The all-female Jewels promotion showcased what was arguably its biggest event to date last night, but a premature referee stoppage during the headlining bout marred an otherwise excellent card. The result of the Saori Ishioka vs “Slick” Sally Krumdiack main event will likely be overturned.
On a more positive note, the winners of the inaugural Jewels Rough Stone Grand Prix tournaments were crowned. Asami Kodera won the 48-kilogram bracket, Mika Nagano reigned supreme at 54 kilograms and rising German star Alexandra Sanchez was victorious in 60-kilogram action.
In the main event of the evening, Saori Ishioka defeated “Slick” Sally Krumdiack by Technical Submission (Armbar) at 2:45 of round one. Ishioka improves to 8-4-0 with the win, but the bout’s outcome may be changed to a No Contest.
Ishioka, one of the top stars in Jewels, bounced back from her submission loss to Megumi Fujii at “Fourth Ring,” but her victory over Krumdiack, the Freestyle Cage Fighting Women’s 125-Pound Champion, came after the referee mistakenly stopped the fight due to a miscommunication.
Ishioka managed to trap Krumdiack in a weak armbar on the ground that had Krumdiack in no danger. Her elbow was free of the hold, but the referee asked her if she was okay or if she wanted to stop. Krumdiack nodded her head and told the referee that she was fine, but he did not understand and instead called a halt to the fight.
Ringside officials immediately identified the error and Krumdiack’s team plans to protest the result of the fight, which will most likely be changed to a No Contest due to the obvious mistake and the premature stoppage. An unfortunate ending to an otherwise solid card.
Rough Stone Grand Prix Bouts:
Asami Kodera defeated Kikuyo Ishikawa by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 5-3-0 and becomes the Jewels 48kg (106-Pound) Rough Stone Grand Prix Champion.
The battle of submission specialists went the distance, with Kodera coming out on top and handing Ishikawa her first loss in the process. Kodera has now won three fights in a row and is undefeated in Jewels. She will no doubt be featured prominently on upcoming cards.
Mika Nagano defeated Yuko Kagoshima by Submission (Armbar) at 3:56 of round two. She improves to 5-2-0 and becomes the Jewels 54kg (119-Pound) Rough Stone Grand Prix Champion.
Picking up her fourth consecutive win by armbar, the Japanese beauty captured her first mixed martial arts title with a dominant performance against the overmatched Kagoshima, who was competing in just her second fight. Nagano, already one of the postergirls of Jewels, has not lost since dropping a Unanimous Decision to Saori Ishioka back at Jewels: “First Ring” over a year ago.
Alexandra Sanchez defeated Tomoko Morii by Submission (Armbar) at 3:39 of round one. She improves to 4-1-0 and becomes the Jewels 60kg (132-Pound) Rough Stone Grand Prix Champion.
Sanchez followed up on her dominant victory over Shizuka Sugiyama at “Fifth Ring” with another impressive performance against Morii, who was completely outclassed by the German standout. Sanchez remains undefeated in Jewels, but suffered a quick submission loss in an MMA Berlin bout in September. Her ground game is ever-improving and she will be a force for anyone in the higher weight classes in Jewels.
Shizuka Sugiyama defeated Yukiko “Ko” Ozeki by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 6-1-0 with the win.
The ultra-photogenic Sugiyama reigned undefeated through her first five fights and was pegged as the future of Jewels for both her looks and her skill inside the ring. However, she was soundly defeated by Alexandra Sanchez at “Fifth Ring” and saw her Grand Prix title hopes dashed in an instant. With the victory over the still-winless Ozeki, Sugiyama gets back on track, but she may continue to struggle when faced with larger opponents such as Sanchez.
Mari Kaneko defeated Rina Tomita by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 9-8-1 with the win.
Coming out of retirement after a four-year absence, Kaneko showed that she still has what it takes to compete with the best and she dominated Tomita en route to a clear-cut decision win. Kaneko, who has faced elite-level competition throughout her career and holds a win over Hisae Watanabe, may emerge as a dark horse in the rapidly-expanding Jewels roster, while Tomita suffers her third loss in a row.
Misaki “Patora” Ozawa defeated Akiko Inoue by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 1-4-0 with the win.
Largely just a time-filler, Ozawa picked up her first professional victory over Inoue, who has struggled badly herself throughout her career. Neither are likely to be contenders at any point in the future, but Ozawa’s win was a solid one nonetheless. For her sake, hopefully she can continue the momentum.
Yoko Yamada defeated Miyoko Kusaka by Unanimous Decision after two rounds. She improves to 6-1-0 with the win.
In what was a mismatch on paper, the much more experienced Yamada defeated Kusaka, a representative of the Grabaka Gym who was making her mixed martial arts debut. However, Kusaka managed to take Yamada the distance for the first time in her career, which was a moral victory in itself. This was Yamada’s first fight in Jewels and she should take a step up in competition in her next outing. Kusaka would be well-suited to take on Misaki Ozawa next.
Main event ending aside, “Sixth Ring” was an excellent event for the developing all-female Jewels promotion, which is beginning to show glimpses of the greatness that its predecessor, Smackgirl, enjoyed.