Capped off by a shocking upset in the main event, GCM’s all-female Valkyrie promotion put on an excellent event tonight at “Valkyrie 4.” Rising star Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi captured the Valkyrie Featherweight Championship with a first-round submission of Yuka “Vale Tudo Queen” Tsuji in one of the biggest upsets in women’s MMA history.
Perhaps fittingly, the bout’s unbelievable result comes on the 20th anniversary of the infamous knockout of “Iron” Mike Tyson by James “Buster” Douglas in a boxing match in 1990.
Valkyrie Featherweight (115-Pound) Championship
Mei “V Hajime” Yamaguchi vs Yuka “Vale Tudo Queen” Tsuji
Yamaguchi opened the fight with punches and countered a takedown from Tsuji with a knee. Tsuji managed to briefly get Yamaguchi to the ground against the cage, but Yamaguchi worked back to her feet. The fighters traded punches and Tsuji shot in for another takedown, but Yamaguchi took her back and dragged her to the mat with a rear-naked choke. Tsuji tried to hold on, but was forced to submit.
Yamaguchi claims the Valkyrie Featherweight Championship in one of the biggest upsets in the history of women’s mixed martial arts.
Winner: Mei Yamaguchi by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:16 of round one. She improves to 6-2-0 and becomes the new Valkyrie Featherweight Champion.
Valkyrie Flyweight (100-Pound) Tournament Bouts
Naoko Omuro vs Yuko Takagi
Omuro scored with punches early in the first round and she continued to pick Takagi apart with strikes before taking the fight to the ground. Omuro moved to side-control and then to mount, but she was unable to secure an armbar to finish the fight.
Takagi put together combinations of punches and kicks in the second round, but she was promptly taken down once again. As in the first round, Omuro moved to side-control and looked to set up an armbar, but Takagi did well to defend and made it to the bell.
Takagi began the final round with kicks to the legs and body, but Omuro scored a takedown. The fight soon returned to the feet and both landed kicks. Omuro followed with a one-two and a takedown, then moved from side-control to mount. She could not end the fight with a submission, but easily did enough to take a Unanimous Decision.
Winner: Naoko Omuro by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 11-7-3 and advances to the finals of the Valkyrie Flyweight Tournament.
Yasuko Tamada vs “Happy” Fukuko Hamada
Tamada immediately took the fight to the mat and quickly moved to mount. She landed punches until Hamada gave up her back, but could not secure a submission. Tamada tried for an arm-triangle choke and Hamada barely survived until the bell.
Hamada scored with punches and leg kicks in the second round, but Tamada answered with a takedown. She struck from Hamada’s guard and moved to mount, but Hamada swept and took top position. Hamada remained on top until the bell.
The final round saw the pace remain high and Tamada secured a standing rear-naked choke. Hamada managed to escape and Tamada worked from her guard on the ground. She tried to set up a submission with punches, then looked for a heel hook in the final moments of the round. Hamada survived, but Tamada took the clear-cut decision victory.
Winner: Yasuko Tamada by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 10-4-3 and advances to the final of the Valkyrie Flyweight Tournament.
“Windy” Tomomi Sunaba vs Masako Yoshida
Yoshida began the fight with a stiff leg kick and was met with a counter right hand. She continued to throw kicks and punches at Sunaba, but was very wild and Sunaba countered with a quick one-two. Yoshida pushed forward with a combination and tried for a takedown, but she was reversed before the bell.
Yoshida landed a two-punch combination in the second round and Sunaba cracked her with right-hand counters. Sunaba scored a takedown after a stiff leg kick and worked from Yoshida’s guard, but Yoshida locked on a tight triangle choke. Sunaba escaped the choke and landed a big right hand to the face of Yoshida. Sunaba maintained top position until the bell.
Sunaba punished Yoshida with quick combinations of kicks and punches in the final round and scored a takedown soon after. Yoshida looked to set up another triangle choke, but Sunaba wisely evaded danger and struck from Yoshida’s butterfly guard. More punches followed for Sunaba and she landed kicks in the final few seconds after the fight was stood up.
Winner: Tomomi Sunaba by Unanimous Decision after three 3:00 rounds. She improves to 13-12-1.
Rin Nakai vs Mizuho Sato
Sato rushed in with punches right away and Nakai answered with shots of her own. The fighters continued to trade big punches and Nakai scored with a knee. Sato pulled half-guard and tried for a heel hook, but Nakai fought free with punches. She followed with knees to the body as Sato turtled until the round came to an end.
The fighters clinched early in round two and Nakai tried for a takedown, but Sato defended well. Nakai landed a right hook and Sato fell briefly to the mat, but got back to her feet. Nakai scored a takedown and worked for an armbar as Sato tried to stand up. Sato secured a front choke and landed an illegal knee and kick to Nakai’s head. Nakai was given time to recover and the fighters traded punches until the bell.
The final round began with a clinch against the cage, but a stalemate followed and the fighters were separated. Nakai took Sato down and landed punches from the top. She used the strikes to set up a Kimura. Sato was unable to escape and tapped out, giving Nakai her sixth victory.
Winner: Rin Nakai by Submission (Kimura) at 1:50 of round three. She improves to 6-0-0.
Hiroko Kitamura vs Kimie “Sakura” Okada
The fighters exchanged kicks early on and Kitamura, a late replacement in the fight, took control with a series of punches. Okada answered with a leg kick and a knee to the face, but Kitamura scored an impressive takedown. She landed punches before the opening round came to a close.
Kitamura pressed the action with punching flurries in the second round and Okada tried for a takedown. Kitamura countered with a knee and a big right hand, which stopped Okada in her tracks. Kitamura took Okada down and moved to mount. She rained down punches until the referee stopped the fight with just three seconds left in the round, keeping Kitamura’s undefeated record intact.
Winner: Hiroko Kitamura by TKO (Punches) at 2:57 of round two. She improves to 3-0-0.
Megumi Morioka vs Mamiko Mizoguchi
Mizoguchi tried for a takedown early on, but Morioka reversed and wound up on top. Morioka worked from mount and landed a barrage of punches until the referee stopped the fight. Morioka wins her pro debut.
Winner: Megumi Morioka by TKO (Punches) at 1:27 of round one. She improves to 1-0-0.
Valkyrie 4 featured an exciting night of fights, but it will unquestionably be best remembered for the main event that saw Mei Yamaguchi pull off an improbable upset to claim the Valkyrie Featherweight Championship.
(Photo Credits: gbring.com)