The 2010 Jewels Rough Stone Grand Prix kicked off today at Jewels: “Tenth Ring” in Tokyo, Japan, with six fighters advancing on to the tournament final on December 17th. The event was headlined by a 58kg non-tournament bout that saw Miki Morifuji submit Aya “Ariya” Koyama in the first round.
Despite emerging victorious via a controversial decision over Celine Haga, Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka will not advance on to the semi-finals of the Jewels Lightweight Queen Tournament. South Korea’s Seo Hee Ham has resolved her differences with Jewels and will return in December.
58kg Non-Tournament Bout
Miki Morifuji vs Aya “Ariya” Koyama
The fighters exchanged right hands in the early stages of the opening round and Koyama, competing for the first time in six and a half years, displayed impressive head movement in ducking under Morifuji’s punches. Morifuji eventually shot in for a takedown and Koyama sprawled, but Morifuji used the opportunity to take Koyama’s back. She secured a body triangle and quickly worked for a rear-naked choke. Koyama was unable to defend and was forced to submit.
After the fight, Morifuji announced that she will compete one more time at Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” in December and then retire. She made her MMA debut on May 24, 2001.
Winner: Miki Morifuji by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:51 of round one. She improves to 10-6-0.
52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Mai Ichii vs Miyo Yoshida
Ichii countered early punches from Yoshida by shooting in for a takedown. Yoshida reversed and wound up on top, but Ichii kept her trapped in a triangle choke. Yoshida extended her arms to defend and the referee eventually stood the fighters up. Punches were exchanged again and the fighters clinched against the ropes, with Yoshida defending a takedown until another referee break. She landed a front kick and a knee to the body, but Ichii pulled guard with another triangle choke to nullify Yoshida’s offence. Ichii switched to full guard and tried unsuccessfully for an armbar before the bell.
As in the first round, Ichii pulled guard again in round two after early kicks and a right hand from Yoshida. She tried for a triangle choke and Yoshida threw punches to the body to break free. Ichii reverted to full guard and secured the triangle choke as Yoshida attacked with knees to the upper thigh. She was not in any serious danger from the choke, but could not escape. With no way out, Yoshida was stuck in the triangle choke for a lengthy period and Ichii attempted an armbar late in the round.
Winner: Mai Ichii by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 4-4-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Hiroko Kitamura vs Rina Tomita
A one-two landed for Tomita early on and Kitamura clinched. She threw knees to the body and backed Tomita into a corner, but a stalemate ensued and the fighters were separated. Tomita countered a kick with a takedown, but had to fight off choke and armbar attempts. A scramble ensued and Kitamura tied up Tomita’s legs, but Tomita managed to escape back to Kitamura’s guard. Kitamura worked for another armbar until the referee stood the fighters up. Tomita scored a takedown and Kitamura tried for more submissions from the bottom.
The fighters traded quick punches early in round two and Kitamura landed a pair of right hands. She clinched and managed to take Tomita down. Kitamura worked from the top and tried to pass Tomita’s guard while throwing occasional punches. The referee brought the fight back to the feet and Kitamura landed a left hook and a right cross. Tomita pushed forward, but Kitamura landed another solid right hand. Tomita took her down and Kitamura immediately tried for an armbar from her back. Tomita escaped, only to find herself in another armbar. Kitamura transitioned to a triangle armbar late in the round, but Tomita broke free.
Winner: Hiroko Kitamura by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 5-1-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 52kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Yukiko Seki vs Yoko Kagoshima
Seki landed a left hook early in the first round and Kagoshima fired back with a knee. She clinched and backed Seki up against the ropes, but the referee soon separated the fighters. Wild punches were exchanged and another clinch followed. The referee stepped in to break up the fighters and Seki landed a left cross. Kagoshima replied with a combination. More punches landed for Seki, as she connected with hooks and crosses that backed Kagoshima up. Seki clinched and looked for a takedown, but Kagoshima defended. Another exchange of wild punches closed out the round.
Seki opened round two with more punches, but the much taller Kagoshima had little trouble in backing her up against the ropes. Seki countered with a left hook and a lead right hand, but Kagoshima blocked both punches. Seki used a throw to take Kagoshima down and worked from the top in half-guard, but little transpired and the referee stood the fighters up. Seki scored another takedown off of a clinch late in the round and the takedowns proved to be a factor on the judges’ scorecards.
Winner: Yukiko Seki by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 7-19-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Kikuyo Ishikawa vs Misaki “Patora” Ozawa
Ishikawa opened the fight with a quick one-two and a front kick to the body as Ozawa circled away. She fired back with punches of her own and both fighters landed body kicks. Ishikawa followed with left and right hooks, then a right cross as Ozawa threw a counter combination. Ishikawa reversed a takedown and swept, then transitioned into a beautiful armbar that forced Ozawa to submit.
