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Watanabe Defeated Satomi “Sarami” Tanaka by TKO (Head Kick and Ground and Pound, 2:36 R2)

The opening round of the main event got underway as Satomi “Sarami” Tanaka pitted her punching versatility against Ayaka Watanabe’s kick heavy game. Watanabe fell back on her signature low calf kick, a strike that breaks opponents. Slamming the kick into “Sarami’s” legs and body, the champion took the blows in order to rattle off her counter punches. As she lept in with combinations, Tanaka was finding her mark with short, technical hooks and crosses, backed up by a snapping jab. The challenger wore the blows well, eating the punches in order to land her own. While the challenger threw less, she landed with considerable force, thunderous calf, leg and body kicks bolstered by straights hand. As the back and forth striking battle played out the champion appeared to be raming up the intensity and volume as the round closed.

“Sarami’s” success with timing and rhythm continued early in the second round. Watanabe was absorbing the punches well and returning with her own loaded hands, daring the champion to brawl. With continuous stanch switching, the challenger relied on her Karate to keep Tanaka guessing. “Sarami” pummeled Watanabe to the fence, unloading a rapid fire volley of strikes that had Watanabe on the retreat. After being sent to the ground by a front kick, Watanabe met the champion in the center of the cage. With a perfect read of her opponent Watanabe caught Sarami on the exit, a picture perfect high kick landed flush and floored the Champion. Reeling from the impact, Sarami somehow rode through the onslaught, seeking the clinch and a takedown. There would be no respite for for “Sarami” however as another high kick knocked her to the canvas again. Some brutal follow up ground and pound prompted the referee to jump in. At 1/2 way through the second round Watanabe had sealed the deal and a new champion was born.


Zenny “Lady GoGo” Huang Defeated Aira Koga by Submission (Modified Rear Naked Choke, 2:55, R3)

Outgunned in power Zenny Huang had activity and accuracy on her side in the 1st. Firing low to the calf before alternating to body kicks on opposite side, her Taekwondo was on full displayas she spun kicks to the body. While her power punches on the feet were effective, Koga really shone in the grappling department, with a technical and powerful counter, clinch and takedown game. The Burst all-rounder tossed her opponent to the mat repeatedly. While she could not inflict a lot of damage from top, Huang was kept on her side or back, playing defense for the majorityof the round. When the bell sounder the momentum was firmly behind Koga, who had just notched another takedown

As the 2nd stanza commenced both fighters traded until Huang hit a clean head and arm throw, showing off her Judo roots. Her adversary was able to reverse immediately however and switch to a single leg to angle Huang to the canvas. Koga was pulling ahead in the dominance department, taking the fight into her realm, scoring with ground and pound while actively looking to pass. Huang showed excellent defensive grappling off her back, retaining guard and 1/2 guard while avoiding the brunt of the strikes. Koga who was pulling ahead in the dominance department as every attempt to turn the tide from Huang was deftly shut down. Koga had an rock solid base and stayed heavy on top.

Huang dug deep entering the final round, throwing punches, kicks and spinning kicks will little regard for defense. Knowing that she was behind the Taiwanese fighter took a hit in order to return fire. She was able to rattle her opponent enough to get Koga to snatch a double leg and return to the mat. “LadyGoGo” was going for the finish, locking up a tight guillotine, Koga struggled but was wise with her defense as she fought free. Chaining attacks together Huang adjusted and countered with an omoplata but Koga would not let her sit up to finish the submission. Moving to the next step Huang wrapped her arms around the head while tying up her opponents legs in an awkward Kimura lock. Koga had no answer and passed out at 2:55 of the final round.

It was a sensational comeback for an elated Huang as she pulled victory from the jaws of defeat.


Miku Nakamura Defeated Mayu Kawanishi by Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Mayu Kawanishi threw everything into her overhand right hands, hurting Miku Nakamura early. A sniper who takes time to read opponents Nakamura tested her straight left hands and hooks. Kawanishi gave her foe no time to set up range and find her pace, setting a fast tempo as she threw leather at every opportunity in a competitive opening round.

Nakamura took control in the following round. Repeatedly finding home for her signature left straight, Kawanishi was stunned on numerous occasions but showed a solid chin and remarkable resilience. Nakamura fought power with finesse, weaving right hands down the pipe and through her opponents defense.

Aware that her opponent was growing in confidence, Kawanishi flipped the script in the final round with well timed entries to single and double leg takedowns. Nakamura, since dropping a weight class, has proven a tough task to take down. Kawanishi had perfect set ups, cleared range but could not quite complete the techniques. Fighting tooth and nail to stay on her feet where she had an advantage, Nakamura was letting go. In addition to crisp striking fundamentals she is known for Nakamura Spun frequently and freely with kicks and backfists.

