs. Tomomi Souda
Mizuki Furuse vs. Nanaka Kawamura
Pan Hui vs. Mika Arai
Hikaru Aono vs. Anna Kiriyama
Ayako Miyata vs. Midori Sugai