Winner: Kikuyo Ishikawa by Submission (Armbar) at 2:24 of round one. She improves to 3-2-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 48kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Mizuki Inoue vs Emi Murata
Murata landed a kick in the opening seconds and quickly pulled guard. She secured a partial triangle choke from her back, but Inoue, a 16-year-old kickboxer making her MMA debut, remained calm. Murata looked to transition into a triangle armbar, but Inoue battled out and the fighters were stood up. Inoue scored with punches, but Murata clinched and once again took the fight to the mat, then moved to mount. She managed to secure an armbar very late in the round, but Inoue held on until the bell.
Murata avoided a kick early in the second round, but Inoue drilled her with right and left hooks that prompted Murata to clinch. She resorted to pulling guard again and Inoue struck from the top. Inoue passed Murata’s guard and worked all the way to side-control. She isolated Murata’s arm and quickly locked on an armbar, forcing Murata to submit.
Very impressive win for Inoue, especially in securing the victory by way of submission.
Winner: Mizuki Inoue by Submission (Armbar) at 2:58 of round two. She improves to 1-0-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix Semi-Final
Asako Saioka vs Harumi
Saioka started off strong with a variety of right-hand punches and backed Harumi up with two big right hooks. Harumi tried to counter with punches of her own, but Saioka walked right through them and landed a combination. More big punches scored for Saioka as Harumi tried to land counter rights to no avail. A huge left hook floored Harumi face-first to the canvas and she was unable to get back up.
Dominant win for Saioka, while Harumi remains winless.
Winner: Asako Saioka by KO (Punch) at 2:31 of round one. She improves to 4-4-0 and advances to the finals of the 2010 56kg Rough Stone Grand Prix.
52kg Non-Tournament Bout
Saori “Shooting Star” Ishioka vs Celine Haga
Note: This bout was originally slated to serve as a replacement quarterfinal in the Jewels Lightweight Queen Tournament. However, it was changed to a non-tournament bout after Seo Hee Ham returned to Jewels. Ham will compete in the tournament semi-finals, while the winner of this fight will not.
The opening round began with an exchange of jabs and Haga connected with a series of right hands. Ishioka clinched and landed a knee, then used a modified judo throw to take Haga down. Haga quickly reversed and worked from the top with punches to the body. Ishioka looked for submissions from her back and appeared to be setting up an armbar as the referee intervened to stand the fighters up. Haga landed a right cross and reversed another takedown from Ishioka. She wound up on top in Ishioka’s half-guard and the round soon came to an end.
Ishioka opened the second round with kicks and took Haga down, but lost position while trying for an armbar. Haga wound up on top in Ishioka’s guard and the fighters were stood up. Ishioka scored another throw takedown and Haga tried to reverse near the ropes. Ishioka secured a Kimura from Haga’s half-guard, but Haga escaped and eventually managed to sweep. She moved to full mount and Ishioka promptly reversed the position. Ishioka tried for an armbar late in the round, but could not secure the submission.
Despite appearing to split the first two rounds, the judges unanimously sided with Ishioka, who took a very close and somewhat controversial decision victory. While she will no longer be part of the Jewels Lightweight Queen Tournament, Ishioka will most likely still compete at Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” in some capacity.
Winner: Saori Ishioka by Unanimous Decision after two 5:00 rounds. She improves to 10-5-0.
One-Day 52kg Grappling Tournament
Yuko “Amiba” Oya defeated Asami Kodera by Submission (Armbar) at 2:22 of round two in the first semi-final match. Oya was forced to battle through a tough opening round after losing position following an armbar attempt, but pulled out the victory in round two. She advanced to the grappling tournament final with the victory.
Ayaka Hamasaki defeated Emi Tomimatsu by Submission (Armbar) at 2:34 of round two in the second semi-final match. Hamasaki dominated the match throughout and nearly secured a finish in round one with a triangle choke and armbar attempts before ending the bout in round two. She advanced to the grappling tournament final with the victory.
Ayaka Hamasaki defeated Yuko “Amiba” Oya by Submission (Armbar) at 2:45 of round one in the tournament final. Hamasaki nearly secured a tap from a keylock in the early stages of the opening round, then used a quick transition from a throw to set up the armbar finish. With the victory, Hamasaki became the winner of the one-day 52kg grappling tournament.
Sakura Nomura defeated Yoshimi “Arika” Ohama by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three 2:00 rounds. While Nomura’s striking was competent, it was her throws that told the story in this bout as she racked up points with high-arc takedowns. She looked to secure standing arm-triangle chokes as well, but was unable to force a submission and instead cruised to a lopsided decision win.
Amateur 48kg Mixed Martial Arts Bout
Asami Higa and Sachiko Kogashi fought to a Draw after one 4:00 round.
Highlighted by impressive submission victories for Miki Morifuji, Kikuyo Ishikawa and teen kickboxer Mizuki Inoue, Jewels: “Tenth Ring” was a solid event that surpassed expectations. The finals of all three brackets of the 2010 Rough Stone Grand Prix will wrap up at Jewels: “Eleventh Ring” on December 17th, which takes place at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The event will almost certainly be the biggest Jewels card to date.
Thanks to Daniel Herbertson for extensive updates from ringside.
(Photo Credit: Jewels)