Kawanishi displayed heart and durability, not backing out of exchanges, she has a bright future. This bout, however, belonged to the more experienced fighter, the deadly striker Nakamura.


Grapplng match: Tomo Maesawa vs Yuki Sugiuchi Was a Draw (Time Limit)

In a battle of trailblazing veterans, decorated submission grappler Yuki Sugiuchi immediately started the bout sitting, beckoning her foe in. Judoka Tomo Maesawa was content to take top position, working to 1/2 guard she repeatedly attempted to hook her arms round the neck for her signature guillotine choke. The heavy top pressure and very low body positioning gave the dexterous Sugiuchi no space to maneuver and show what she was capable of. Sugiuchi, with just the smallest space to move worked reversals and fished for leg locks. A final attempt in the dying seconds at securing a leg was fruitless for the BJJ standout, with both competitors working the legs as time expired. As the match went the limit it was automatically declared a draw.


Megumi Sugimoto Defeated Yoshinari by Unanimous Decision (20-17, 20-17, 20-18)

Both fighters were on fire from the start, throwing with reckless abandon. Sugimoto got the best of the exchanges, at one moment literally chasing her opponent across the cage while throwing. Typically a strong wrestler, Sugimoto has proven in the past that she is also an adept striker. Given her opponent, Sugimoto’s strategy worked very well. She controlled the game Yoshinari against the fence, digging to the body with hard knees while intermittently blitzing on the feet. Yoshinari was not without success,with heavy knees in the clinch and short strikes on the inside the opening stanza was explosive.

In the 2nd, Sugimotos lead extended as she went for the finish, firing on all cylinders. Yoshinari was not shy to go blow for blow with her opponent despite being driven back by the barrage. Falling back on her roots, Sugimoto dropped her opponent to the canvas and really turned up the heat. From side to back mount, the AACC standout rained down ground and pound as she came close to her trademark Rear Naked Choke finish. Yoshinari held tough, refused to give up andtried to rally on the feet. Another takedown soon followed as Sugimoto ended on top, throwing leather for another dominant round.

Sugimoto won a clear cut decision, receiving 10-8 scores from 2 of the judges. The win earned her 2 points in the Infinity League Strawweight division.


Momoka Hoshuyama Defeated Angel Shiho by Submission (Rear Naked Choke, 4:19, R1)

After both engaging on the feet Hoshuyama elected to grapple, perhaps sensing that her foe was a stronger striker than grappler. Angel had some starch to her shots the feet but  Hoshuyama took the match to her world. Maintaining a wizzer during a throw attempt she crept her legs around the body and took the back. Shiho lost the battle for leg control and, before long, was in trouble. After securing the back all-rounder Hoshuyama showed her ever improving skills with a textbook Rear Naked Choke.

The 1st round stoppage netted Hoshuyama a vital 4 points in the Infinity League and one step closer to becoming the Strawweight Queen.


Yasuko “Ikuko” Tamada vs Hisae Watanabe Was a Split Draw (20-18, 19-19, 19-19)

Feared KO specialist Kicks Watanabe worked the legs with some brutal kicks early in the 1st. As soon as the Kickboxer committed to punches Tamada bodylocked her muscular opponent. Skillfully dropping her to the canvas the AACC veteran chipped away from 1/2 guard. Watanabe was able to stand and rally late with a clean right hand on the inside.

“Ikuko” was tenacious with takedown attempts in the final 1/2 of the fight. Dropping down for the legs against the cage, Tamada took strike after strike as Watanabe elbowed and punched at every opportunity. With her base unshakable the deadly striker was able to stay on her feet, landing nasty leg kicks and powerful punches. It was a gritty performance from the courageous veteran Tamada, out-sized and out-powered she used her experience to pick her timing well, executing the clinch and avoiding taking too much damage.

The bout between 2 pioneers of the sport was scored a majority draw. The dissenting judge favored the damage of Watanabe over the control of Tamada.


Grappling rules: Noeru “Noel” Narita vs Aira Inoue Was a Draw (Time Limit)

Inoue starting from the knees pulled Noel into her guard. From a high guard Inoue pulled her opponents posture down while prying for triangles and armbars. Noel kept her head up, pressuring down when needed, stifling the submission attempts. As the time ran down Noel broke free and went straight for a leg submission but, this time, it was Inoue who defended perfectly. The time expired on an evenly matched draw.





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Peter Leghorn
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