Jewels: "Ninth Ring" Results & RecapJewels kicked off its inaugural Lightweight (115-Pound) Queen Grand Prix today at Jewels: “Ninth Ring” with a card filled with submission finishes. In the main event, Sakura Nomura kept her unbeaten record intact when she upset promotional postergirl Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka.

In other tournament action, South Korean standout Seo Hee Ham joined Nomura in the tournament semi-finals by defeating Mai Ichii, while Ayaka Hamasaki and Mika “Future Princess” Nagano also moved on. Nagano avenged a May loss to Celine Haga with a first-round armbar.


Jewels Lightweight Queen Quarterfinal Bout

Sakura Nomura vs Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka

Round 1:
Nomura wasted little time in taking the fight to the ground in round one, as she ducked under a one-two and clinched, then took Ishioka down with a judo throw. From side-control, Nomura looked to set up submissions and attempted a guillotine choke, but Ishioka battled out and regained guard. Nomura tried for a second guillotine choke soon after and landed a knee to the body. The fighters were stood up and Ishioka landed a right hook, but was immediately taken down again. Nomura threatened with another choke before the bell.

Round 2:
The fighters exchanged punches to the body in round two and Ishioka threw a high kick, but Nomura took her down. Nomura threw punches from the top, then moved to side-control and scored with knees to the body. A scramble followed and Nomura locked on a tight armbar, but Ishioka escaped. Another scramble followed and Nomura wound up on top. She resumed her assault with punches and tried for a guillotine choke. She switched to a heel hook shortly before the bell, but time expired.

Winner: Sakura Nomura by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 3-0-0 and advances on in the 2010 Jewels Lightweight Queen Grand Prix.


Jewels Lightweight Queen Quarterfinal Bout

Seo Hee Ham vs Mai Ichii

Round 1:
Ichii opened the fight with side kicks and a spinning backfist, but Ham remained calm and countered with quick one-twos. Ichii continued to throw side kicks and tried to stay at a distance, but ate another combination from Ham. A left hook caused Ichii’s nose to swell and Ham took her down. Ham moved to mount and Ichii gave up her back. Ham attempted a rear-naked choke, but Ichii escaped. Ham stood over Ichii and kicked at her legs until the referee stood Ichii up. Ichii tried to pull guard, but Ham stayed standing and threw punches to Ichii’s ribs as Ichii hung on.

Round 2:
Both fighters landed punches early in the second round, but Ham took over the exchange with a hard left hand and combinations to the head and body. She backed Ichii up with more punches and Ichii pulled guard. Ham moved to side-control, then took Ichii’s back. She then moved straight to mount and looked to set up an armbar and an arm-triangle choke. Ichii defended, but Ham was relentless. Ichii briefly got to her feet and was slammed down again. Ham threw punches to the body until the bell.

Winner: Seo Hee Ham by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 5-3-0 and advances on in the 2010 Jewels Lightweight Queen Grand Prix.


Jewels Lightweight Queen Quarterfinal Bout

Mika “Future Princess” Nagano vs Celine Haga

Round 1:
Haga, who upset Nagano in May, opened the rematch with jabs and a pair of right hands that led to a clinch. Nagano threw knees and took Haga down, but Haga reversed and wound up in mount. Nagano regained half-guard and then full guard and tried for a triangle choke. Haga evaded, but Nagano switched to an armbar. Haga attempted to escape to side-control, but Nagano flipped her over and Haga was forced to submit.

Winner: Mika Nagano by Submission (Armbar) at 2:52 of round one. She improves to 7-3-0 and advances on in the 2010 Jewels Lightweight Queen Grand Prix.


Jewels Lightweight Queen Quarterfinal Bout

Ayaka Hamasaki vs Han Sol Lee

Round 1:
Hamasaki immediately took Lee down and landed in side-control, where she worked for a far-side straight armbar. Lee defended and rolled to her side, but Hamasaki maintained her grip on Lee’s left arm and switched to a Kimura. From a modified side-control position, she wrenched back on Lee’s arm and forced a hasty tapout.

Winner: Ayaka Hamasaki by Submission (Kimura) at 0:48 of round one. She improves to 2-0-0 and advances on in the 2010 Jewels Lightweight Queen Grand Prix.


Misaki Takimoto vs Lisa Newton

Round 1:
Newton opened the fight with a stiff jab and the fighters exchanged punches soon after. Newton landed a nice combination, but Takimoto replied with strikes to the body and backed Newton into the corner. Takimoto landed a jab and took Newton down. Newton gave up her back and Takimoto quickly secured a rear-naked choke, forcing Newton to submit.

Winner: Misaki Takimoto by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:10 of round one. She improves to 12-11-4.


Mayumi “Super Benkei” Aoki vs Esui

Round 1:
Esui, who was originally scheduled to face Shizuka Sugiyama in a shootboxing match before Sugiyama was forced to withdraw due to injury, made her pro MMA debut in this fight and dwarfed the much shorter Aoki. Unfortunately for her, the size advantage did not help.

Esui opened the fight with a jumping kick to the body, but Aoki caught it and took her down. Aoki tried for a Kimura from side-control, then took Esui’s back, but Esui defended and regained guard. Aoki worked for a heel hook, then threw punches to the body and moved to mount. Time was called and Esui was warned for grabbing the ropes. The fight resumed on the feet and Aoki scored another takedown. She instantly secured an armbar and Esui tapped out.

Winner: Mayumi Aoki by Submission (Armbar) at 4:34 of round one. She improves to 5-6-0.


Undercard Fights:

Yukiko Seki defeated Miyoko Kusaka by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 0:50 of round two. Kusaka controlled much of the opening round with strikes and judo throws, but Seki took her back early in the second round and secured the fight-ending choke. Seki improves to 6-19-0 with the win.

Yuko “Amiba” Oya defeated Misaki “Patora” Ozawa by Submission (Armbar) at 2:27 of round two. Both fighters landed solid punches in a series of exchanges in round one before Oya took the fight to the ground. She did so again in the second round and moved to mount, then spun into an armbar that forced Ozawa to submit. Oya improves to 5-1-0 with the win.

Emi Murata defeated Harumi by Submission (Armbar) at 1:08 of round one. The debuting Murata punched her way into a clinch and grabbed hold of Harumi’s neck, then threw her to the mat. She quickly worked for an armbar and got it, forcing the still winless Harumi to tap out. Murata improves to 1-0-0 with the win.


On a card filled with submissions, the final two bouts of the day both went the distance and saw Jewels postergirl Saori Ishioka ousted from the tournament. Mika Nagano got revenge for her May loss and now joins South Korean striking sensation Seo Hee Ham and Megumi Fujii protégé Ayaka Hamasaki in the semi-finals. The next round of the Lightweight Queen Grand Prix is expected to take place on October 10th at Jewels: “Tenth Ring.”



(Photo Credit: Jewels)